Northwest Native: Tell Us About It: Favorite Christmas Traditions!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tell Us About It: Favorite Christmas Traditions!

I am so excited about Julie and I's Tell Us About It linkup today! I have always loved Christmas, and the whole season just makes me so happy. Link up and tell us what your favorite Christmas traditions are!
The tree in downtown Seattle last year
Mystery gifts This is probably my number one favorite Christmas tradition of all time, and the one that needs the most explanation. It all started when my brothers were little and were obsessed with shaking their presents to try and guess what they were. One year, my stepdad decided to put a few rocks in a jar to mess with them. They couldn't figure out what it was. From that, it evolved into just getting really weird gifts for each other and making up confusing clues. My dad (stepdad) is the best at making up clues that make no sense at all until he explains them (and maybe not even then!). I always make him write my clues for me. Ha! We've gotten rubber witch noses, vienna sausages, bacon flavored gum... My favorite place to find my mystery gifts is Fuego because they usually have weird/funny gifts.
Old school picture in front of the Christmas tree. Yes, I know my overalls are cool.
Yorkshire pudding My mom always makes Yorkshire pudding with Christmas dinner and it is my favorite thing. It's the only time I eat it all year so I get waaay too excited about it! Also throwing mashed potatoes out there too because I pretty much only get those at Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Mexican food On the other end of the spectrum, Michael's family eats homemade Mexican food for Christmas dinner because his grandpa was half Mexican. His mom makes a really good green enchilada casserole thing that is amazing, and I just love Mexican food in general, so it's a fun tradition!
Yes, this is also a picture from last year. But I love this Christmas countdown thing! I bought it at Target last year.
Christmas movies I'm planning on writing a post with my favorite Christmas movies, but I love to watch Christmas movies with a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa.
Last year's mantle. Those hooks don't work on our new mantle so I can't hang our stockings until I get new hooks that work. Boo.
Christmas music I'm also planning a post about my favorite Christmas songs. It will probably end up combined with the movies post. But listening to Christmas music makes me so happy! I especially loved when I went shopping on Friday and all the stores were playing it.

Looking at Christmas lights I looove to drive and find the houses/neighborhoods that are super decked out. This guy I went to high school with majored in engineering and turned his parents' house into a light show a few years in a row. You would set your radio to their station and the lights flashed and changed along to the music.
Display in the window of downtown Seattle's Macy's last year
Christmas Eve PJ's This actually isn't a tradition of my family, but Michael's family gets to open a pair of Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve to wear that night and on Christmas morning. The first time I went down there for Christmas, Michael was trying to be all sneaky about it. He told me they got to open a present the night before and I immediately said, "Pajamas, right?" because it was a tradition in my best friend's family (and I think it's pretty common). I think me knowing rained on his parade. Anyway, I think this is a fun tradition and I would like to do it with our kids one day.

Christmas tree! I always loved going to pick out our Christmas tree! Growing up, we would always get a sevenish foot tall noble fir. Now that I don't live at home, my parents bought a fake tree. Theirs is fancy...ours is tiny and cheap and from IKEA. We also only have like fifteen ornaments. I can't wait until we buy a house, because then we'll get a real tree every year!
An artsy zoomed in picture of my parents' tree last year
Buying gifts I looove giving people presents! Money is tighter this year so it's kind of stress-inducing, but I still love to pick things out and see people open them. And speaking of buying gifts... Remember if you signed up for the Blogger Christmas Cheer Exchange that Olya and I are hosting, the deadline to ship your package is Monday, December 7th, less than a week away!
Holiday treats My mom makes tons of holiday treats. My favorites are probably her homemade peanut butter cups (they're actually bars, but we still call them peanut butter cups) and her raspberry pinwheel cookies.

There's so much else I love about Christmas, I could go on waaay too long! I really just love the feeling of the season. A lot of people get into the spirit and are more friendly and giving, which can be contagious.
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  1. You festive girl you!!! So much fun and what a great link up!!! Love reading abut your traditions too!!

  2. My brother used to be so obsessed with shaking gifts and trying to figure out what they were based on the size and shape of the box. One year my grandma went to KFC and got a bunch of take out containers that they use to put chicken in and wrapped all his presents in them. On Christmas morning when he tore of the wrapping paper to find a box from KFC he was was confused! Then of course he opened the box and saw that there wasn't any chicken in there just a present. I love reading about Christmas traditions!

  3. I love your stepdad! That sounds like something Kyle would do with Sophie. He's always for pranking or making up things.

    I told Kyle i wanted chinese for Christmas, what? that's normal haha. We haven't decided what's on the menu for christmas just yet.

    I drove around last night with just myself, Sophie was already asleep, and looked at all of the decorations people had already put out! I love looking at them. I've never heard of the pajama tradition, but that's totally something I could get into with Kyle. Every year he gets a new set of pajama pants for Christmas (themed of course) to add to his collection. That man loves pajama pants and t-shirts.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

  4. I love buying gifts for others :) And decorating the tree is one of my favorites! Off topic, but I had those same Winnie the Pooh overalls! Haha!

  5. I love all of these!!! We always have Yorkshire Pudding for Xmas too, and we love it so much we actually also had it at Thanksgiving dinner this year - so fun!

  6. I love nights in front of the tree watching Christmas movies. :) Best time of the year to just snuggle in

  7. The mystery gifts sound like fun!!! My dad used to wrap our presents weird. Like he would build a crate for our most coveted present and wrap a hammer, screwdriver or whatever separate so we would have to work to get in to the dang thing. Used to be so frustrating but funny to think back on. One year my sister asked for a cell phone and he put baby toy phone in the crate and she worked for 30 minutes to open that thing to find that, Her cell phone was sitting inside the tree. LOL!!

  8. Your traditions sound so fun!! That picture of you is a kid is adorable, and I'm pretty sure I had those overalls too! :)

  9. You look so cute in your overalls! haha! My mom has also resorted to getting a fake tree now that we don't live with her. I got a smaller real tree for my apartment last year but it was a lot of work so I'm just going with a little charlie brown tree this year.

  10. omg! Christmas is literally the BEST TIME OF YEAR. Our favorites:
    1. Decorating the tree.
    2. Shopping at night. I don't know why I love it, but I totally do.
    3. Bentleyville. That's this gigantic outdoor light display in Duluth, MN (like 10 min from my house) and we go every year on what ends up being the coldest night of the year and I complain the whole way then declare how fun it was.
    4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. No explanation necessary.
    5. PRESENTS. I love, love, love presents. I enjoy presents coming in the mail and I enjoy waiting for the mailman like an anxious pet in the window.

  11. Christmas is awesome!! I love driving around looking at lights and then stopping and getting a coffee drink or hot cocoa and listening to Christmas music. We like to go through the Christmas episodes of our favorite shows like The Office and Frazier!!

  12. Sooooo I am pretty sure I had those Pooh bear overalls, too hahah I can't wait for you to share your Christmas movie list!!! That's like the best part of Christmas!!! I've already started combing Netflix for the best ones :) We've never done the Christmas PJ thing but I've always wanted to! Christmas PJs sound so fun and it seems like such a fun tradition. We decorated our (fake) tree last night!!! CHRISTMAS IS COMING OMG!!! :)

  13. Great post to get some holiday spirit happening! I have to say, if I had a reason to have Mexican food for Christmas dinner, I'd be one happy lady. Christmas movies are great, aren't they? Elf, Love Actually, It's a Wonderful Life...those are the top 3 that come to mind that I own and break out every year.

  14. I love all of these! Especially the mystery gifts which is hilarious. I remember my grandparents doing that to us a few times when we were kids & I think someone ended up getting a brick wrapped up in a box once. I always enjoy putting up the tree & watching Christmas movies. We've kind of made it a tradition to watch Christmas Vacation every year which I think is one of the best ones! I love looking at lights too! I think this is something that we will have to start doing. AND..thanks for the reminder on the shipping!

  15. I have never had Yorkshire pudding! I love the tradition of eating Mexican food but no one in my family is Mexican so I guess that doesn't really make sense. ;) I'm stressing about buying gifts this year! I need to calm down lol!

  16. Ummmm, I really like all your traditions but my favorite is Mexican food on Christmas eve. Like, that's probably real Mexican food and i'm so jealous!!!! I need to come over for Christmas dinner!

  17. Mexican food is such a fun tradition and so unique- love that! Katie and I were laughing today because we both had those winnie the pooh overalls you're wearing in that pic. :) Also love that your dad gets you guys random presents, that's awesome!

  18. We do many of these too. I enjoy seeing how others have established traditions over the years. Thanks for the link up. A fun post to write.

  19. I love everything about this post! So many fun Christmas traditions! This is definitely my favorite time of year!

  20. I've never heard of the PJ tradition but I really love that idea! And what do you MEAN you only eat mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving/Christmas?! It's one of my favorite foods ever! Buying presents and checking out all the lights/decor are some of my favorite things too!

  21. What fun traditions! The mystery gift sounds hilarious! My family usually does deceptive wrapping. One year, I got my brother something super small but I wrapped it in about 20 layers of taped newspaper in a giant box. Watching him try to open that was the best part of the day. Our oldest brother usually gets us younger siblings gift cards so he's done some clever wrapping (like in an old wrapping paper roll). I thought for sure I was getting a poster!