6 Holiday Traditions We Love, and Some We Skip

Holiday traditions can be fun and magical.  They can also be overwhelming if you take on more than you can handle with your time or finances. It really is all about being intentional. So today, I thought I would share what holiday traditions we take part in and which ones we choose to skip out on.


Kindness Elves

This is a new tradition for us. These sweet looking elves are set up every morning in our house with what we need to do something kind for the day. These activities can range from a simple call to a loved one or giving your family hugs and telling them why you love them, to more involved activities like baking for the neighbors or going through your things to donate stuff to local shelters.


It’s something you can really tailor to your budget and time, and it also really encourages kindness and keeps the season focused on giving instead of just receiving.


Light Shows

We splurge here by attending a lights show at our local arboretum. It costs more, but the show is amazing, and we love to support the work the arboretum does and get outside for a nice walk.


Christmas Ornaments

I love Christmas ornaments. They are my go-to souvenir when traveling because I love being able to relive the memory of the trip when decorating the tree and they don’t take much space to store the rest of the year.


Because of my love of ornaments, each of our kids has a mini tree, and, each year, I get them an ornament to represent something they were into that year. I hope, when they get older, this will serve as a fun time capsule for them when they decorate their trees.


This is also a great way to incorporate fair trade or supporting small businesses in to your Christmas gift giving. You can find great budget-friendly fair trade or handmade ornaments on sites like Etsy or The Animal Rescue Site.


Cookie Day

My step family and I get together every year to bake and hang out. I am not much of a baker, but I love the time with them, and I look forward to this every year. We also decorate gingerbread houses and usually do some sort of craft, and it is always fun to see what people come up with.



I love to listen to Miles Davis, drink hot cocoa, and decorate. As far as the amount of decorations we have, we don’t go crazy. We have our tree, the kids’ mini table top trees, and then I have a couple ceramic light-up trees I inherited from my grandma.


Christmas Eve PJs and Movies

I always got to open one present on Christmas Eve growing up. Now, we try to keep our kids’ gifts more minimal, so I started doing Christmas Eve PJs. They usually have worn through a pair, so this is a fun way to get something they need. I look for second hand ones (more environmentally friendly) that feature characters or things that they like from that year. We get to open our PJs and watch Christmas movies, which is a fun and relaxing way to spend the evening.


We skip on:


Santa Pics

Now, this year, there ended up being a Santa Craft Corner event at a local zoo when we were there, so the kids got pics this year, but we don’t regularly do Santa pics. We don’t really talk about Santa or give gifts from him, so taking them for Santa pics isn’t really on our radar this time of year.


Christmas Card Photos

I like to send out photo cards, but we don’t do the Christmas photo shoots for them. Instead, I pick out a couple of my favorite candid shots from the year and use those. It is easier ,and I love looking through the pics from the past year.


Black Friday

While I might place an online order if there is a deal on something we need, there is nothing appealing to me about fighting crowds in person for doorbusters. I actually try to shop through the year and have most of my gifts purchased before Thanksgiving so I am able to relax and enjoy the holidays.

This year on Black Friday, we had a friend and her family over for lunch and the kids played.


That is my list of things we love to do and pass on. What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

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