Peppermint hot chocolate. The Macy’s Windows. All the twinkling lights along Michigan Avenue. A Charlie Brown Christmas & Vince Gauraldi tunes. A light snowfall & cup of coffee by the fire… The best part of the holiday season is celebrating special traditions year after year. Things have changed a bit since my childhood, and some traditions are hard to hold on to in the warm Austin winter, but I always remember them fondly as I begin preparing my own.
Growing up, we always watched It’s A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve and sang Christmas carols at the Village Green. All of my siblings would sleep in my room and we’d watch for Santa out my window. Someone would always wake everyone else up super early. On Christmas morning my parents would make us wait at the top of the stairs while they started breakfast and brewed coffee. My dad would light a fire and we’d listen to White Christmas by Bing Crosby as we took turn opening gifts. We’d spend the rest of the day resting before heading out to either our grandmother’s or our aunt’s house for dinner. I loved getting together with our cousins.
Charlie is just a baby now but someday he will understand what is going on at Christmas. And I can’t wait to see him light up with all the excitement. There are many traditions I loved as a kid that I can’t wait to begin with my own children. I want to bake gingerbread cookies, cuddle on the couch in festive pajamas, decorate the banister with twinkling lights, and start an ornament collection for each of my kids. I plan on finding the perfect breakfast casserole recipe for Christmas morning and taking an annual bedhead family picture.
Most of all, I look forward to creating special memories for my children that they will cherish forever.
*photos by Brandon Hill
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?