Holidays in Houston :: Being Open to New Traditions

Holidays in Houston

Being Open to New Traditions

Remember that song you sang in girl scouts, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.” This post is like that old song only replace the word friends with Christmas traditions. It’s about taking the traditions you grew up with and merging them with the traditions inherited through marriage and then creating new traditions for your family.

I came into my marriage with so many memories and traditions. And my husband came along with a set of memories not at all like mine, but just as meaningful. And now we are keeping the old traditions from both our families and also making some new ones for our family. Each year it morphs and changes as we try different things, but here are some of my favorites ::

Favorite old traditions from growing up in my family ::

  • My mom pinning a sheet over our door so we couldn’t peek out. And then making us wait for an hour {really probably 5 minutes, but felt like an hour!} while she got her coffee ready, got dressed, and checked to see what Santa brought.
  • My dad playing the Christmas song he wrote.
  • Making sugar cookies from scratch and decorating them with homemade icing.
  • Making homemade spiced tea mix and putting it in mason jars that we decorated to look like Santa as gifts for others.
  • Opening one gift on Christmas Eve. {I just regret the year I chose the box containing the bra my mom thought it was time for me to start wearing. Awkward moment.}
  • Going to that old stained glassed church downtown I grew up at for the midnight candlelight service.

Favorite old {but new to me} traditions from Chris’s family ::

  • Going to West Texas each year. Turns out it actually can snow at Christmas!
  • Everybody opening new PJs on Christmas Eve and putting them on and keeping them on all day for Christmas.
  • Opening a family game on Christmas Eve then playing it the rest of the week.
  • Hallmark Movies with my mother-in-law. {I struck gold when it comes to mother-in-laws!}
  • Girls shopping trips. Grammy knows how to spoil her girls!

And some of our favorite traditions we have started as a family ::

  • We are doing A Meaningful Christmas Advent devotional and ornament exchange, and it has been such a sweet way to talk to our girls about why we celebrate Christmas to begin with.

meaningful christmas

  • Decorate the week before Thanksgiving so the house is totally done when we get home. We sip hot chocolate {even if it’s 85 degrees outside}, watch It’s a Wonderful Life and Elf, and decorate!

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  • Take Karis shopping at the dollar store to pick out a gift for everyone in our family. {This was a great way to teach her about giving, let her be creative, and not spend a ton of money. Not to mention that some of our family members are going to get a great laugh when they open what she picked out just for them.}

  • Throw a birthday party for Jesus. Karis helps pick out and make the cake and decorate the house!
  • Go look at lights around town. Some of our favorites are: River Oaks {those houses are amazing}, Lights in the Heights, Prestonwood {at 249, this neighborhood is the best in town!}, Zoo Lights, and Festival of Lights at Moody Garden.
  •  We budget for Christmas all year long, so it’s not a stressor financially. This was all my hubby’s idea, and it is genius. From decorations to gifts, he puts a little away each month for Christmas. So when it rolls around, it’s not stressful on us at all. We allocate how much we can spend on each person and then make our gift buying plan.
  • We take family pictures, and never once have we regretted this investment. {This year we used Momma’s Gonna Snap after meeting her at the Houston Moms Blog contributor photo shoot. LOVE her creative genius.}

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  • Look for ways to serve. Our church is a great resource for us in introducing us to opportunities to help single moms, fight sex trafficking, and support orphans locally and globally.
  • Each year we attempt to get a little more simple with the holidays. While I want my kiddos to experience the magic of Christmas, I want them to experience the meaning of it so much more. So we reevaluate each year how we can make it more meaningful. And so far – we’ve seen that it hasn’t lost it’s magic at all!

Would love to hear back from you in the comments and on Facebook! What are some of your favorite memories you grew up with? married into? and have now created? 

Reminder :: If you are looking for a way to stay organized and connected this holiday season and beyond, be sure to check out Living Tree.  They are an amazing online platform created by parents for parents to simplify communication and coordination between all the people participating in our daily lives and our children’s development, and we are so grateful to them for sponsoring our ‘Holidays in Houston’ series.  Check them out and sign up for FREE today!

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5 Responses to Holidays in Houston :: Being Open to New Traditions

  1. Avatar
    Amanda December 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    LOVE the dollar store shopping idea! I bet that is too funny. Im totally implementing that one at our house!!:)

    • Avatar
      Kelly D December 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

      I’m snagging that idea too, Amanda!!

  2. Avatar
    Meg O. December 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    I absolutely love the dollar store idea. I want to do that with Kennedy. Do you think she’s too young??? I think it would be hilarious.

  3. Avatar
    Courtney December 4, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

    I thought at first she was putting a suprise $1 in each bag so when someone bought it they would get a small suprise- haha! We have a Christmas book literacy countdown… I wrap all 25 books and the girls get to unwrap one before bed. We also started the Christmas Angel to refocus Christmas.

  4. Avatar
    Cynthia December 13, 2016 at 9:39 am #

    We do the Christmas eve gift that is new pjs and one new DVD for the kids to watch while we all snuggle in and try to stay awake. My kids are too little to last long for now, lol. I have 5 kids so we draw names and take the kids to 5 below to buy the present for the sibling they got. 😉

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