Our Favorite Holiday Traditions

Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Putting up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Getting together at Grandma’s house for “cookie day” the first weekend in December. Then all piling into my grandparents’ car and going to the driving tour at Celebration in the Oaks. Opening just one gift on Christmas Eve before going to church. Leaving milk and cookies out for Santa before going to bed. Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas morning. These are just some of my favorite holiday memories growing up.

Ever since our first Christmas together, Michael and I have started a few traditions of our own. Our tree goes up and gets decorated the weekend after Thanksgiving. We still open just one gift on Christmas Eve, but now it’s after we return home from church. And ever since Michael introduced me to monkey bread, we have it for breakfast Christmas morning. Even though Addison is still very young, there are many holiday traditions that we’ve already started, and many more that I hope to create as the years go by. I can’t wait to take her to Teddy Bear Tea, decorate her own little tree in her room and bake cookies together for Santa while watching Christmas movies. And let’s not forget all the fun that can be had with the Elf on the Shelf.

The NOMB Moms Share Their Favorite Holiday Traditions

Our co-founder Ashley shared a neat idea where she “bought a memory book, and every year we (well I!) will capture what we did that year, put pictures in the book, etc – we just started it when Thatcher was born, but I got the idea from a friend, and I think it will be fun to look at where we spent Christmas each year, what we did and how our family grew.”

For Jennifer, she recalls how “every year on Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember, my dad has read The Polar Express to my sister and me. Last year, he got to read it to Jane for the first time. Mark and I decided to build on that tradition by getting Jane a Wallace silver bell that she will get every year as the last gift of Christmas. Hopefully she will always hear them ring!”

Do you have a favorite movie that you watch every Christmas season? Our contributor, Andie told us about a tradition she and her husband started when they got married and have continued on with it since their son Andrew was born: “We always get our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving and then spend the day decorating the tree, making a big pot of gumbo, baked cookies and then we settle in to watch Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas.”  They also add to their tree a new ornament from wherever they have traveled that year for vacation.

With Christmas rapidly approaching, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect stockings that will be personalized for us to use for years to come. I loved Courtney’s story about their Christmas stockings: “Growing up, we would wake (early) to find stockings outside of our bedroom doors. My siblings (3 of them) and I would then hang out until the “you’re allowed to get up” time and then run with the stockings to my parents’ room where we’d pile on their bed and open them one by one. We continued to do this into college, so it became a crowded bed! My grandmother had knitted each of our stockings and we still use them to this day. Now my mom has taken on the charge and needlepointed a stocking for Jack and is at work on Cora’s.”

With each new idea I hear, I want to figure out a way to incorporate fun, family traditions into our holiday celebrations. Like how in Linzy’s family, they always leave out red cookies for Santa and sprinkle reindeer food on the grass before going to bed on Christmas Eve. I also want to make sure we stress the importance of the season and the real reason that we celebrate Christmas. I am excited to introduce Addison to her Little People Nativity Scene this year while reading her The Christmas Story, even though she won’t really get it yet. It’s never too early to start, though, right?

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?


  1. Holiday traditions are great. Adding to the tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve, I would buy the same thing for each of our three children. It would puzzle the kids to try so hard to guess what I could possibly buy for two girls and a boy that would be the same. One year it was watches, of course that is the gift they would be give to open on Christma Eve. I also, like to watch “It’s A Wonderful LIfe” every year at Christmas time.


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