With the holiday season officially upon us, I wanted to share a few of my family’s favorite holiday traditions. Here they are in no particular order!

113013-CamJRGChristmas Tree 1. The Setting Up of the Christmas Tree is a big deal around here. This year is the first year that the kids have their own “kid tree” to decorate with all those ornaments they bring home from school and make. That is due in part to our faithful, old prelit Christmas tree pretty much dying on us – it got relegated to the kid tree and we strung white lights on it. “My” tree is in the living room and has all sorts of boring decorations, according to my kids. Things like cranberries and glittery acorns. We spend a lot of time around our Christmas trees. Every night we turn off all the house lights and sit in the dreamy light of the Christmas tree listening to Christmas music. Usually we are all crammed and jammed on one couch together enjoying the moment.

advent calendar 2. This felt advent calendar has been around since I was a little girl and I guess I was the lucky kid (out of my four siblings) to get it. We use it faithfully every year and the boys keep a very detailed account of who gets to unveil that day’s felt ornament. We also have a Lego advent calendar for the first time this year (thanks to my sister who has our name for Christmas) and I have a feeling it is going to be a big hit.

3. Every year, we call a (in this case, the) nursing home in our area and ask if our family can come do a Christmas program for the residents. In the interest of full disclosure, my boys don’t really love when we start planning this. They get really nervous and shy and they aren’t really those kind of boys that love performing in front of a crowd. But no fail, every year, it ends up being one of our greatest family moments in December. The kids usually play a song on the piano they’ve been practicing, we sing a few songs as a family (you know, like All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth – we have very average musical ability) and sometimes the boys read a Christmas poem. The highlight is talking with the residents before and after. I look forward to this all year.

CardFront 4. I am an old-school Christmas Card Mailer Outer. I love to get Christmas cards in the mail. Love it. So I still send them out (almost 200 of them, actually). I know this is sadly becoming very out of style but I grew up in the generation of the annual Christmas card letter and it’s stuck with me. Above is the sneak peek of the front of our card. I don’t do a crazy long letter, instead, I just type up a few words for each kid and put it on the back of the Christmas card (I always order from mpix.com – love that you can do front and back for a reasonable price). This year, for example, Cam’s update is “19 months, bossy, loved, stinking cute.” Bring on the Christmas cards (I instantly love my friends and family 100% more if they send me a Christmas card).

sleds 5. Not decorating Gingerbread Sleds isn’t even an option. We do it every year and it probably goes without saying that we all love it (I mean, hello, candy, candy, candy). This year I might change it up and do these simple graham cracker houses, Christmas-themed of course. My family might stage a mutiny so I’ll have to tread very carefully.

books 6. I have collected Christmas books over the years. Each December, I wrap them up and put them under the tree. Every night, one of the kids picks one out, unwraps it, and we read it as a family. This is another of my favorite traditions. While there are a few silly Christmas books, most of them are sweet and tender and have a wonderful message about the true meaning of Christmas. Here is a list of some of the books we read:

Big Susan by Elizabeth Orton Jones
The Bears Christmas by Jan and Stan Berenstain
Christmas Oranges by Linda Bethers
The 12 Days of Christmas by Robert Sabuda
A Little House Christmas Treasury by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Christmas Alphabet by Robert Sabuda
The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston
The Night Before the Night Before Christmas by Natasha Wing
The Last Straw by Frederick H. Thury
The Carpenters Gift by David Rubel
Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
A Snowman named Just Bob by Mark Kimball Moulton
The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes by Deborah Pace Rowley
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathon Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco
A Night Without Darkness by Timothy Robinson
Mortimers Christmas Manger by Jane Chapman and Karma Wilson
Night tree by Eve Bunting
A Christmas Dress for Ellen by Thomas S. Monson
Red Ranger Came Calling by Berkeley Breathed
The Christmas Train by Thomas S. Monson
I Believe in Santa Claus by Diane Adamson
The Christmas Baby by Marion Dane Bauer
A Merry Little Christmas by Mary Engelbreit

7. Each year, on Christmas Eve, the kids get to open two presents. They are always the same things year after year but unfailingly, the kids are so excited about them they can barely stand it. The first is a pair of PJ’s. Usually PJ pants for the boys since I can either find them really inexpensive or make them super quick with my serger. The second gift is a new ornament. These ornaments also went on the kid tree this year (see #1). I try to choose an ornament that somehow reflects their personality or an activity they were involved in over the last year. My vision is that when they grow up and leave me (sob!), they will take all these personal ornaments with them to use on their own Christmas tree.

monkey bread 8. Christmas morning breakfast is always cinnamon rolls or monkey bread that I prep a few days before and bake the morning of.

lasagna 9. I know I’ve mentioned this before but we are fairly untraditional with Christmas Eve/Day food. We have a big lasagna meal on Christmas Eve usually with some type of cheesecake for dessert. Then on Christmas Day, since I don’t want to be slaving in the kitchen all day (I’d rather stay in my PJ’s relaxing with the family), we do a ham in the crockpot (with rolls that have been made, frozen, and warmed up) and/or leftovers from the night before. Oh, and we always have a cheeseball for snacking. Always.

10. Driving around looking at Christmas lights happens every year. We live in a really small community and were out of town last year, so I’m not sure exactly how many lights we’ll be able to see, but my plan this year is to use this idea and surprise the kids one night on their way to bed – they’ll find a golden ticket on their pillow and off we’ll go with mugs of hot chocolate and treats to see some lights wherever they may be. If all else fails, we’ll just drive around drinking hot chocolate and since the kid’s expectations are so low, they’ll be thrilled no matter what.

I love this time of year! What are your favorite holiday traditions?

60 Responses to Snapshot Saturday: Our Favorite Holiday Traditions

  1. Christy says:

    Love your traditions. What an awesome idea with the books! My cousin always read Annie and Willies prayers to us at Christmas…and it becomes more dear each year! Now I see its on Google Books. https://books.google.com/books?id=JaIUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA29&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false

  2. Sheila says:

    Mel, I ordered 3 of these books and I so appreciate your sharing these quality reads with us.

  3. Tanya says:

    We have many similar traditions as your family. One of my favorites is after reading a Christmas story around the tree we sing 4-5 Christmas songs/hymns at the piano. My boys are rowdy and sometimes bellow out the songs at the top of their lungs, but at least they’re singing, right!? πŸ™‚ I remember doing this with my family growing up and whenever all of us siblings are together at Christmas we continue on the tradition. That is the great thing about traditions…. they last forever and help us feel connected to each other even after many years! πŸ™‚ Merry Christmas to your family!!

  4. Bri says:

    I love this so much! I love that you do a program for the retirement home! You are such a neat girl! I too love Christmas cards WITH WRITING! I haven’t done one in years, but I plan to do a Valentines card (like Christmas card, but in Feb…hahaha) this year because we have experienced so many changes in the past few years. You have created wonderful traditions in your family. Traditions are so powerful, and kids that have traditions are more confident, have feelings of belonging, loved little people! Hugs friend!

  5. Brenna says:

    What are the specifics for making the monkey bread ahead of time?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Brenna, I make the dough, shape it and put it in the pan, then cover with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, I either take one for the team and wake up 3 hours or so before I bake to take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature and rise. Then bake! You can also take it right out of the fridge and put it in the oven while it preheats – that helps with the puffiness and rise (but the best option is to take it out of the fridge a few hours before). Good luck if you try it!

  6. Callie Gilkison says:

    Also, “The Crippled Lamb” by Max Lucado is a MUST!

  7. Callie Gilkison says:

    So thrilled about the book idea…I too have a huge Christmas book collection and I cant wait to get home and wrap!!!

  8. Maureen says:

    Thanks for posting these — I’ve adapted the Christmas Books idea for my classroom of 3rd graders and they are loving it (me too)! I wish I could do the golden tickets and Christmas lights, but I don’t think my son (15) would go for it. I’ll have to keep it in mind for my some-day grandchildren. He will be very enthusiastic about the monkey bread though — great ideas! :o)

  9. Jennifer H says:

    Love your Christmas books idea! Is there one you like best for a 3-4 year old? What about for a 1-year-old? I’ve been wading through the vast ocean of kids’ Christmas books on Amazon, and have finally had enough.
    A tradition we are starting this year: EAT our graham-cracker houses on Christmas Eve.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jennifer – here are the books pared down from the list I posted that would be great for a 3/4 year old. Even great for a toddler (my baby girl is 19 months and she will listen to these…I have to keep her little hands away from the Robert Sabuda books – they are gorgeous and the kids LOVE them but I don’t want her pulling off the paper pieces). An Orange for Frankie is a longer story but my 4-year old listens to it start to finish. Hope this helps!

      The Bears Christmas by Jan and Stan Berenstain
      Christmas Oranges by Linda Bethers
      The 12 Days of Christmas by Robert Sabuda
      The Christmas Alphabet by Robert Sabuda
      An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco
      Mortimers Christmas Manger by Jane Chapman and Karma Wilson
      Night tree by Eve Bunting
      I Believe in Santa Claus by Diane Adamson
      The Christmas Baby by Marion Dane Bauer
      A Merry Little Christmas by Mary Engelbreit

  10. ashley says:

    All wonderful traditions that you shared! For your divine bread sticks, is it possible to make these ahead of time? If so, how would you freeze or refrigerate them? Thanks for your help Mel!

    • Mel says:

      Ashley – I often make these, shape them and put them on the pan and then cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate overnight – take them out 1-2 hours before you want to bake to let them come to room temp and puff a bit.

  11. What a beautiful way to kick off the holiday season. Too bad my kids are all grown because some of your traditions would have been fantastic to share with them. Maybe when I have grandchildren? Have a happy Christmas season.

  12. Stacie D. says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Mel. I loved reading it. We have many of the same traditions, which I love as well. Our book list looks very similar to yours, and we love the Christmas cards and caroling as well. We were traveling late for Thanksgiving, so I am running behind, but you’ve helped me get excited to bring out all the fun! Also wanted to say that I LOVE your sugar rush plan this year! Thank you for sharing your amazing talents!

  13. Elise says:

    You are an awesome mom! Can you adopt me and my family, haha πŸ™‚ Merry Christmas Mel!

  14. Melanie B says:

    Thanks for sharing these ideas. I especially loved your list of Christmas books. We do something similar too but I never thought to wrap each book. Totally doing that. Oh, and we read the books by candlelight. It’s awesome!

  15. Ali Flegal says:

    If you have a p.o. box so scary stalkers like me can send you Christmas cards filled with handwritten appreciation for your awesome website, I will totally mail one to you!

    We likewise open ornaments and jammies on Christmas Eve! This year will also be the first that we go “caroling” at a nearby care center. My Mom gave us each ornaments growing up and when we got married, I was allowed to take mine so we had something to put on our tree in those blessed newlywed years. Very fun post, thanks for sharing!

  16. Heather K Miller says:

    I am in love with the ornament on Christmas eve idea and I think I am going to adopt that this year! Seriously, that is the cutest and best idea ever! I grew up going to my grandma and grandpa’s house on Christmas eve and every year they did an Italian theme which always included lasagna and pasta. I love the memories of it now that I am no longer able to attend. Thanks for sharing your traditions.

  17. Sheila says:

    We, too, always have monkey bread on Christmas morning. The bread we make is almost exactly like your recipe. The best! And, yep, we turn out all the lights every night and listen to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas CDs. We have several of them now. Sometimes we play β€œI spy” describing something on the tree and whoever guesses correctly gets to be the one to give out the clues. I found a wonderful sticker book of the Christmas story that I have wrapped and put under the tree for one of our nighttime β€œtree activities”. The stickers are colorful and large and the kids will love placing them on the pages as the story is read. Tree time is also a time when we focus upon all the good things and/or times God has placed in our lives over the past year. We always go with our church group to nursing homes to sing Christmas carols and take gifts (i.e. socks, slippers, jeans, pjs. whatever the nurses tell us are needed). Christmas Eve we have a family cheese tray and appetizer party — fun finger food. The bacon wrapped brown sugar little smokies are a favorite. Love Snapshot Saturdays and all the wonderful ideas, pictures, products, traditions, etc.!

  18. tina says:

    Just wanted to say thx so much for all the wonderful ideas and recipes! I wanted to mention my favorite Christmas book “The Tale of Three Trees”. Chokes me up every time. Sounds like we have a lot of the same traditions. I love what your family does at the nursing home. I am sure you make their day!

  19. Rachel says:

    I get a new Christmas book every year too! What a wonderful tradition. I have many that you have on your list, but one my favorites that’s not on your list is “Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect” by Richard H. Schneider. It has a wonderful message of serving others and the true meaning of Christmas.

    My sister-in-law recommended your recipes to me. My family – especially my husband – thanks you! I cook a lot more at home and enjoy doing it thanks to your recipes.

  20. April says:

    I love your Christmas traditions, especially the books. What a fun time of year. The nursing home program is so sweet!

  21. Trish says:

    What great traditions! Some of these we do, but I might have to steal some of your great ideas. I especially love the idea of unwrapping a Christmas book to read each night. Some books I discovered last year that my kids absolutely love are the advent books by Arnold Ytreeide. We read Bartholomew’s Passage last year. This year we are reading Tabitha’s Travels, and next year we will read Jotham’s Journey. These books follow three different children who are awaiting the birth of the promised Messiah, and they are very good and quite exciting! I highly recommend them!

  22. Sarah says:

    My kids loveeeeee looking at Christmas lights… So much so that is happens nearly every night before bed in December! We make a special snack, usually popcorn with Christmas sprinkles or another type of snack mix, and drive around looking for the best lights we can find in all the neighborhoods close to our house. They absolutely love this!

    I love the idea of opening an ornament on Xmas eve. We do the pjs already… I bet they would love their own ornaments!

  23. Melissa says:

    Here’s a couple of books you may like.

    Alabaster so song by max Lucado…..very sweet…amazon has it
    Christmas in the country by Cynthia rylant

  24. Teresa R. says:

    My daughters and I start baking twelve days before Christmas. Every day we make a different kind of cookie, and we give most of them away. I also let each of my children buy two gifts for the Angle Tree in our local mall. The gifts go to needy children. On Christmas eve we read the Christmas story from the Bible and everyone opens one present. Oh, and each year a different child gets to put the star on the top of the tree.

  25. amanda needham says:

    Will you please adopt me Mel??!!? I feel warm and cozy just reading your post! My little ones are 2 years old and 5 months old, so we’re finally able to start some of these traditions ourselves. Thanks for the awesome ideas! I always love your blog πŸ™‚

  26. Laurie says:

    Sending traditional Christmas cards, the daily unveiling of the Advent calendar door (ours is magnetic and you add Mary, Joseph, and all the pieces of the Christmas story one by one each day), and new ornaments for the kids each year are traditions in our family as well. But if you ask my kids, their hands down favorite is the pickle ornament. It’s an old German tradition that I’ve changed up just a little, but the gist is that a pickle ornament (ours is blown glass with glitter – quite beautiful for a pickle!) is set out next to the milk and cookies, and Santa hides it somewhere on the tree in with the other ornaments. Then Christmas morning the first child to find the pickle gets to play Santa and pass out the gifts.

    I also have quite a collection of Christmas books, but I love your idea of wrapping them and spending quality time as a family reading one each day. We’ll be adding this to our traditions this year for sure!! Thanks for the great idea!

  27. Heather says:

    Want to know something funny? My family does Lasagna and cheesecake EVERY Christmas Eve. We do Lasagna because my moms family is from Italy and everyone loves it and cheesecake because it is a family favorite. I thought FOR SURE that we were the only ones!!

  28. Kristen Jeffery says:

    Can I recommend a Christmas book, from a fellow collector? “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” there’s a picture book version and a short-chapter book version. They are both wonderful. I cry every.single.time. I read the picture book version. It reminds me of our ward Primary program.

  29. Carrie K says:

    Cute, cute picture of the kids! It was so great to see Brian last week…wished you were there too! Miss you tons!!!

  30. Kim in MD says:

    Sweetest post ever, Mel! Your family and your traditions are adorable!

  31. Holly W says:

    Christmas traditions are a big deal at our house too – we send out Christmas cards every year and the list grows longer by the year but I love it! My mom collected Christmas stories as we grew up and we’d read some each night around the tree. Now we have our own that we keep under the tree and the boys can look at them to their heart’s content – their favorites are A Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski. My husband is awesome about putting up our tree and the decorations. He starts playing Christmas music during October! My favorite part of Christmas is our Christmas Eve when we read from Luke 2 about the birth of Jesus Christ. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas in your new home with your precious family! Thank you for sharing all your marvelous traditions!

  32. barb says:

    Thank you for sharing. I really enjoy your snapshots. We have some similar traditions. My boys are growing up and I need to begin some new traditions they are 10 and 13. Any suggestions? I am going to add the tree ornament to their new pj Christmas eve gift.

  33. Rachel R. says:

    I love love your book idea!! Such a fun family culture you got going on there.

  34. Kristi says:

    I love buying my daughter a few movies so that on Christmas morning after all the presents are unwrapped and family starts getting ready to head out we can put a movie on. It’s something I’ve done since I was growing up.

  35. I love this! What a gorgeous family you have! These traditions are what its all about. Such nice memories and ones your kids can share with their kids one day. love!

  36. JuliAnn says:

    Thank you for your fun post! Tradition is really important at our house. Even though my step-daughters are grown we find that they love having things to do with their little ones and the consistency it provides when we implement traditions that build memories.
    Some of our traditions include:
    *A holiday scavenger hunt. Each family is a team and you have about 5 weeks to collect items and take photos of things such as “a team member putting change in a salvation army bucket” or “a really bad Santa impersonator”. It gets the families working together and then we have a fun brunch where we tally the scores and give a prize to the winning family.
    *Home made ornament exchange. The ladies in the family all make homemade ornaments each year to exchange with one another. I find a cute DIY idea and then make 10 to exchange with the other women. In return, I end up with 10 fun ornaments others have put time and thought into.
    *we always have the extended family over for a pot luck and gift exchange game. It is a fun time to get together with relatives you don’t always see while keeping the gift requirements inexpensive.
    *Sugar cookies! Ever since I was a kid my mom would make dozens of sugar cookies for us to decorate. I now do this each year with my step-kids and their little ones. Lots of colors of homemade frosting, sprinkles and cookie cutter shapes. Everyone stops by for an hour to decorate and take a plate home.
    *We always have a spiral ham on Christmas day. I Love that it is an easy prep meal but feels traditional.
    *AND we always mail a traditional Christmas card with a picture.

    I posted about some of our other annual traditions over on my blog at

  37. Sheila H. says:

    We eat cheese sausage stuffed bread for Christmas morning and they are already asking about it. We take a toy that the boys have loved this year and turn it into an ornament with the year on it. I love the books idea but don’t have that many in my collection. Love the peek into your traditions.

  38. Cammee says:

    A lot of ours are the same. We have a big Christmas morning breakfast for the whole family at my house. Most of it is prepped before so it’s fairly easy. If you asked my kids, their favorite tradition is that everyone in the family gets to choose a favorite food and I make that to have in the fridge or around for Christmas. Some years my husband has been the only one that didn’t choose something sweet, but most years it’s so nice to have a fridge full of food they love and can graze on, and I get to relax and play with them instead of cooking. Win/win.

  39. Cookies4kids says:

    It was so heartwarming to read your account of Christmas. I am 69 and Christmas traditions have made the holidays so special over the years. Sometimes you think the kids might not be taking it all in, but believe me they are!! I was thinking of changing the Christmas morning brunch menu and my 15 year old grandson was devastated, lol. We have a special egg dish and poppyseed rolls that were handed down from my grandmother. The children of today need these traditions more than ever, so keep them going and be sure you say “Merry Christmas” to everyone you meet.

  40. Janae says:

    My husband frequently laughs at me because after I read your post I sometimes talk about it like we were just on the phone together or something. We are very similar in so many ways. Anyway, we did the mini van express last year and it is so awesome! We made hot chocolate mugs for the car with mason jars because I did not want any spills. We drilled holes in canning lids and put little gasket type things. It was kind of a lot of work and my husband loved the project;). Anyway I wanted to give you a heads up that walmart is helping you out this year. They have the mason jars with straws and lids in the Christmas section or what I decided to buy were these darling bottles shaped like old school individual milk jugs with straws. I am super excited for the kids to see them. We are going to make mini van express an annual tradition.

  41. Laurel says:

    I love how your family turns the lights out and sits around the Christmas tree every night. I am going to start that with my kids. Thanks for the great idea!! I also love your idea of wrapping Christmas stories and putting them under the tree and opening/reading one each night. I’m also going to try that this year. I can’t wait!

    I wanted to share with you one of my favorite Christmas stories, in case you are looking for any more. It is “The Light of Christmas” by Richard Paul Evans. It is a really neat story! Also, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir just release a book called “Christmas From Heaven” and it is about the candy bomber during WWII. Such an incredible story!

  42. Emily says:

    Possibly a really stupid question but…how do you prep cinnamon rolls or monkey bread ahead of time? Do you leave them in the fridge overnight? Do you have to set them out in the morning to rise or get back to room temp before baking? Just curious.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Emily, if I make them the day before, I pop them in the refrigerator shaped on the baking pan (covered with greased plastic wrap) before letting them rise on the pan. I take them out an hour or so before baking the next morning (or put them in the oven cold while the oven preheats). If I prep them more than one day in advance, I freeze them the same way (shaped on the baking pan) and then let them come to room temp and rise – about 6-8 hours – before baking.

  43. heather bell says:

    We do the ornamnet one too. tear. Also, look for “Santa and the Christ Child”.Best Christmas book ever. It is out of print in some places, but is worth finding!

  44. Linnae says:

    I’m totally an old-school Christmas card mailer too! I send out about 100 every year, and yes, I love all the ones I get back. This will be year #2 for family activity advent calendar, which is fun. Also, we love setting up the tree, and reading Christmas books! Ah, traditions. πŸ™‚

    Food-wise, our tradition is broccoli-cheese soup on Christmas Eve (yours, actually! πŸ™‚ ), with breadsticks. Christmas morning is butterscotch pecan rolls with scrambled eggs & sausage. Yum. I may throw a ham and baked potatoes in the oven for Christmas dinner, or we may just snack on whatever (*stocking candy* ahem) that’s around.

  45. Jane says:

    Since my little darlings are 14 and 17 years old, we are ‘borrowing’ the neighbors toddlers tomorrow to get Christmas started – gingerbread houses (cheated and bought the pieces at IKEA’s food department, but using your hint and sticking them together with caramelized sugar)! My neighbor says she will use her free time to wrap all the Christmas books we gave them last year (to open each day in December). πŸ™‚

  46. patricialynn says:

    My mother always drove around on Christmas Eve so we could see the lights. When I became a parent, I didn’t have a car (I’ve never had a license), so we would either walk around looking at the lights, or, if the weather was bitterly cold or nasty, we would ride on the bus and admire all the lights from the windows. We still do this every year.

    Our other big tradition is to give food to the shelters.

  47. We share many of the same traditions! Love the idea of surprising the kids with a golden ticket to go look at Christmas lights!

  48. Patience says:

    Oh wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone mention Big Susan before. I have my mother’s old copy, and it’s one of my favorite children’s books. Some of my other Christmas favorites are The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden, and Becky’s Christmas, and The Dolls’ Christmas by Tasha Tudor.

  49. Sydney says:

    I just might have to make your tradition of having cinnamon rolls on Christmas Day another one of my traditions! πŸ™‚ It would be great to wake up to the smell of cinnamon wafting through the house. Decorating the Christmas tree is also an inveterate tradition for my family. In fact, we’re going to buy our tree tonight. My parents have considered buying a fake tree, but so far my protests have stopped them. πŸ™‚

  50. Cyndi says:

    Every year we have “cookie day” A whole day of baking/ decorating cookies. Then we have a lot of fun delivering the cookies to our family and friends. The kids always love this tradition.

  51. Mike says:

    That’s guy, not guide.

  52. Mike says:

    Be careful with the gingerbread sleighs. You hate to have the neighbor guide get caught eating his after a 15 miler. I can still see Jackson’s face;)

  53. Mailing christmas cards is a great tradition that should not be lost. Hope you had a great thanksgiving my friend!

  54. We are so living parallel lives. It’s scary. We are doing the Lego advent calendar for the first time this year.

  55. Nancy Cerny says:

    Love your traditions. I wish my children were still young and at home so we could create more family traditions of our own. I am so proud of my daughters and the joy they are instilling in their families with their own traditions and a few of the hand-me-down ones we had as they grew up. Merry Christmas!

  56. Janssen says:

    I so wish we were neighbors. Also, I put together a big list of books this year for Christmas, so I’m super excited to see new ones on your list to add to mine.

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