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Does your family celebrate each year with holiday traditions? Because of moving through 4 different states in the last 7 years, holiday traditions have become very important to me. No matter where we have lived, by having holiday traditions, I always feel at home.
For Valentine’s day, we craft paper cards and bake heart shaped cookies. For St. Patrick’s Day, being Magee’s means wearing green and learning about having Irish heritage. Fourth of July wouldn’t be the same for our family without some sort of fireworks – big or small. Halloween means every.single.year without fail we carve a pumpkin.
Reflecting on all of the past year’s fun, I realized at Christmas we don’t have a yearly tradition. Most times we put up a tree but there have been a couple years we didn’t. Sometimes we open presents at our own home; most times we don’t. Sometimes we drive around to see all the Christmas lights, but not every year. Lastly, from year to year, the location for the big holiday meal changes. So this year I have decided to do something about the lack of traditions for my immediate family.
This year, I am starting the tradition of a big fancy family meal at our home during the Christmas season with table cloth, china, and crystal even!
Although I love going to my parents’ and in-laws’ homes to celebrate the holidays, I want our kids to remember a specific event each year related to our little family. It is so important to me to have our kids, my husband, and I sitting around the table for a meal. I’m planning to continue this holiday tradition every Christmas.
For our very first Christmas family meal tradition, what to eat?
- Pan cooked pork chops
- Mashed potatoes with optional shredded cheese
- Kidney beans
- Cooked corn
- Fried squash
- Spinach salad
- Garlic toast
- Ice Cream with chocolate or strawberry syrup
Ok, I might have gone a little overboard with all the different food I cooked! The good news is we have plenty to eat for the rest of the week.
And to drink?
Well, we are the Magee’s and the entire extended Magee family loves Coca-Cola! My husband has loved Coca-Cola his entire life. Me too! My kids love to drink both Coca-Cola and Sprite. I like Coca-Cola and I also like to try new things so I’ll be sampling the Cranberry Sprite this year. My local Albertsons made it super easy to find what I was looking for. See… right at the store entrance!
When this fun display isn’t setup, Coca-Cola can also be found here…
What to wear?
Being that this will be our very first official family Christmas holiday tradition, I wanted to take a bunch of pictures and capture all the memories from it. We all dressed up. (Ok, I use this term loosely. They successfully arrived to the table without any major stains on their shirts.) It was fun for me to wear a cute shirt and skirt outfit. My husband is always looking dapper with a nice shirt on.
How to set the table?
If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know I love china and shiny pretty things. There aren’t many occasions in this house for breakable items to be used at dinner time. So when I came up with having a Christmas dinner for our holiday tradition, I had to get all fancy and set the table just right. China, silver utensils, fancy goblets, cloth napkins with easy to do (and use for the kids) decorative ties, table cloth, and complete with little lights on the table…
How to capture the memories?
Since it was just the five of us for dinner, capturing pictures wasn’t that hard. But if you are wanting ideas to make sure you get everyone’s photo from a big event, here are some ideas to make sure that happens.
- As soon as everyone has arrived, take a group photo. This is the very best time to get the group photo for a bunch of reasons. Some people might have to leave early or maybe they eat faster than others and then get preoccupied watching football. LOL Getting pictures at the beginning of the celebration is the best time to make sure you get everyone’s picture taken.
- For impromptu photos, don’t worry about finding the perfect setting. Your main subject is your family and friends. If you always wait for the perfect setting or timing, you might just miss getting a photo that you would hold dear for years to come.
- Create a “photo booth” area and ask people to take pictures to share with everyone. Designate one small area in your house with maybe a chair and some props. Put out a little sign that has “Photo Booth. Please take some pictures and capture this Holiday Tradition. Share at https://xxxxx.shutterfly.com/” Shutterfly has a way to make “share sites” with your own personnel URL. Now everyone can contribute to a group file of photos for the event straight from their phones!
Printables of photo props are available at the end of this post.
What to do with all of those photos?
After capturing all those photos, now enjoy them!
My extended family gets a group photo each year. This year I plan to have a print made since my last print is getting a bit outdated from 4 years ago. Thankfully, there is a great deal going on right now! When you buy 4 participating Coca-Cola products at Albersons you can get $20 off at Shutterfly Catalina print-out at the register with a unique pin code to use at Shutterfly between now and 12/28/2016!
Shutterfly has tons of ways to utilize all the pictures taken(and the $20 coupon!). Making photo books online is one of my favorite things to do. Fleece photo blankets would be a great reminder of your Christmas traditions and cuddling up with the entire family – literally! I also like the idea of finding a picture of each family member to make individualized placemats. Then at next year’s Christmas dinner, use these rather than place cards. There are so many ways to enjoy the photos captured during holiday traditions.
Having decided our family yearly tradition for Christmas makes me so happy! I’m looking forward to each year sharing time around the table with our family. And love creating memories that will last a lifetime for all of us.
What holiday traditions do you celebrate each year?
A pin for friends –