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Christmas Traditions {Holiday Link Up}


Welcome to the third and final holiday link up of 2014!  It may be the last one but it's also the best one - today is all about Christmas :)

Joey from Hodges Podges had a great post yesterday where she shared her Christmas essentials.  Things that she "needs" for it to really feel like Christmas.  It resonated with me since last year was my first married Christmas away from my family... and it just didn't feel like Christmas.  While it was fun to see how Nicks family did things and celebrate with them, it was a strange feeling to not get to do any of the things I typically do to celebrate my favorite day.  We did have a wonderful time but it made me realize how much I value traditions this time of year.


Today I'm going to share a few popular Christmas traditions.  Some are ones that I grew up with and others are new to me, things I want to start implementing with my little family.  There are so many great ones so feel free to share any I missed in the comments below!

CHRISTMAS EVE::

Candlelight church service/Midnight Mass

Receive a new pair of PJs

Read The Night Before Christmas before bed

Leave reindeer food out with your cookies for Santa

Open stockings

Host a family party and have "Santa" come visit

Go caroling in your neighborhood

Drive around and check out neighborhood light displays

Visit a nativity scene

CHRISTMAS DAY::

Designate one person to pass out gifts and make them wear a Santa hat

Gift each family member a new ornament

Throw some lottery tickets in the stockings

Have a family sleepover in front of the fireplace

Volunteer at a local soup kitchen to serve dinner

Watch A Christmas Story on TBS

Have a gingerbread house/cookie decorating contest

Set up a 24 hour hot chocolate bar

What's your favorite Christmas tradition from your childhood that you can't live without? And a big THANK YOU for joining us for our holiday link ups!  It's been a lot of fun and I hope we'll be back next year :)  


45 comments

  1. Christmas eve service is my FAVORITE!!!!! Love all your fun holiday traditions!

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  2. I love all these!! Such creative ideas. And it totally agree. I felt the same way last year, it just didn't feel like Christmas because everything was so different. It was great but different. So I realized then to how great and important traditions are to me! And I might have to add some of these to the list.

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  3. So many great ideas! A 24 hour hot chocolate bar is such a fun idea! We always leave cookies and reindeer food out :)

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  4. Getting an ornament from my mom that represented my year...If I didn't see that I would be sooo bummed.

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  5. These are such cute traditions - may have to steal a few x

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  6. a 24 hr hot chocolate bar? I want that every day!!!
    We do the lottery ticket thing too. My grandfather used to take HOURS to scratch his off. haha
    Thanks for hosting the link up - its been so much fun!

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  7. soo many fun things!! our family likes to go mass and we watch It's a Wonderful life on Christmas Eve. On Christmas day we watch A Christmas Story and visit family (this year I think we'll make sugar cookies!) xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  8. Love all of your Christmas traditions! I used to have a lot more until my family moved away and then the hubby's family moved away so now it's just the two of us! And sadly, no one carols down here in FL! I used to love that when I lived up north!

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  9. Love all these ideas! I gave kept a lot of my family's traditions, but I love the ones that Conor & I have started too. Something that is so important to me is opening gifts one at a time, which my inlaws don't do and it drives me crazy!

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  10. I really want to start doing the pj's for Christmas eve - and who doesn't love lottery tickets! Last year I got a few from different people ended up winning $60 total!! I've never seen carolers - that would be something I'd love to witness! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  11. So many fun traditions!! I want to start doing the new set of PJs for everyone next year. I think that's a great idea. My mom and I always go pick out our ornament for the year the day after Christmas. It's fun!

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  12. What fun holiday traditions! Even though Ryan and I were married last year, we still were at our parents' homes Christmas Eve and Christmas Day because of travel, so I'm also a little worried about how I'm going to make Christmas feel like Christmas for our little family this year! However, we always are at my parent's house on Christmas Day because it's also my dad's birthday, so that in itself brings a whole bunch of traditions!

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  13. We open gifts on Christmas Eve. Then Santa comes over night and leaves the kiddos their gifts from him. When we wrote out our Christmas list for Santa we ask for something we can read (a book) something we can wear, something I need and something I want. It's a great way to get the kiddos to ask for things other than just toys.


    Merry Christmas! :)

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  14. Such great ideas! We have specific things that we always do on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that make it really "feel" like Christmas! Love this link-up!
    xo Southern Style

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  15. I completely know what you mean about missing your own traditions! I missed the candlelit Christmas service last year and it was totally weird! I try to make the same foods that my family makes, that always makes me feel like I'm with them for the holidays! Also I can totally get on board with that 24-hour hot chocolate bar! :)

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  16. There are so many of these that I want to implement now!! I want to do new pajamas on christmas eve, read the night before christmas before bed AND have a family sleepover in front of the fire place!! In fact, I think we might do that one this year! Thanks for the shoutout love! I really enjoyed this post!

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  17. I think traditions are one of the most important things around the holidays! B and I are working hard to create our own now that we have a child (and one on the way). It's hard to let go of those traditions you do with family - we will definitely be incorporating some of our family traditions with our kids, but it's not quite the same as doing it WITH the people you grew up with, you know? Caleb is still not quite old enough to 'get' holiday traditions, but I think by this time next year, he will be ready for some of the holiday traditions that I remember being favorites while growing up!:) Your traditions sound amazing! Keep as many of them as you can!

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  18. I'm posting some of our Christmas traditions tomorrow, but we have always done the Christmas Eve pjs too!!! I didn't include little things in my post, like cinnamon rolls for breakfast while we are opening our gifts, but I might to go back and add them because those are some of my favorite things.

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  19. I love that you have a family sleepover in front of the fireplace!! There are so many great traditions here! Since this will be Mike and my 5th Christmas together, we've tried pretty much every combination of traditions and think we might finally have it down, though I really want to add one of two of yours haha!

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  20. These are all such great ideas! And I totally feel you that Christmas is just not quite the same unless it's with (my) family, haha... I love John's family to death, but everything is different and it just doesn't feel the same!

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  21. I LOVE all of these traditions! My favorite has got to be the open new PJ's! Just picked mine up yesterday!!

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  22. Christmas morning will forever be at my parents, its just how it is. We also make sure to get a new ornament yearly, and from places we travel, because that's just what we do. However Mexico never has any so I've had to get them here in STL when I see them listed with Mexico places.

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  23. You have a lot of super fun traditions! This is my first year not spending Christmas with my family, and while it'll be fun, it won't be the same at all. It'll be interesting lol

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  24. Love these ideas! I never remember the reindeer food, will have to do that this year! 24 hour hot chocolate bar?! Yes please :-D

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  25. Great ideas!! I think that the PJ's idea is cute and I like the idea of giving someone a new ornament every year. My older sister would be all over that! I would also like to tell you that I have been to the Christmas Story house. Not kidding. It's in Cleveland. The person who wrote it was from IN, but they filmed it in Cleveland. When Chris and I were dating, he took me there. It's exactly like the movie and so awesome. :-)

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  26. All such cute traditions that make Christmas that more special. I should really start doing the new pajama thing every year. I just bought myself a PJ set at Disney last weekend but the husband could do with an upgrade.

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  27. Love all of these traditions. Opening a gift on Christmas Eve and baking Christmas cookies are my 2 favorites that my family always did. I'll be making Christmas cookies this weekend and since my family is all in FL right now I'll be making Dustin help, hopefully he doesn't mind too much ;)

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  28. MmmK, let me start off with the 24 hour hot chocolate bar... Hello heaven! I wish I could have that everyday. lol. I love all your ideas for Christmas traditions. One tradition that my family keeps alive every year, is decorating sugar cookies on Christmas Eve. We all get together and make homemade sugar cookies, then use cookie cutters to create our favorite desigins, and finally finsh our masterpieces with homemade sugar icing. Afterwards we pill up in front of the tv, with cookies in hand, to watch It's a Wonderful Life. :)

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  29. Isn't it always interesting when families combine to see what each others traditions are? We always get to open one present on Christmas Eve and Mark told me that feels like "cheating" hahhahahaha I think I need to add driving around and looking at the lights to our night!

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  30. We love having an Advent devotion each day in December over dinner. It's such a fun way to focus and reflect as a family. :)

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  31. I love your idea of a 24 hour hot chocolate bar! I will have to remember that one.

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  32. I think you and I always reminisce about Christmas Eve service and how beautiful it is. That + sugar cookies + a cheesy Christmas movie the night-of are perfection :)

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  33. you're preaching to the choir here.. christmas doesnt feel like christmas here because i'm not with my family and it's cold! i know its silly but when you grow up a certain way, it becomes a part of you. KC and I don't have any traditions yet, working on it!

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  34. I adored this link up! Thanks so much for hosting and giving everyone a chance to 'show off' all the cool things they make, decorate and celebrate over the holiday season. One family tradition we simply can't go without is Christmas Eve service at church which is lead by the Sunday School kiddos. After church, we head to my aunts for yummy eats, laughs and family time around the Christmas tree!

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  35. Love your traditions! It's so hard being away from your family on your first married Christmas! I remember I cried, like cried hard, my first Christmas with Kevin's family. It wasn't that it was bad, it just wasn't the same. One of my favorite traditions is getting new PJs on Christmas Eve!

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  36. Time to make your own traditions and it sounds like you have a great list started. Merry Christmas!

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  37. A 24-Hour Hot Cocoa Bar sounds so damn cozy!!! :)

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  38. I love Christmas traditions. We play board games, watch movies and open one present Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning the first thing is always stockings (my favorite!) and there are always lottery tickets!! Last year was also my first Christmas away from my family and this year we're not even going to be in the country! We're trying to fit in lots of fun Christmas activities before we leave.

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  39. I love reading the night before Christmas on Christmas Eve, and I'm a total sucker for some matching Christmas Jammies! :))) Love all of your traditions, you included some of my favorites!! :))

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  40. These are wonderful ideas-- might steal a couple as my kids get older

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  41. Love Christmas Eve service! I also love Christmas Day movie marathons! Love your list. Saving it for the future. xo

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  42. I love all of the Christmas traditions! It's such a special time of year!

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  43. So many great traditions! We get new PJ's every Christmas Eve and A Christmas Story is must! My mom and I always wrap all the presents on Christmas Eve too!

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  44. We do lottery tickets in stockings too! No one has ever really won more than $20 and we've been doing it since I was a little girl!

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  45. Thank you so much for hosting these link-ups. I've enjoyed participating and reading everyone's posts each month. This year our Christmas routine is changing up, and I'm worried it's not going to feel the same way, so I totally understand how you felt last year. But I'm loving these holiday traditions and maybe we can start some new traditions this year to still keep it fun.

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