October begins my favorite time of the year. OCTOBER-DECEMBER is always the BEST.
I LOVE the Holidays.
One of my favorite things about the holiday months are all the traditions we get to partake in. I grew up in a home where we were BIG on traditions. It means so much to me that my parents made our holidays so incredibly special. My amazing husband and I do our best to do the same for our kiddos.
I went to my FB friends and asked about their holiday traditions and I am SO excited to share these with you.
Carving pumpkins and watching a “scary” movie with the kids while enjoying a yummy spread of food has always been a tradition for us. We also do the whole costume thing and trick-or-treat.
Alyssa: Pumpkin patch and family picture at the patch.
Fall Festivals: Churches usually throw some kind of Fall Festival for the community. We attend our church’s every year. Our local church now puts on a great one! So much fun for the entire family.
I also know some friends who have an annual Halloween party. I think dressing up and spending time with your friends is always a good time.
I love Thanksgiving. Growing up, we always watched the parade in the morning and ate a giant meal in the afternoon. The next day, my dad and sister would go buy our real Christmas tree and we would decorate for Christmas. I love Thanksgiving.
In my family now we do something called THE LANCOUR OLYMPICS. Lancour is my last name and every year since my husband and I have been together, we’ve competed against each other in 5 board/card games. We even have a trophy. lol. I have only won one year, haha. I always say “THIS IS MY YEAR” and he always beats me. But for real, this really is my year. 😉
Ashley: Normal meal tradition with all 3 sets of our parents.. Dustin and I also do the wheeler mission “outta town dash around” 5k which provides thanksgiving meals to homeless in Indianapolis. We also always watch Planes Trains and Autombiles – if you haven’t seen it… I encourage you to watch it this year! Heart warming. Even though we are adding a kid to the mix… I doubt we will be doing our own thanksgiving for a long time….
*Some sort of black Friday shopping – always with one of my sisters, other company comes and goes. Used to do this with my step dad yearly so its nostalgic!
Katrina + Alyssa: Family meal, go around the table and say what we are thankful for.
Natalie: One of my really good friends on Thanksgiving does Thanksgiving around the world, so each year they pick a different country and will make food based off the culture there rather than the traditional thanksgiving meal.
Robin: After my husband and ex-wife separated, Lew wanted to find a tradition that didn’t mean spending weeks learning how to good all the favorite foods for the holiday. His solution … he created, “It’s Not About Turkey” Holiday. After the teens woke up on Thanksgiving morning, everyone piled in the car and Lew drove to the nearest major grocery store. They each grabbed a basket and went through the store, picking their favorite foods to have for their Thanksgiving feast. Someone usually chose nacho fixings, and other picked up pizza rolls. If they wanted to eat pumpkin pie all day long, that’s what they had. Lew figured he’d clean up their diet on Friday, but on Thursday the meal was all about their favorites.
Mandy: Thanksgiving we have a journal and everyone present at the meal write in it what they are thankful for (usually a paragraph). Kids to adults. Going on 6 or 7 years I believe. Fun to look back and see who was there and what was happening in our lives.
Oh, my FAVORITE HOLIDAY.
Growing up our Christmas’s ran like clock-work. We need exactly what to expect and it was always special and fun. I haven’t been so consistent as a mama but we’re working on it. We love going to our church’s Christmas Eve service and my sister always buys my girl’s their Christmas pj’s. It’s a fun tradition that she’s kept going every year.
Natalie: One thing we always did, and I loved, was we always picked our wrapping paper for Santa. All of our presents from him were wrapped in the paper we pick.
Caitlin: On Christmas Eve we have a candle light dinner. we use our best dishes, Festive wine glasses , and have wine or sparkling grape juice, but make a very basic meal like spaghetti or tacos. There is something funny about eating a basic meal on your best dishes. We also have the tree lit and listen to Christmas music. We then watch white Christmas.
Anne: For Christmas my moms side of the family all get together and after Christmas lunch we play a sort of white elephant game where everyone has numbers and if your number gets called, you pick a gift. After all of the gifts are gone, you can steal. It’s so much fun and we always have a few funny gifts that people get stuck with. We have been playing since I was about 5. And now I’m 31.
Ciara: One thing we do for Christmas, is each year the kids get to pick one new ornament for the tree, that way when they get older and move out, they can take all the ones they have picked, for their own tree. They are little right now, so they basically just pick the most colorful ones they see first! lol and we basically pick their first ones cause they were just babies but I am sure as the years go on, it will be really fun for them!
Jenny: On Christmas day we take cupcakes to the police and fire station. We also make Christmas tree pizza. I cut a crust to look like a Christmas tree and we use red and green peppers for toppings. We don’t do Santa presents but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a surprise under the tree Christmas morning. After the boys go to sleep Christmas eve we set up a Christmas train set under the tree. We leave it up all Christmas day then put away till next year. The boys love it.
Katrina: On the first of the month we decorate. We like to hide a pickle in the tree on Xmas Eve for the kids to find. Whoever finds it first gets a little silly gift. Also on Xmas eve, the kids get to open the smallest gift (for each). And we read to them the Night Before Christmas story. My husband and I also open all of our gifts the night of Xmas Eve as a “holiday date night” kind of deal. We also enforce the idea that Christmas is not about gifts but about Jesus and goodwill. So we also try to do a lot of community service projects and we love going to the Walk Through Bethlehem at one of the local churches.
(I REALLY LOVE that Katrina and her hubby open their gifts alone as a date night kinda thing. We may be stealing that one.)
Alyssa: Matching Pjs for the kids, driving around looking at all the Christmas lights, packing shoeboxes, making cookies for Santa, reading the Christmas story, put up the nativity scene!
I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!
Josie: For Christmas, we chose to do minimal (if any) presents & do some sort of family experience instead. In the past we’ve done the zoo, SeaWorld, the beach, viewed lights in a new city, etc. The best part is there are few things open on Christmas so it is always an adventure finding food, so that has become part of the tradition. The most random place we ended up was an authentic Turkish place, I was the only one that loved it.
Sean: We have Christmas Eve brunch every year with the Gonzalez side of the family. All Mexican food – Tamales, chorizo & eggs, beans, & tortillas. The last few years we’ve been doing a day in Detroit,again with the Gonzalez side. We go downtown and start at Golden Fleece for Saganakis, then over to Astoria bakery for Hot chocolate and treats. Next is over to Campus Martius to check out the tree and rink, etc. Then we’ll stop by Cornerstone Barrelhouse, Andi’s cousins bar. And we finish at Lafayette Coney Island 😊 for dinner.
Mandy: Christmas would maybe be making buckeyes. All the siblings and Mom usually get together and make a huge batch a couple of weeks prior.
And the day after Christmas we have a family tradition of doing nothing but laying around, eating, and watching movies.
Ashley: Christmas cookie making day with my moms side – cousins, aunt, friends who have become family. We all make many batches amd split them up.
*Christmas shopping trip with sisters, sil, and step mom usually sometime in Dec and somewhere we don’t normally go. Along with brunch, lunch or dinner or all of the above!
*we attend Dustins moms christmas cantata usually every year at her church!
*Christmas at my dads on the 23rd – many of us stay the night and it feels like a movie Christmas event. Its a favorite! ❤ lots of people (5 of us siblings plus spouses and kids and parents), meal, gifts, best of all good convo, games and good times.
*24th the same group leaves from my dads to my grandparents – been going my whole life – extended family… Meal, some gifts, quality time.
*my brother, dad and I started walking the circle downtown Indy after along with Bucca De Beppos Italian restaurant. Horse drawn carriages to see, lights, sometimes chestnuts, lovely! We started this to extend our Christmas with my dad since we didnt get to spend Christmas day with after the divorce. This is very meaningful too.
*Christmas day – me and Dustin in the am. Wont budge on that! Relaxing coffee and breakfast, our personal gift exchange. Sleep in, the most relaxing part of the holiday for sure and I treasure it! I love having this time with him without our extended fam too.
*christmas night- meal, gifts, games, wine and fun!
(Ashley is one of my best friends and she’s also someone who understands my Christmas obsession, lol.)
I HOPE YOU ENJOYED READING WHAT OTHER FAMILIES DO. I’d love to hear your own traditions and feel free to steal any ideas for your beautiful family. 😉 HAPPY HOLIDAYS.