As we get closer and closer to Christmas, I wanted to take the time to share some of my family’s favorite Christmas traditions with you!
Every year, my family gets together on a Saturday to bake loads of cookies. They’re then put on platters for friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, etc. to be handed out throughout the holiday season. I wouldn’t doubt that we produce thousands of cookies! I haven’t been able to go in past years because of the timing, but I was able to attend this year! What a sugar rush!
Christmas Tree Hunt
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, while lots of others are rushing to stores to get the best deals on brand names, we drive out west to a Christmas tree farm! Only my grandparents and my aunt and uncle cut down real trees, but it’s fun to go out there and experience it. There’s a hay ride to the forest, sitting with Santa, and getting served hot chocolate by an old woman who’s been there every single year we go. We always go to lunch afterward and then head back to decorate the tree!
Decorating the Tree
We have two trees in our house, and we normally decorate ours on Thanksgiving night since we have fake ones. After the Tree Hunt, we will help my grandma and my aunt decorate their trees! It becomes a big family thing, and I enjoy getting to be around real trees without the hassle of cleaning up after one 😉
Since I’ve moved to Chicago, I have gone to the German Christmas market, called Christkindlmarkt, every year. There is a new souvenir mug every year which I happily collect, and I even get a new ornament every year for my own tree. It’s picturesque, especially with snow like this year! If you’ll be in Chicago during Christmastime, you have to go!
Lights at Tilles Park
Back in Saint Louis, Tilles Park gets dolled up with lights for the Winter Wonderland. We trek down once a season to see it, and it’s my favorite light display to this day.
We host my grandparents, my aunt Kathy, my aunt, uncle and the boys for every Christmas Eve dinner. I can remember getting to church at 2 PM for a 4 PM mass just to save seats for everyone! Now, most everyone does church on their own and gathers at our house after. My mom outdoes herself with the meal, and then we exchange gifts and hear the boys play Christmas songs.
What are your favorite Christmas traditions??