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Home for the Holidays

I LOVE the holidays! The heightened spirit of giving, love, and family brings me so much joy! This Christmas was really different for our family because this is the first time ever all of my sisters didn’t come home for the holiday. Two of my sisters moved away from NJ to  Florida and California this past summer, so were unable to make the trip home (since they had just come home for Thanksgiving last month). This made keeping up with our family’s Christmas traditions kind of hard, but we did our best! 🙂 I think one of my favorite parts of the holiday season are the many traditions my family has, and I’d love to share a few with you here!

On Christmas Eve, my stepmom, Susan always reads “Twas the Night Before Christmas” before bed. And she ALWAYS cries the first few pages into the story. Since my family was dispersed all over the country, we FaceTimed everyone in from different states for the story this year!

One of my all time favorite Christmas traditions, (that we sadly didn’t have time to do it this year), is to make our own homemade ornaments! With clay, sea shells, or other random materials (see above haha), we make new ornaments each year with my dad. I love seeing all the different creations on the tree from years past. These DIY ornaments bring back so many fun memories (and laughs too!). The ornament above is from sometime in the 90s and we made these little guys out of corks, felt, and toothpicks! There’s a few of them still hangin’ around!

Susan has a mild nutcracker obsession…this is only a fraction of her collection that grows every year with unique new additions! When this collection started the nutcrackers used to only sit in this spot, but now they’ve outgrown the mantle and occupy the surrounding rooms, too! 🙂

One of my favorite new traditions is taking an annual family photo with Ryan and Lily. This year, it was warm enough to take our photo it outside! 😉

 A little throwback from 2011! ;) A little throwback from 2011! 😉

But this stems from our time honored tradition of taking our annual family photo on the stairs. I remember as a kid having to wait for my dad to take the photo before we were allowed downstairs to see what Santa brought – longest few minutes EVER! We’ve done this photo every year and I love being able to look back at previous years and see the changes over the time!

These are just a few of the traditions I love! I could go on and on, but I’ll save some for next year! 😉 What are your some of your holiday traditions? I’d love to hear about your family’s favorites!

  1. Amanda says:

    Love this! Missed everyone this year. I’ll be back next year for our family Christmas!

  2. Marisa says:

    Beautiful pictures! Love the nutcrackers! Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

  3. Love this and love traditions! My family and I have a bunch, but one of my favorites is my mom making our favorite cranberry almond coffee cake on Christmas Morning 🙂

  4. amanda wood says:

    Beautiful pictures! Happy holidays!!

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