9 Holiday Traditions I Loved As A Kid & TBH, Still Love To Do As An Adult
When the holidays come around, you have tried and true traditions — things you do every single year that you couldn't imagine this season without. Since you were a kid, you've always spent an entire weekend hitting the slopes with your cousins. You brew up hot chocolate before getting into bed, starting on the first day of December. You also pick out the perfect evergreen tree with your family, in an adventure that typically ends in a holiday card photo shoot. Yes, these things happen this magical time of year, and growing up hasn't changed them much. To be honest, there are some holiday traditions I loved as a kid, too, that I still love to do as an adult.
Before you read any further, know that you're in for some cheesy memories as you walk down your very own Nostalgia Lane. It's inevitable, considering you're repeating the same traditions you've been doing since, well, as long as you can remember. You're baking peanut butter cookies with your mom, and unboxing the homemade ornaments you made in third grade. (It's amazing that those glued on pasta noodles are still holding on after all these years!)
Back then, you didn't know that making a gingerbread house would mean so much to you as an adult. You assumed that those family shopping trips would fade out after a while. Surprise! You're still one big kid during the holidays. Girl, same. I'll forever continue these eight traditions that I've loved since day one.
1. Putting Up The Tree In My House
My family was never the kind to go to the market, and find the perfect tree. Instead, we bought a fake tree and put it up year after year. It was pre-lit and ready to decorate after five minutes or so of spreading out the branches. Despite not bundling up and roaming down the aisles of evergreens, it was a tradition to put up the tree together — in it's rightful place in the living room.
My mom would pull out the boxes of ornaments, handing me and my dad the nutcracker ones made of pipe cleaners and so on. As an adult, I still love spending a cozy afternoon decorating and covering my place in cute holiday things.
2. Driving Around Town To Look At The Light Displays
Around the holidays, a lot of people decorate their houses and apartments inside and out. They put candles in the windows, and wreaths on their front door. Personally, I love the light displays that seemingly get more and more extravagant every year.
When I was a kid, my family always took a drive to see the Christmas lights around town. There were displays set up in parks, where you tuned your radio to the lights, and neighborhoods that covered their lawns with light-up reindeer and candy canes. To this day, I get excited about seeing all that sparkle and shine.
3. Going Shopping At The Mall With My Dad
Growing up, my dad and I would take a shopping trip to the mall around Christmastime. We roamed through the stores, looking for clothes and stocking stuffers for my mom. I picked a few items out, and he purchased the ones he thought my mom would like the most. This tradition is still going strong, now that I'm an adult.
Facing the crowds of shoppers and checking things off your holiday list can be stressful. But, going to the mall with my dad always makes it more fun. More often than not, we end up in the Disney store. (Did I mention that he's just one big kid, too?)
4. Baking Cookies All Day With My Mom
It wouldn't be the holidays without something sweet, right? Right. That's why my mom and I always spend an entire day baking cookies. It started when I was a kid, and simply decorated the sugar cookies or gathered the various ingredients. My mom taught me how to put a timer on the oven and mix the batter together. (Licking the spoon was, of course, a requirement, too.)
But, as I got older, our cookies tended to get more complicated. We started making gingerbread men and tracking down new recipes. Dear Food Network: Can mom and I have our own show now?
5. Doing A Gift Exchange With My Extended Family
When it comes to my extended family, everyone is pretty spread out. I have always had aunts and cousins in other states, and grandparents who are a few hours away. It makes getting together for the holidays a little interesting, to say the least.
But, we've always made it work by getting together one weekend before the actual holidays and eating a bunch of good food. Somebody jokes about the "kids table," and more often than not, my cousins and I get asked a million questions about our lives. My favorite part is honestly the gift exchange, because everyone gets really into it. (Although, seeing my extended family is a close second!)
6. Decorating A Gingerbread House With Candy And Pretzels
Along with baking cookies, decorating a gingerbread house is a sweet tradition that I still love as an adult. This one began with a family friend, who hosted a gingerbread house-making party. She set up individual stations with candy, pretzels, and frosting, and everyone had a blast. After a few years, she stopped putting on these get-togethers. And so, my mom and I continued the tradition on our own.
Every year, my mom buys bags of candy like chocolate kisses and gum drops, and we decorate a house on a cutting board. We use Oreos for the windows, and candy canes for the front door. Then, we put it up on display for the next month.
7. Counting Down To The Holidays With Crafts
Arts and crafts were always my favorite thing to do when I was a kid. At summer camp, I couldn't wait to make things out of popsicle sticks and paper plates — and at school, I loved being able to go through the colored construction paper and make something with my hands.
My parents noticed this and started a holiday tradition one year, where I made stockings out of paper. My dad made the template, and every day before I went to bed, I had to color a . new one. I got pretty creative with it, and they turned into a Christmas countdown that goes up on a glass door in my house every year. When in doubt, craft it out, huh?
8. Delivering Presents To My Besties On Christmas Eve
I might as well be Buddy the Elf on the holidays — looking to spread Christmas cheer as much as possible. In the past, I've taken the entire day on Christmas Eve to deliver presents and cookies to my besties. I've wrapped up cute mugs and homemade ornaments, and put chocolate kisses at the bottom of each bag. As an adult, I still love this little tradition that I started with myself.
It's the most magical time of the year, so how do you not participate in a few traditions, especially ones involving presents? Let me know.
9. Hanging Out In A Cozy Sweater On Christmas Day
Last but not least: One of my favorite traditions growing up was being cozy on Christmas Day. My family would wake up and open presents, and then have a big breakfast of bacon and eggs. Sometimes, my mom grabbed these cinnamon donuts at the store, too. Then, we hung out all day in our pajamas or oversized sweaters, playing with our new toys and watching television.
It was always nice to spend such a big holiday being a little lazy. Let's be honest: This time of the year can get chaotic, and traditions like these make it better, whether you're a kid or an adult.