Ah, the holidays: from decorating and baking treats to having themed movie marathons, the season evokes memories of our childhood family traditions, many of which we carry into adulthood. No matter how we celebrate, these rituals become as important as the holidays themselves. We asked some of Babble’s Top 100 Mom Bloggers about their favorite holiday traditions, and they shared exactly how they get their families in the holiday spirit. — Dana Kimmelman
Making a Gingerbread House 1 of 12
We make a fantastic, completely over-the-top gingerbread house. Last year, we didn't finish until Valentine's Day.
— KJ Dell'Atonia, Motherlode
Heading to the Beach 2 of 12
Every year at this time, we ALWAYS get incredibly stressed out and tired. I pretty much always want a divorce. December is a ridiculously busy month ... but it's summer down here, so we spend Christmas at the beach. Swimming and falling in love with each other all over again.
— Eden Riley, Edenland
Hitting the Town 3 of 12
Our town has a famous hot dog hideout that we visit religiously when the weather gets chilly. Afterward, we take a brisk walk around the downtown square to look at the massive light displays!
— Erin Loechner, Design for Minikind
Taking It Easy 4 of 12
For years we packed the kids up and schlepped our way through three or four family gatherings a day. It was exhausting, so we pulled the plug on that two years ago, and instead enjoy the holidays with just us, at home, in our pajamas with yummy food and movies at home.
— Brittany Gibbons, Brittany Herself
Worshipping 5 of 12
We have found a very small, 150-year-old stone church that holds 8 p.m. services every Christmas Eve. The worship is conducted in German and by candlelight. I can't begin to explain how peaceful and a step away from the holiday madness it is to sit on the creaky, worn pews, singing with only a hundred other voices, and all of us gathered with the intent to find the peace of the season. It's lovely.
— Alexandra Rosas, Good Day, Regular People
Getting a Tree Together 6 of 12
Every year since our children were born, we have gotten a Christmas tree. The reason this bears merit is that I am a Jew. But who cares? I love getting a tree, decorating the crap out of it, singing Christmas songs, and doing the whole Santa thing.
— Stefanie Wilder Taylor, Baby on Bored
Going All Out with Cooking and Shopping 7 of 12
I overeat, spend too much money, send cards, and feel hopeful despite any and all obvious impediments to such! My family, my children, now join me in my wild debauchery and persistent hope.
— Miriam Novogrodsky, Femamom
Having Quiet Time with My Husband 8 of 12
On Christmas Eve everyone in the house gets new pajamas, and my husband and I stay up late wrapping presents with a fancy cheese and cracker platter with all the cheeses our hearts could dream about. We usually put on a few movies and bask in the tree-glow. It's the calm before the storm.
— Jamie Frayer, Grumbles and Grunts
Shopping for Decorations After Christmas 9 of 12
We get up early the day after Christmas each year to buy new tree ornaments. This tradition started when I was still a single mother and didn't have a lot in my budget for holiday decorations. My daughter got a kick out of getting a fancy, sparkly new ornament for the upcoming year, and it was a good lesson in saving vs. spending. It's gotten even better once my husband joined our family because he's a lot taller, and he can grab finds that my daughter and I had to dismiss before because of our ... vertical disability.
— Elizabeth Jayne Liu, Flourish in Progress
Baking for Hannukah on Christmas Morning 10 of 12
Our inter-faith family makes latkes on Christmas morning. Yum!
— Jillian Lauren, Jillian Lauren
Seeing a Festive Show 11 of 12
Almost every year, I take my older girls to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes. I have been going since I was a kid, and I love that I have continued this tradition with my children. It's pretty much the same show every single year, but there is something magical about the whole thing. Until you leave Radio City Music Hall and the people dressed up in grungy Elmo costumes across Sixth Avenue try to swindle you out of a few bucks — but until that moment, pure magic.
—Kelcey Kintner, The Mama Bird Diaries
Visiting Santa 12 of 12
Every year, we take the kids to sit on the same Santa's lap that we've been going to since my oldest child's first Christmas. I frame that picture and our yearly family photo holiday card, and add them to the growing collection on our mantle. Soon I'll have to spread them out to a second space! I love seeing the progression of our young family through the lens of Christmas like that.
— Jill Krause, Baby Rabies
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