The holidays can sneak up on even the best-prepared individuals, making it easy to overlook those small moments that make this time of year so special. From simple nights with hot chocolate to cutting down the Christmas tree by hand, these families are making a conscious effort to prioritize memories to last a lifetime, even when their work pile seems never-ending.
Amending Traditions for the Better
Pressed for time leading up to Christmas, Lori was left ludicrously hitting up the grocery aisles the week before Christmas in search of their beloved turkey. As you may have expected, she was left deeply devastated that they would not be able to make their cherished garlic-herb turkey roast that has been passed down in the family for generations. However, as she walked down the meat aisle with a crushed spirit, she came across a little inspiration for the next best option—a chuck roast! While they wouldn’t have their traditional turkey this Christmas, she figured they would keep the recipe and just substitute the meat. The result? “It turned out delicious, and we’ve kept the chuck roast ever since! It’s become a new family tradition at the Christmas dinner table that reminds us it’s okay to have a few inconveniences in life.”
~ Daniel & Lori S.*
Matching PJs and Hand Sugar Cookies
From beautiful new family additions to jobs that have moved loved ones across the country, the holidays serve as the finest little family reunions for many. For Matthew and Gracie, it’s a time to reconnect and recount family stories that always seem to bring smiles to their faces. Their Christmas traditions start the night before Christmas Eve. Everyone is gifted a new set of cozy Christmas PJs to wear the following morning when they have their scrumptious chocolate chip waffle stacks. After their stomachs are satisfied, they open their Christmas presents to each other, then make hand sugar cookies with the small children. Finally, after long hours laughing from new memories and reminiscing on the old, they grab a warm cup of hot chocolate to enjoy as they watch the Nativity Story. “Christmas is so much more than unwrapping presents from under the tree. It’s about making it a priority to slow down to be with your loved ones and remember the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ.”
~ Matthew & Gracie R.
The Cookie Bake-Off
In this family’s household, you are almost guaranteed to catch them watching The Great British Bake Off when the final school bell rings for Christmas break. Inspired by all the amateur bakers, Shannon, mother of four, thought of a creative idea to keep the kids entertained and well-fed—their very own Christmas Eve cookie bake-off! “We typically end up with quite the assortment of sweets, so we will pack little bags to take to the neighbors at the end of the bake-off. What I love most is seeing the smiles on my children’s faces when they spread the Christmas cheer to our neighbors with their homemade cookies.” From all things gingerbread to peppermint bark, this family embraced their love of baking by having a bake-off that throws a little surprise at their “competitors” each year. Last year, the cookies had to use eggnog as a main ingredient. What will be the surprise ingredient for this year’s bake-off? Well, that remains confidential information to be found out on Christmas Eve!
~ Blake & Shannon L.
It’s never too late to start making memories, but sometimes it just takes a little creativity. For instance, if it’s snowing outside, maybe grab a pair of big boots to stomp a path of Santa’s footprints, or take it inside by using a little dusting of flour. Making holiday memories to last a lifetime doesn’t need a high price tag, an extravagant design, or even being materialistic. Simply prioritize your loved ones and find some common ground for excitement that best suits your needs.
*Names changed for privacy