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Special Holiday Traditions, Shared!

decorating christmas tree

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Baking cookies with my girls and decorating our Xmas tree. -Megan Murray-Bracamontes

Decorating the tree, reading Christmas stories, unwrapping presents, and Mommy and Daddy playing Santa! -Brittany Wills

I'm looking forward to passing on opening one gift on Christmas Eve after going to church. -Belicia Doria

I love to have my daughter Lorelei unwrap a pair of Christmas pjs on Christmas Eve that she can wear that night. It makes getting ready for bed a little more fun on a night when she'd rather stay awake! -Sarah Berger

Christmas-light looking! Every year, when I was a kid, my parents drove us around town to the best-lit neighborhoods with hot cocoa in hand, and Christmas music playing on the radio. I am so excited to share this with my 15 month old! -Heather Gifford

Bringing our one-year old son back to the James Island Festival of Lights in Charleston SC. We brought him last year when he was only 9 days old! -Joseph Calderone

Having brunch with my kids as we sip on eggnog. Maybe getting some real cheer going! -Ursula Lawson

I am looking forward to drinking hot cocoa, snuggling up and watching Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas on Christmas Eve with my son. -Tammy McBride Liverance

Watching Polar Express Christmas Eve in our Christmas jammies. -Heather Alicia Flack

We too are Christmas pj openers on Christmas Eve! But I am also excited about being able to cut down our Christmas tree this year! I haven't gotten to do it since I was a kid so it will be extra special! -Shannon Spurgeon

Sitting around the table with all my sisters and my mother making tamales. It is quality time with my family and we catch up with each other and just laugh ALOT! -Amelia Alaniz

Sitting down with my husband and four kids and making homemade paper snowflakes. We make hundreds and hang them on some ribbon all thru our house. Great memories... -Kelly Jean Carney

Giving, giving, giving! We've been donating to the food drive locally (Fill the Dome - student-led food drive in the Fargo, ND community) and so my oldest has been learning that some families aren't able to feed their children as we do. We're going to go a step further and go shopping off the Giving Tree and find other 6 and 4 year olds to buy for and talk about that as well. Maybe then their wish lists would get a little smaller! -Stephanie Winterquist

Laughing and dancing in our living room to old Frank Sinatra music baking and decorating homemade Christmas cookies and just being in the presence of the ones we love and cherish. There's absolutely nothing like seeing their faces light up and it doesn't take money. -Patterson Sarah

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family picking out Christmas tree

Corbis Photography/ Veer

Having Jazz help set up the Christmas tree, bake cookies, open up her pj's on Christmas Eve to wear to bed, waking up early on Christmas morning, and for my lunch going to my great aunt's for Lunch. :) My baby's First Christmas. -Cheri Nicole Davis

Decorating the Christmas tree, baking cookies, making stockings, visiting family, and sharing this tradition as a whole family for the first time with my 2 little boys. This will be their first year finally having a father figure in their life. : ) -Renee Frye

We adopt a family for Christmas and we all go shopping for them. The kids have more fun picking out toys for them than for themselves. Love turning the holidays into give instead of get. -Heather Meacham Fehrenbach

Growing up I went to a tree farm every year to cut down our Christmas tree (I lived in WA State). Since I have had kids we have lived in hot states where trees have to be shipped in and you buy them at Home Depot or Lowes. My husband is in the military and we have moved yet again to another hot state which would be FL. Well, I was very excited to find that they have tree farms where I live. This year my kids will get to do my childhood tradition of going and picking out the tree there. Can't wait! -Lisa Sousie Autrey

There are so many traditions we love, but the one I'm looking forward to sharing the most is decorating the house, on Dec 1st we will put in Christmas music and decorate the whole house, it takes around 8 hours but it's worth it and the kids love deciding where the ornaments go! -Noelle Devon

Although our son, John, will not turn a year old until five days after Christmas, we bought T'was the Night Before Christmas to read on Christmas Eve -- which we will continue to do every year. We are also setting up a train that belonged to my husband when he was a child. -Samantha Randolph

We have a great light display nearby, it's called Overly's Country Christmas. It has a walk through village and train display, all kinds of great holiday treats, sleigh rides, a huge bonfire, a great little gift shop and of course SANTA! We go every year and have gone since I was a little girl. -Sarah Berger

Every Christmas I wrap up pj's and a movie for my daughter and place them outside. When I bring her home I say "wow look at that" when she opens it I have told her "Santa must have wanted you to wear these and look he gave us a movie to watch tonight." It gets her so excited for Christmas morning! -Alicia Carroll

Decorating! My almost 2 year old daughter likes to help take all of my decorations out of the box and puts them where she thinks they should be. Of course I have to search through the house afterwards because she likes to put some of the deco in her toy box, under her bed and some other strange places. It's like Easter for me but I'm not looking for eggs. Too funny! -Erin Olsen Scott

We go to a tree farm a week or two after Thanksgiving and cut down our own tree, then bring it home and decorate it. I think our 4 year old might be able to "help" daddy cut the tree down this year! -Jamie Arnold Myers

Taking my 3 year old twins to go on the "polar express" this Christmas eve and to see their faces light up when Santa gets on the train and gives them their present will be amazing! -Ashley Stanescu

So many traditions!!! LOVE CHRISTMAS but my favs to share with my daughter are going to the tree farm, decorating and then reading the Grinch! Christmas EVE we have our traditional fondue dinner, open 1 present (not from "Santa" but from mommy & daddy) and then go to church! -Rebecca Allen

My family always has a wrapping paper fight after we are finished opening presents. It is like a snowball fight only with used wrapping paper in the house. We always have so much fun with it. It takes a while to clean up but it is worth it. -Jessica Kluck

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I went through a divorce this year so with our new life my 4 children and I have decided to start a new tradition. Instead of putting up the same Christmas tree we have done every year for the past 14 yrs, we have decided to change it up... We are making every ornament that will be on our Christmas tree this year (this has been fun AND great for my single mom budget). The kids and I have enjoyed spending the last month or so making our ornaments. We will be putting our tree up this weekend (since they will be spending Thanksgiving with their father). They are so excited to see the fruits of their labors and have loved being so involved in the planning and making of our Christmas tree. They have been telling all our family and friends about what we have been doing and that they have to come see our tree once it is up. We love Christmas at our house and I think this year is going to be extra special. -Rhonda Holloway Black

We will be doing a toy drive and toy run inspired by my little boy who at 6 last year collect around 40 toys with his little brother to donate to the kids here in our town that need them. This year his cousins are helping and we are working ... on getting others involved and a local car club is doing a toy drive inspired by my little guys. The holidays are all about giving and sharing and I am blessed my kids are so into doing that. My son's dream this year is to collect enough toys so that every child here in our town can have one on Christmas. -Jeanna Webb Ruiz

Right before bedtime we would put baby powder on the hearth so we could see Santa's footprints in the morning. My father would put on his boots and make Santa prints in the powder and then track it to the Christmas tree. It was magical waking up and seeing proof that he had been there! -Patti Martin Lautenschlager

I am looking forward to taking my son to Chicago to see the lights on MI Ave & State Street. We took him to see the big tree @ Macy's on State Street (used to be Marshall Field's) & all the decorated windows there. When I was a little girl we always did this and I loved it. I would like to keep that tradition alive, even though I now live almost 3 hours away from Chicago. -Laurie Stephens

Being woken up at midnight to kiss the baby Jesus and open presents with the whole family. I remember being put to bed and told that Santa would come at midnight and that's when all the kids woke up because only then will you be able to open... your presents. Bed times didn't matter on that day. It was so much fun to wake up and be surrounded by everything you asked for. We're not well-off by any means but I just remember my parents doing the best they could to get us what we wanted the most on Xmas. I plan on doing the same for my son. We've been celebrating Xmas at family's homes where it gets bigger and bigger each year and this year my son is 1 so he'll really get into ripping open presents and enjoying the gift wrapping paper. -Diana Rojas

We put up our tree and take our elves on shelves out of hibernation after thanksgiving. Every day the elves are in a different spot so they can watch my son and report back to Santa every night. Every Christmas eve we make reindeer food and put it outside. And we put cookies out for Santa and we read the dinosaur's night before Christmas before he goes to sleep. (He's 4 so that's his favorite version of the book) in the morning we get up to see what Santa brought him. -Morgan Strickland

The day after thanksgiving we pile in our car and set out on our quest for our Griswold Christmas Tree. Christmas Eve Santa's elf leaves a pair of holiday pj's on their beds to wear that night. They so look forward to getting home to see what is on their bed that night. -Kelly Plaza

This is my daughter's first Thanksgiving or Christmas with a father. I have been a single mom since she was born. This will also be my first set of holidays as a wife. I want to give my daughter the tradition of family, the tradition of being thankful, the tradition of giving to the less fortunate, the tradition of being a two parent home, the tradition of stability, and the tradition of love. I want her to leave Santa cookies and see the joy on her face when she finds them gone. I want her to experience waking us up on Christmas Day as early as she wants. I just want her to be happy and blessed. -Diana N. Townsend

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We cook homemade doughnuts for Christmas breakfast. Each family member has a job in the process. -Morgan Williams

We do a couple. The most important is on Christmas morning my son will get one big from Santa and one big gift from his grandpa who passed away before he was born... so we can incorporate him into our son's life. We also do a traditional 7 fish of Christmas on Christmas Eve to represent the 7 sacraments and of course we have dad at night make reindeer tracks in the snow and he rings bells so our son can see Santa was here... too cute. -Megan Root

This will be my lil girl's 1st Christmas she'll be 11 months old. We can't wait to decorate the tree & the houses of both our parents' places (if we have enough money). Drive around at night looking at all the other decorated house. Baking cookies. Maybe go up to the mountains to play in the snow. & drive to each of our family members' houses to visit... there's nothing better than going to see family. -Caroline Hull

Even though we are Muslims, we love celebrating Christmas. Growing up in Senegal, my dad always had the best tree around and I loved getting toys. Well for our own family, we usually all camp in our Christmas pjs in the living room (gotta catch Santa, lol!) We watch and sing the Polar Express until we all fall asleep. Then when we wake up, I am as excited as the kids to see the toys my husband puts up in the middle of the night. This year though we are taking them to see the PE in 4D. -Bella N'daw

Driving around and seeing all the Christmas LIGHTS! We buy a new ornament every year for our tree, make Christmas cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve and attend the candle light communion at our church on Christmas Eve. There's so many traditions that we do, there's too many to mention. I just LOVE being with my family and watching my little girls faces light up when they talk about Christmas. -Treva Buchanan

Watching all the GOOD Christmas cartoons (Garfield, Charlie Brown, A Year Without a Santa Claus, Mickey's Christmas Carol..) baking cookies, making dough ornaments... can't wait! -Melinda Dunphy

On Thanksgiving night, we put out our little elf, which my 4 year old named Robert Johnson. He moves to a different location every night until Christmas Eve, in which he goes back to the North Pole with Santa! He is here to watch my 2 kiddos, ages 4 and 18 months and he reports back to Santa every night if they are being naughty or nice. My 4 year old loves it because he gets to find him every morning. We also have a book that came with the elf that is fun to read! -Kelly Hunter- Ryan

I made a personalized plate & cup when I was in kindergarten. Every yr, I leave milk & cookies for "Santa" on them. Still to this day (me & my momma just eat the cookies rite out now lol). But I look fwd to having my 13m/o leave milk & cookies on his own plate & cup this year. -Vanessa Wilson

Every year, for as long as I can remember Santa has come to our Christmas Eve party at my Grandma's. Each kid takes a turn sitting in his lap & getting a gift. I'm so excited for my little girl to get to do this again this year. At 2 1/2 she has more of a grasp on what's going on. We also each drink a glass of OJ Christmas morning while we read the Christmas story in Luke. It's a great reminder of the Reason for the season before the chaos of gifts & family visits ensues. -Chirelle Bean Jones

I want to start a tradition for Christmas where we all get plain stockings and we each decorate one with glitter glue and crafty stick-ons. Afterwards, we can label what year they were made and save the stockings. Later, we can see how out taste and creativity has changed throughout the years. -Lora Mcfadden

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My children and I got to the fire station to see my husband. The wives each bring something to eat and we try to make it as home-like as possible. They love the time with him and it helps him get through the day without missing out. -Santa Garcia Asbury

Our baby will only be 4-1/2 months at Christmas but she has already had her experience with Christmas decorations and loved it! We can't wait to buy our own tree and decorate it so she can look at it! She will also get her first Christmas ornament this year with her name engraved on it. -Heather Farris

We are going to make a gingerbread house together, our son is 20 months, and we thought it would be fun! I also love opening the Advent calendar everyday leading up to Christmas. -Patti Chick Carte

Every year for Christmas I make 20-some different kinds of cookies to keep my Mother's tradition going. After they are all baked, I make up about 30 cookie plates and deliver them to family and friends on Christmas Eve. I have been doing it... ever since my Mother stopped. We have custody of our granddaughter, Carlee, who we've raised and is now 4 yrs old and has lived with us for almost 4 yrs. This year I am so looking forward to making the Christmas cookies with Carlee now that she is old enough to help. I am hoping my daughters, or Carlee, keep the tradition alive by taking over and making the cookies for family and friends when I no longer do them. Maybe they will and will bring me a big plate :) I am also looking forward to decorating our tree with Carlee while we watch our favorite Christmas movie, A Christmas Story, as we did last year. Another tradition I am looking forward to is piling in the car to go for a long drive and look at Christmas lights. Carlee is already asking about doing that. - Billie Painter Crawford

Cooking a big breakfast on Christmas morning then watch Home Alone then head off to THE movies & after that, dinner w/ the family! I love Christmas!! -Montia January

I look forward to baking with my baby girl, it's something my sisters and I did with our mom and some of my finest childhood memories are about our Christmas Eve baking extravaganza, there was sooooooooo much love in that room, my eyes well up thinking about it. -Lee Ann Coa Goden

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