MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS, OLD AND NEW!

I think we can all agree that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It never gets old and every year it feels just as special. I believe it has to do with the happy memories from our childhoods – back when we all believed in magic! What a time to be alive!

Growing up, our family always had the house decorated to the point where we could blow the fuses. If we had all the lights on I couldn’t blow dry my hair or I would blow a fuse! We would change the panels on the light switches, swap our soap dispensers and towels and place festive magnets on the fridge. Our paper towels would be Christmas-y and so would the dog bowls. You name it, we changed it and really got into the spirit. My sister and I would write letters to Santa, we had advent calendars and ate chocolate every day. I would always read books under the Christmas tree and we had the tackiest (but also loveliest) decorations. Ones that were battery powered and sang songs. We would all decorate as a family and bring out games. My sister and I would watch Pee Wee Herman’s Christmas – our favourite holiday movie.

One special tradition was hanging our stockings. We had the most special, kind, loving and sweet grandmas of all time (on both sides). One grandma was an artist and she created ornaments for us when we were born (I still have all of my first ornaments as seen in the picture below). My other grandma knitted our stockings and all of her grandchildren had one. Before she passed away, she knitted as many as she could for her great grand kids, too. I’ve had it with me every year, and last year with life being so crazy and moving to Nashville, Shawn took it upon himself to get my mom to mail it to him, and he filled it for me and surprised me on Christmas morning. It even had an orange at the bottom, just like mom and dad always used to do. I cried my eyes out that he knew how special a stocking was to me and got it for our first Christmas morning together.

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On Christmas Eve, my sister and I would get to open one present each (mom would always make sure it was new matching pjs). We would leave Rudolph some carrots and for Santa…beer and cookies. Yes, beer. Screw the milk! Mom and dad always said it was Rudolph driving, so it was okay for Santa to have one beer. My dad would read to us the night before Christmas and I would get to sleep in my sister’s room (I’m not going to lie, I was scared of Santa). On Christmas morning, we would sit at the top of the stairs while mom and dad made hot chocolate and made sure Santa had set everything up properly.

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I hope my family knows how special they made Christmas every year – including my aunts, uncles and cousins. I’m very lucky for the family I have. I can see my sister passing down traditions to her kids and I love seeing how much joy it brings the family. I can’t wait to do the same.

Shawn and I have started our own traditions, too! Last year was our first Christmas together and we had the best time. We bought Superman and Batman onesies (obviously Snapchatted about it), Shawn took me to the Grinch live musical at the Grand Ole Opry on the 23rd. I love musicals more than anything and you could even drink wine in the theatre! On Christmas Eve, we brought out our mattress and made a living room bed, cooked appies, drank wine, watched movies and played cards and old school Super Nintendo. We woke up on Christmas morning and made Bailey’s and coffee, a big breakfast and opened presents (and stockings). It was so fun having it be just the two of us and we got so excited to one day have a family with our new traditions, and ones passed along. I cooked us a turkey dinner at night and we just had such a nice Christmas together. I’m listening to Christmas songs as I write this and I can’t stop smiling. Smiling is my favorite.

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What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? What are some new ones that you’ll pass on to your kids?

I will leave you with a Christmas joke.

What do you call an elf who sings?

A wrapper.

Love,

KB-signature

20 thoughts on “MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS, OLD AND NEW!

  1. Kim Morse says:

    Merry Christmas Kaitlyn!! My husband and I started a tradition of exchanging ornaments when we first started dating, now that we have kids they get a new ornament every year. We also do the matching Christmas pjs for the kids. I love the idea of cookies and a beer for Santa!

  2. CGuilliams says:

    Christmas is fun and exciting as a child, with your first true and forever partner, even more so as a mother watching her children enjoy it, and then the best when you have grandchildren! I have six, the oldest being 4, but only one lives in town, so it is very hard not to be able to spend this special time of the year with them. Thank goodness for Facetime!! At least they know who I am. I’m in the Midwest, 2 grandsons are in NYC, 3 grandsons in Alaska, and my one little princess grand-daughter here in St. Louis. They, too, each get an ornament from me every year, at least one book, and Christmas PJs! I have already given some ornaments to each family that once belonged to my parents and grandparents. I love this time of year and especially love giving!! It truly makes one’s heart warm. When my grandchildren are older, I will remind them that there are millions of children who get nothing for Christmas and, instead of getting gifts (that they probably don’t need), we will all get gifts for those in need. I hope you have a wonderful experience this year, even better than last, and many, many more to come!

  3. Lori says:

    Even though my kids are grown (31 and 27), we must decorate the tree together. Watch Christmas Vacation on Christmas Eve and play lots of card games and board games. Drink and laugh til we cry. Hope you, Shawn and Doodle have a Merry Christmas and make more of your own traditions.

  4. Sheila says:

    Kaitlyn you rock!!!’
    Merry Christmas to you and all your family😊

  5. Taryn says:

    My mom does the matching pjs for my sister and I too! Every Christmas Eve! My mom even bought my boyfriend Christmas pjs so that we could share our Christmas tradition with him 🙂 merry Christmas to you and your family! You continue to and always will be such an inspiration to me. Thank you for being such a positive role model in my life and in many others lives.

  6. Enja says:

    Your Christmas traditions sound similar to some of mine growing up, getting to open one gift Christmas Eve, stockings with an orange at the bottom, getting to decorate every inch of the house. Opeing stockings has always been one of my favorite parts of Christmas. My parents would wrap every little piece that went into the stocking like small things,(gum, toothbrush, dental floss) things I knew I would get every year but loved getting. It would take so long to unwrap, definitely a tradition I will carry on doing forever

  7. Elise says:

    I love this! And I love the traditions you and Shawn have started together. Y’all are truly perfect for each other! Merry Christmas!

  8. Pamela Kell says:

    Okay….am I really only the second comment on your blog post? This was so good and inspiring!! I really enjoy your snap chat and always watch it first before anyone else’s! You crack me up. (Please stay with Shawn he seems like a great guy.) Anyway… my traditions are to decorate the tree on Thanksgiving with the whole family (love that tradition) especially when you’ve been drinking it can turn out a little crazy. For Christmas eve we do one gift, always pj’s, like you. And Christmas morning is pretty basic. Need some new traditions so hopefully there are more comments to come! P.S. You are awesome! 🙂

  9. Lauren says:

    Since my mom has moved not to close to me it’s hard to get there, and I don’t have kids so I usually end up having Christmas with family or friends. But my favorite memories as a kid was my mom would never let us go see what Santa brought until everyone in the house was awake. We lived with my grandparents so they had to be awake too. Usually my grandfather was down at the store drinking coffee so we had to wait for him to get back too. Then we could go and see what we had gotten from Santa. We always watched Christmas vacation and Home Alone the on Christmas Eve. My mom always cooked a big breakfast Christmas morning, which always included a special treat of biscuits and chocolate gravy (it is amazing). Not to many people know about it except people from the south. We got to play with our toys all day long, and would call cousins and see what they got as well. I hope you guys have a Merry Christmas!!

  10. Ally Rasmussen says:

    My Mom used to let us open a present on Christmas Eve too and it was always matching pj’s as well! She said that they were from my Great Grandma and I was always amazed that my Great Grandma would remember to get us matching pj’s every year until she passed – of course this was all my Mom’s doing but I think it’s super sweet that she allowed us to have a special moment of appreciation for the matriarch of the family every year.

    Such a neat and personal post Kaitlyn! I love hearing what other people’s traditions are – and the fact that Shawn got you your stocking is just too sweet for words. So glad you found happiness with each other!

    From a fellow Albertan – Merry Christmas to you, Shawn, Doodle and both of your families. Hope you have an amazing holiday season XO

  11. Jamie says:

    My cousins and I get dressed up in outrageous Christmas outfits on Christmas Eve Eve and go to Walmart at midnight to pick up last minute wrapping paper and gifts. We then decorate the home of my little cousins and tell them Santa’s Elves did it. Kinda redneck, kinda awesome, always a good time.

  12. Christy K says:

    ❤ we do a new book and new PJ’s as a gift in Christmas Eve for the kiddos. New tradition I started with my family. I also always remember setting up the nativity scene with the fam when I was younger.

  13. Casey says:

    This is a long story, but i love to share it because I am so fortunate for my insanely loving and unique family. My family is a true blessing.

    In 1999 we lost my older sister to brain cancer when she was just 9 years old. Every Christmas following the year she passed the ENTIRE family (about 25 -30 of us) go to McDonald’s every morning for breakfast and then head down to her grave site.

    This may sound crazy that we go to McDonald’s for breakfast, but in 1999, we were all very little and this was the easiest and most convenient place to bring a bunch of children. We all meet at McDonald’s in the play place, sit down and have breakfast together. After breakfast, we all drive down to the cemetery down the street and decorate the two trees my parents planted next to her grave. We put up ornaments, solar lights and deck her grave site out so she knows she is with us during Christmas time. Once the trees are decorated, we all gather in a circle around her grave, almost 30 of us in a big circle, and we each say what we are thankful for.

    The best part about this story is that it has been 17 years now, and over that 17 years, our family has gone through a lot. My parents were divorced a few years after my sister passed, and the way they handled that divorce should be praised. Even during a divorce, we have never missed a Christmas eve at my sister’s grave. My mother is remarried and my dad has been with his girlfriend for some time now. My step dad and my dad’s girlfriend both attend Christmas eve year after year with a smile on their faces because that is what family is all about. My step dad and my dad shake hands, my mom and my dads girlfriend chat it up. They are AMAZING.

    Many people find it insane that i look forward to standing around my sister’s grave with my crazy modern family to say what we are thankful for, but this is the one time each year that i have my ENTIRE family with me. I speak for my whole family when i say this is everyone’s favorite family tradition. The family continues to grow each year as fiances, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends and wives attend this.

    Once we are all done saying what we are thankful for, the entire family gathers around the grave and we take a self timed picture of us. It is quite amazing to look at the pictures year after year. I am so truly blessed.

    Merry Christmas to you, Shawn, Doodle and your extended families. Thank you for always being yourself Kaitlyn, you are a beautiful person inside and out!

  14. Holly says:

    My favorite story I’ve read yet. Brought tears to my eyes! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  15. patti says:

    wow brought tears to my eyes

  16. Renee says:

    Decorating the Christmas tree while listening to Christmas music and singing as loudly as we could with the music.

  17. Renee says:

    I listed wrong email address above.

  18. abigai says:

    Merry Christmas kaitlyn and shawn. You guys are relationship goals. So happy for both of you. He seems very genuine, loyal and thoughtful guy and can’t wait to see what the future holds for both of you.

  19. Letty Villagomez says:

    Christmas is such a big deal at our house! Ever since i could remember mom would make us wait til midnight to open up our gifts. Now these little brats (the grandkids) get away with opening them up by 9pm, what?! Well every year our Christmas tree and village gets bigger, pretty soon we will need a seperate room to sit in! And my mom continues to buy new ornaments and still has my sister’s first ornaments! I love it though, it makes more Chrismas-y.
    Kaitlyn i think you and Shawn and Doodle are absolutely amazing!! Keep on Keeping on!

  20. patti says:

    my nephew and his gf got married right before Christmas…I thought ok gonna make a special picture with (our) family which includes my mother me my sister and her x huband which was diagnosed with ALS….so I had the picture of our family framed..>WELLL…. THE new bride had the same idea I did .>>and we both gave the same picture in a frame to my mother and her new mother in law which is my sister…was very funny .>anyways I said well you didn’t get one of these I HOPE…I had her an ornament made with OUR FIRST CHRISTMAS BEING MR. AND MRS….so hopefully that will be a tradition I can get for them A NEW ORNAMENT every year >>>with the date on it>>>I always get my sister some kind of bird house with seeds on it..couldn’t find one this year…:(..but I did find a big bell that birds like to eat >>so that’s her new tradition>>mine is just making sure they have chicken wings and hotdogs for supper >>>
    Kaitlyn and Shawn….so happy for ya’ll such a CUTE COUPLE….WHEN’ IS THE DATE.>>>???

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