The Circle – Christmas Traditions

Today I’m linking up with Kiki over at the blog In It’s Time for the monthly Circle link up – I love the theme for this month – Christmas traditions! I love Christmas and I love talking about Christmas, so this is a perfect topic!

I will fully admit to being Scrooge the last couple of years. Having a newborn two years ago made Christmas kind of pass in a blur. And then last year I was super gung ho and ready for everything and we got hit with the big nasty bug and were laid up for over a week – definitely not good for Christmas cheer. This year, knock on wood, has been better so far. So, without further ado, here are some of the traditions we’ve been celebrating so far.

Picking out and decorating a tree – this is the first year I’ve ever had a real tree. And I’m loving it. I don’t want to go back to an artificial one again! Real or not, I have always loved decorating the tree. I love seeing all the ornaments again, welcoming them back like old friends, remembering when they were either bought or given to us. And there is just something about a dark room lit up only with Christmas lights.

Visiting Santa and the Day in the Life of an Elf at Macy’s downtown – I grew up going to the 8th floor of what used to be Daytons, seeing the Santa there and the story that changed each year. I knew this was a tradition I would want to pass on to my own children. We’ve made this tradition extra special so far by making it Ollie’s birthday outing. While the story doesn’t change anymore each year, it’s still fun to walk through and see all the fun displays. And then seeing Santa – last year Ollie did pretty well, this year we knew he had more stranger anxiety, so we weren’t sure how it was going to go. He was definitely cautious of Santa and didn’t want to sit on his lap, but he was willing to give him high five and let him see his truck. We ended up taking a family picture instead of one with just Ollie and Santa, but I’m ok with that. He told Santa he wants a red truck for Christmas – such a simple request!

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Baking cookies – My mom and I bake cookies each year and I make up trays for Nate and I to take to our workplaces. And we pretty much eat the rest! I just love cookies and there are so many that we only make at this time of year. All I have to say is, it’s a good thing I am doing another 5k on New Year’s Day because of all these cookies! Nom, nom, nom.

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Watching holiday movies and specials – I have my traditional favorites such as Charlie Brown, Home Alone, Elf, the Grinch, etc. But each year I discover a new favorite. This year we watched A Very Murray Christmas on Netflix. I have heard mixed reviews and some found it boring, but it was kind of quirky and sort of right up our alley, so I enjoyed it. The other must watch for me each year that will maybe sound strange to some is I have to watch the Christmas episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It’s one of those shows that is so bad it’s good.

Going to look at lights – it would be better if we were having a white Christmas here in MN, but I love going and looking at lights. It seems each year less people put lights up, but if you’re willing to drive around a bit you can always find something. This year I think we’re going to swing through a park in St. Paul that has a ton of lights that you can drive through. Maybe it will be a pre-bedtime treat for Ollie one night.

Seeing a holiday show – this one doesn’t always work out, but this year I was lucky enough that it did. I had a chance to see a performance of the Nutcracker by the Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota and it was amazing. They gave it some Minnesota touches with backdrops painted to match some of our iconic architecture. All of the dancers were amazing. Ballet is really beautiful and the Nutcracker is classic.


These are just some of my traditions. I’m sure I’m leaving some out, but I wanted to at least share some of my favorite things to do at this time of year! What are some of your holiday traditions? Head on over to In It’s Time to see other posts or add your own!

13 thoughts on “The Circle – Christmas Traditions

  1. These are wonderful traditions! I also love watching holiday movies and driving to see the lights! Such a simple thing to do. Ive never been to see a Christmas show but would love to do that one day! Any suggestions for a first-timer? 🙂

  2. One of my favorite things as a child was driving around to look at Christmas lights. But, I grew up in Florida where big displays were popular and easy to do because of the temperate climate. Now my husband and I live in northern MN, and not as many people decorate here! But we did take my daughter out last weekend, in our jammies with travel mugs of hot cocoa, to look at lights. We had to drive around the entire town until I got my “fill”, but it was still fun – and something I think we’ll start doing every year!

  3. I LOVE Christmas!! It’s just a wonderful time of the year. I also love decorating our tree and house for the holiday. Baking, putting up lights and driving around to go look at them are always fun traditions that Steve and I do.

  4. So many fun traditions! What a sweet photo of you all together! Glad your little one was OK with sitting on your lap near Santa for the photo! Baking cookies, looking at Christmas lights, and watching holiday movies are some of my favorite things too. I have been wanting to see The Nutcracker. Maybe next year!

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  6. What fun traditions! I love that you got a real tree, too. I live in the PNW so real trees are all I know, but there’s something so much fun about picking out a different tree each year and getting that real Christmas tree smell in your home, right? 🙂

    Thanks for linking up! Merry Christmas!

  7. These are all such great traditions! My mouth is watering over your cookies… baking is a favorite tradition of mine too! I also love how you make the Santa visit part of Ollie’s birthday day, I love that! We still haven’t made it to see Santa yet, but I think we’re going to try to go Wednesday…wish us luck, ha! And I LOVE going to see the Nutcracker. There’s nothing else like it!

  8. Those are great traditions! We seem to be starting a tradition of traveling during the holidays, and it is quickly becoming on of my favorites!

  9. Awww, I love all of your traditions 🙂 I used to go see the Nutcracker with my mom each year for the holidays and it was one of my favorite things ever… I’m not sure why we don’t go anymore, probably more because of time constraints, but it’s a tradition I’d love to pick up again. Glad to hear you enjoyed the performance AND <3 your family holiday shots! SO cute!!

    1. Thank you! I am hoping to make seeing the Nutcracker a new tradition, I enjoyed it so much. And thank you – I think my family is pretty cute too 🙂

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