Favorite holiday traditions: Trees and stockings and lights, oh my!

Monday, December 22, 2014

I absolutely adore the holiday season. For so many reasons, this really is the most wonderful time of the year! Spending time with family and friends, having some time off of work to really focus and re-energize, and giving heartfelt gifts to others always makes me incredibly happy. 

It's only the first technical day of break, and I'm already so excited to carry on many of the traditions Dan and I have started over the past several years. These are a few of my favorite things about the holidays! 

Decorating the tree with ornaments from our trips together!

Dan and I made sure to get our tree up in early December this year. I love having it set up for the whole month so that we can really enjoy it. We moved it from the normal window spot upstairs this year to our downstairs this year. Since we've been spending more time down there, it's been really nice to enjoy the glow in the evening! We also started a special spot on our tree for all the trips we've taken. We try to pick up an ornament every time we go somewhere new so that we can look back on our travels over the years. In this photo, we have ornaments from Mission Point Lighthouse (from our first trip together to Traverse City), a beer can from the Yuengling tour we went on in Pennsylvania, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn from our European tour in 2013, and bulbs from Greece and Seattle this year. Ornaments with meaning make them so fun to put up, and we love reminiscing about our trips!

Christmas crafting!

I'm a sucker for a great Christmas craft. Last year, I made this fabulous bulb wreath  to hang on our front door. A few bulbs came loose over the year in storage, but I love doing something fun and holiday-ish that I can display in the house. And bonus: I picked up some really cheap ornaments last year after the holidays so that I can make more wreaths for way cheaper than what I paid for this one! You can't beat that! 

Lights, hot chocolate, action!
Dan and I only started this tradition last year, but it's honestly one of the things I look forward to most during the holiday season. We wait until it gets dark, and then we head over to the South Bend Chocolate Cafe to pick up hot chocolate. After that, we drive to a few local neighborhoods to see the beautiful Christmas lights while we listen to holiday music! I just love spending time together enjoying the lights. It's an inexpensive date night and gets us both in the Christmas spirit! 

Stocking stuffers! 

We added a special little stocking to our mix this year. :) Dan's family is really big on stocking stuffers, and Dan really enjoys thinking about what the best items for each person's stocking would be. In turn, it's caused me to start thinking more about the things I put in stockings too instead of just cramming them full of candy! I had such a blast picking out Dan's stocking stuffers this year, and I hope everyone else likes the ones we chose for them this year too! 

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? I'm always looking to add more! 


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