Monday, November 28, 2016

Let's Talk - Christmas Traditions

Now that Thanksgiving is over we can be FULL ON FESTIVE over here with zero shame :)  Erika and I are sharing our Christmas Traditions today as part of our Let's Talk series and writing this post has seriously got me so excited for Christmas!

Getting the house ready for Christmas is one of my favorite traditions and I love that every year the kids get more involved.  We blast Christmas music, dance around and decorate the bottom 1/3 of the tree ;)  

This year the kids decorated their own tree upstairs and I think in a few years I'll be able to turn the upstairs over to them completely and can't wait to see how that unfolds.

I have a few more touches to add and I'll be sharing a full tour of my Christmas decorations next Tuesday for Show and Tell Tuesday!  Grab some pictures of your decor this week and plan on linking up!


Typically our elf shows up the weekend after Thanksgiving with a big North Pole Breakfast... but we think he may have lost our address when we moved. ;)  Dave and I are currently searching and (fingers crossed) he'll make his reappearance this coming weekend.  

I blogged all about this tradition HERE.


And part of the tradition is new Christmas jammies!!!  I typically do Hanna Andersson because they are amazing quality and last forever, but this year I bought these PJ pants for the boys along with gray shirts and these have been ordered for Griffin (AND they're 30% off for Cyber Monday which makes them $15.11 !!!)

After his arrival, our elf  gets into some pretty funny antics during his stay and I'm always on the hunt for fun ideas :)


We LOVE going to the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine to check out all the decorations and, of course, eating the biggest chocolate chip cookies EVER! (Read more about it HERE)


Downtown McKinney is something special and it's especially special at Christmas.  The Home for the Holidays festival has been one of my FAVORITE weekends since High School.  It used to be a Victorian festival called "Dickens of a Christmas" and has turned into more of a fair atmosphere, but it is seriously so much fun!

The city also hosts a Parade of Lights which is always a blast. This year both the boys are going to be on a float!   Highlights typically include...

Floats covered in lights...

... freezing cold sticky faces from eating candy canes...

... Mary and Joseph in the scoop of a tractor...

... me getting really excited about the marching bands (specifically the trombones because YAY low brass!!!) and my friends teasing me about my marching band excitement...

... and SNOW!!!

Last year's parade was rained out so we are extra excited about this year!


We try to look at as many lights as we can during the month of December.  Impromptu outings, going "officially" in our PJs and stopping at the most GORGEOUS lights ever after dinner!


When Luke was 8 months old we took him to his very first Brunch with Santa and it's been a tradition ever since.  LOOK AT THOSE CHEEKS!!!

Two years ago we had a Santa mini session with Narci and her FABULOUS Santa and I'm hoping that this is a tradition that continues into their teens :)

Fingers crossed that this year is the year without tears :)  If you need some amazing Santa pictures get in touch with Narci because she has one opening left for this coming Saturday!


We LOVE Trader Joes gingerbread houses because they're super easy to assemble and this is a tradition that my kids can't wait to do this year!  Our Elf on the Shelf dropped them off last year and they were a huge hit!

Other traditions include baking ALL the shortbread cookies, picking and shopping for an angel or two from the angel tree, eating pizza and watching Christmas movies in the family room, Christmas Eve church, etc., etc., etc.  

A new tradition that I am beyond excited to start this year is the Giving Manger.  It's a book and manger set that helps bring the focus of the season back to the manger and serving others.  As evidenced by the lengthy post of fun Christmas traditions I just wrote the TRUE meaning can often get lost in the shuffle and I can't wait to make this a central family tradition.

This video is super short and explains it better than I can :)

I am SO EXCITED about the next few weeks and while I want to do #allthethings I also really want to try and slow down and enjoy.  I'd love to hear about your Christmas traditions in the comments and feel free to link up with me and Erika below as well!

An InLinkz Link-up

PS - This post contained two affiliate links, which means that if you clicked on a link and made a purchase I may receive a commission.  THANK YOU!!!


  1. Such fun traditions - We love the Gaylord!

    …and we’re back on S&S today!

  2. Your post just got me in the Christmas spirit. :)

  3. Your North Pole breakfast is ALWAYS one of my favorite things you post!

  4. Love all of your traditions! The light parade sounds especially festive. A parade plus Christmas lights! Our Elf arrived with a simple breakfast of donuts and hot cocoa this year. Simple yet festive!

  5. Y'all have a busy month of FUN ahead! And now I want a chocolate chip cookie as big as my face for breakfast. :)

  6. I love me some Christmas!! It soooo much fun and always always soooo much fun stuff to do!! Except the gingerbread houses. I have a love hate relationship with kids love them me not so much. I always have to hot glue ours together so they will stay. But We try to get it allll in. We are exhausted at the end but well worth the ride!

  7. Oh I can't wait to see your precious kids this weekend! Those pajamas are going to be adorable!!! Also, our parade is one of my favorite traditions!! :)

  8. I love all of your traditions. What a fun way to spend the month of December!

  9. I love reading these posts, totally gets me in the spirit!

  10. Love it all! I will also be crossing my fingers for the return of your elf, your North Pole breakfast is a favorite;).

  11. All the baby GG pics are making me realize just how long I have been reading your blog!! Love Christmas!!

  12. Love all the traditions! We did our first low-key North Pole breakfast yesterday morning before church. My 6 year old loved it! The Dollar Tree helped me out big time for it! One new tradition we added this year was to drive through a huge light display set to music at the Jellystone Campground right near Opryland Hotel in Nashville. We went up early and ate at Cracker Barrel (not sure if they have those in TX) and then drove through the lights. It took us 30 minutes to go through it all and the kids loved it!

  13. The Giving Manger is such a sweet idea! Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to add that to our family traditions as well :)

  14. Love the idea of the giving manger!


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