Every year, we choose a free Saturday in December for ‘Suburb Day.’ Hear me out. Living in the city, we rarely need to leave, since most things our hearts desire can be found down the block! But we always look forward to Suburb Day, a special day each holiday season that we go to the mall (despite having completed our Christmas shopping), order the biggest, most sugary coffee drink, and we… walk around. We soak in the frenzied pace of fellow shoppers, we share a big pretzel for lunch, and we eat all the breadsticks our hearts desire at Olive Garden for dinner. We go to IKEA. We do all these things, because they’re things we can’t do in the city!
This year, we’ll sadly have to skip that tradition (at least 10 years strong – womp womp), so instead, we’ll cuddle up indoors. We’ll watch Snowy Day (our favorite!), eat popcorn, make cookies, play trains and, hopefully, pop downtown for a family photo or two (safely).
This is another round of Collective Q+A, a blog series focused on sharing voices other than our own to promote new ideas and encourage outside-of-the-box thinking. Today we’re asking: What is your favorite holiday tradition, unique to your family?
We have always loved the tradition of placing candle lights in every window. We both remember our parents assigning the task of plugging in each light at dusk for the evening ahead. — Renovation Husbands
Stephen and David, Renovation Husbands | We are both from a small historic town nestled in Western Massachusetts, and have always loved the tradition of placing candle lights in every window. We both remember our parents assigning the task of plugging in each light at dusk for the evening ahead. Now, in our own home, we carry on the tradition (luckily they turn themselves on now) and appreciate the warm and welcoming glow they provide for not only us but for our neighbors. When the time comes each year we really go all in, the eggnog comes out, the music turns on, and we grab our matching flannels. For us, there is no warmer way to ring in the holidays.
We know it’s technically an activity for kids (and this will actually be our first Christmas as parents!), but we still have so much fun putting our elf into various situations around our house. — The DIY Playbook
Casey, The DIY Playbook | My husband, Finn, and I have been married for six years, and every Christmas we’ve created our own Elf on the Shelf shenanigans. We know it’s technically an activity for kids (and this will actually be our first Christmas as parents!), but we still have so much fun putting our elf (Cocoa) into various situations around our house. It’s a competition to figure out who can come up with the most over-the-top situation for Cocoa and Finn usually beats me every time. This year, our 7-month-old daughter will probably just enjoy munching on the elf. But we look forward to many Christmases in the future with our daughter enjoying her parent’s weird holiday tradition.
Our family is very big on holiday traditions, from Christmas Karaoke, to opening a gift on Christmas eve (usually pjs). — Made by Carli
Carli, Made by Carli | Our family is very big on holiday traditions, from Christmas Karaoke, to opening a gift on Christmas eve (usually pjs), but I’d have to say one of my favorite traditions is our annual “gingerbread” (graham cracker) house contest. Naturally, I’m very competitive in this competition, but I compete against the kids, and my hubs is usually the judge. We then display our houses until Christmas (or until all of the candy is mysteriously picked off of them). My older boys usually just make mountains of graham crackers and frosting, and say that their’s failed so they can snack on all of the excess sugar, and I usually help our little guy build his foundation so he can stay in the game. It’s such a great family activity and it’s so much fun to have a little friendly competition. This year we set out to make them with only ingredients we had on hand, it made us get a little more creative with our houses which was a really fun twist on our old tradition.
I continue to build on the previous year, with new ornaments and looking for new ways to make the holiday season feel like “us” as much as possible. — Albie Knows
Albie, Albie Knows | I remember our very first Christmas as a family of 3 — our daughter was born earlier that year — being the first time my husband & I even got a tree together, and it was a hand-me-down. A year later, we had our first Christmas on the west coast, so it was the first time I really took the time to think about decorating for the holidays. We bought our very first tree, and I hung stockings on the wall with command hooks. Every year since then, I continue to build on the previous year, with new ornaments and looking for new ways to make the holiday season feel like “us” as much as possible. This year will be our very first holiday season in our very first home and after not spending last Christmas together because of a deployment, I am excited to do some of the fun traditions we’ve always seen but have never done — matching pajamas on Christmas Eve, milk & cookies for Santa by the fireplace, and family movie nights for each of our holiday favorites!