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On My Mind: Holiday Traditions

Happy Holidays everyone! Every year I feel like by the time I’m finally ready to get into the holiday spirit, it’s almost over. I was thinking about holiday traditions and wondering what everyone else does for the holidays that is special to them and their family. Growing up in California, we never had snow, so traditions like building snowmen, going sledding, ice skating and snow ball fights were  never a part of growing up. Instead it was more about the food, the house being decorated in every room, but my most favorite thing was looking at the lights. Here are some of my favorite holiday traditions:

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Eggnog with mom
Every year I looked forward to when Eggnog came back in season. My mom would only let me have one glass a day (because let’s be honest; It’s liquid ice cream. I would have had the whole thing in one sitting if she had let me.) She would fix us two tall glasses, hers with a little booze and nutmeg, and we would sit and enjoy ours together.

 

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Advent Calendars
I know the chocolate inside is cheap and tasteless, but I loved it when every year my mom would get us those little cardboard calendars. We got to open up one every day until Christmas. It was all about the anticipation and reward for waiting. I’m amazed at how creative some people have gotten with their calendars. I think when I have kids, I’m going to make a fun version of this for them too.

 

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Holiday Goodies
We have a few Greek relatives that would send homemade treats every christmas. I grew up spoiled on baklava, biscotti, and powdered cookies.

 

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Viewing Christmas Lights
Christmas lights have got to be my favorite part about the holidays. I remember when I was young my mom took my brother and I to San Francisco during the holidays to see a play. As we drove downtown all the offices were lit with christmas lights in the windows. I remember being dazzled by those lights and thinking, “someday I will live here”. Last year I was really homesick around christmas, but after I saw the light display at the Chicago zoo, I felt a little more festive.

 

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Eating Chinese and Seeing a Movie
These last three years I’ve been apart from my family for Christmas for one reason or another and it’s been hard. Luckily, Jeremy’s family have always welcomed me as part of the family. Because half his family is Jewish, we practice their tradition of eating Chinese and seeing a  movie on Christmas day. It doesn’t replace being with loved ones, but it is still fun.

 

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Holiday Wreath Building
This is going to be my new tradition. I can’t promise we will have a christmas tree every year, but we will have a wreath. This year it’s simple with little red birds, but I’ll be sure to do something cool next year.

 

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Traveling
While in Chicago, Jeremy and I have been away from family for the holidays, so we’ve traveled (Milwaukee above). I’ve loved experiencing new places and what better time than during the holidays when everything is all dolled up! It doesn’t replace family time, but it is a great second option. I think I want to continue to take some “us time” during the holidays. This time, we’re headed to Ann Arbor for a wedding! Can’t wait!

 

 

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The Family Christmas Picture
In my family, we didn’t make a huge deal about giving the grownups gifts. They didn’t want us to worry about it, but I always managed to make them a card and now recently, we send a holiday photo for those that don’t have computers to Facebook stalk us.

 

Most of these images come from my pinterest.  Check out more inspiring holiday tradition images on my Holiday Traditions board.

I’d love to hear what you do for your holiday traditions. If you don’t celebrate, is there anything you do on the day where hardly anything is open?

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