Traditions seem to be alive and well the most around the holiday season. I always loved decorating the Christmas tree with my mom. Each year pulling out ornaments that I loved and remembering how special each one is was always a gift itself. As we grow up and become adults we try to bring our childhood and family traditions with us into our new homes. The mixing of two family’s traditions can spark some new customs, too! Some of my favorite holiday traditions are ones my husband and I started together while trying to recreate family favorites. I’m sharing a few of the ones we’ve started below. I’d love to read some of your favorites too!
My Favorite Holiday Traditions
Coffee + a Tree
This is probably my favorite tradition we have. I always had a real tree growing up and I wanted to continue to have a real tree as an adult so our first Christmas in our new home Ricky and I set out to find a real tree. We stopped and grab coffee (dirty chai teas!) from Sugar Shack Donuts (and coffee) on our way to visit our first nursery. After scouting around a bit we settled on a tree from Sneed Nursery, a local spot here in Richmond off of Huguenot, and Ricky loaded it into the back of the truck. As I paid the cashier asked if I had a receipt to share for 10% off. They were doing a 10% discount on Small Business Saturday for anyone who had supported another small business. What an awesome way to encourage and support another small business with your own, right? So our coffees came in handy as it served as my 10% discount coupon that year. Now every year we grab two dirty chai teas, sometimes hot sometimes iced, and head out to pick up our live tree.
The Light Switch
I love white lights and how classy they look on a tree. Ricky loves colored lights; he always had them on his tree as a child. So that we both get the best of both worlds we switch off each year – one year the tree gets colored lights the next it gets white lights.
The year we bought our house was also the year we got engaged. We had a lot we wanted to celebrate by the time we got to the end of the year, including my birthday, so we decided to throw a joint house warming/holiday/engagement/birthday cocktail party. Our cocktail party has turned into a yearly Cocktail Competition, complete with a rotating theme. This has become our favorite event of the year. Our friends come from near and far to toast to a wonderful year, to enjoy good company, and to eat, drink and be merry!
Psst: Want to throw your own Cocktail Competition Holiday Party? Read our tips here.
Every year when I was little my Nana would send each member of our family a new ornament. It is one of my very favorite traditions. As I decorate the tree every year I get to relive, love, and enjoy each ornament she has sent. When Ricky and I got engaged she started sending him an ornament too. To add to the tradition I started buying us a new ornament for the tree that we put up together. I love these delicate baubles as reminders of special moments. They represent evolving tastes (anyone else have a Disney princess ornament?) or trips we’ve taken and serve as reminders of where we’ve been in our lives. With that thought in mind I expanded our yearly ornament to a new tradition this year…
The Milestone Tree
Last year I saw photographer Ashley Herrinton’s post about her photo frame ornament tree. I had just bought us our first frame ornament the year before with our wedding year charm and one of our wedding photos in it. I had also been collecting ornaments from each place Ricky and I traveled together. After seeing her post about their tree (they do a photo of every Christmas they’ve spent together) I thought it would be great to do a Milestone Tree. So this year I’m taking our travel ornaments and our yearly photo frame (I try to do a photo from a memorable moment or time) and creating a new, separate tree. I can’t wait to watch this tree grow each year with new ornaments that will serve as reminders of major moments in our lives together. So far we have our engagement ornament Ricky’s aunt made us, our wedding year ornament, our 2018 California trip photo ornament, and our travel ornaments from Germany and Colorado.
What traditions have you started in your new home?