Monday, December 17, 2018

Family Christmas Traditions + 4 Decorating Tips

Today I am hitting you with some of my favorite holiday family traditions, which probably many of you do too! The most popular one in my family is Gingerbread House making! My family is super competitive so we always talk crap to each other during the process - it's the best, haha! 

Gingerbread House Making Tips: 

I. If you don't plan on eating your gingerbread house (we don't), I suggest hot gluing the house together! It's way easier than using icing.. trust me! We did one with icing this year and you really have to hold it to keep it together for a minute or two, then it has to sit for 3-4 hours before using, whereas hot glue will be done literally as soon as it dries which is rather quick. 

II. Get extra candy aside from the ones that come in the individual gingerbread box. My family likes to get lots of different candy then put them in bowls along the table. If we all have the same exact candy to use, there's really no room to be creative or unique with your house! 

III. Dye some icing whatever color you wish to give everyone more options to choose from. This year we had the regular white, blue, red, and green! 

IV. Lay something on the table for easy clean up. We used freezer paper, but you can use newspaper, an old sheet, parchment paper, or anything really to ensure you keep the table clean and it won't take nearly as long during the clean up process. 

Aside from Gingerbread house making, here a few of my other favorite Family Christmas Traditions:

Drive Around and Look at Christmas lights Together 
This is a pretty basic one but it's one of my favorites to do. Look up some of the best and most popular neighborhoods before going! My dad always knows a ton off the top of his head (most of which are the ones that have the lights changing to beats of music!) 

Attend a Candlelight Service
If you aren't religious, you can skip this one, but this is something I always do with my mom at her church every year. It's a nice reminder of why we celebrate Christmas, plus it's always nice to be with church family during this time of year.

Walk through the Trail of Lights in Austin, Texas
This particularly applies to people that live locally but I recommend looking up the best places to look at Christmas lights in your area. Not the neighborhoods, but the towns and trails that are created specifically for this time of year! Johnson City is also one of my family's favorite places to go! It's a little bit of a drive for us but it's a great time for the whole family that definitely gets you in the Christmas spirit.

Have a Christmas Movie Marathon
Some of the best movies are Christmas movies! Make some hot chocolate and cuddle up with a warm blanket on the couch with your family and friends. Some of my favorites are: Home Alone, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Santa Clause, The Polar Express, Jingle All The Way, Four Christmases, Jack Frost, Christmas with The Kranks, Elf, & I'll be Home for Christmas.

Have a Christmas Baking Day
This was always my favorite to do with my Mema. She passed away back in 2010, but her memories will last a lifetime. She was always the best about letting my cousins and I help her decorate cookies in the kitchen during this time of year and it will most definitely be something I do with my children. 

Create Ornaments Together
I've only done this with my family once actually, but my boss always treats my coworkers and I to lunch and takes us to a place called, Ceramics & More, that allows us to pick out one ornament and paint it! It's been a fun one that I've enjoyed over the last several years and I think doing it with your kids would be fun too!

Play the White Elephant Gift Exchange Game
My family hasn't done this one in a hot minute, but we used to do it every year. I have got to bring it back next year! If you aren't familiar with the rules, look here. It's so much fun and hilarious to see what each person brings and who wants to keep what! 

Those are some of my favorites that my family has done over the years. What are some Christmas Traditions your family does?! I'd love to hear!

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