Mixing Festive Holiday Traditions: Old and New
I love kicking off the holiday season with my favorite traditions - and creating new ones each year! Indulging in festive activities is a surefire way to get in the holiday spirit. This time of the year I’m always reminiscing about the traditions I was lucky enough to have with my family growing up. My mom always took time to decorate sugar cookies from scratch together or surprise me with new pajamas on Christmas eve each year. From advent calendars to drinking hot cocoa with extra marshmallows , holiday traditions make the season oh-so-magical. It's where all the memories are made!
As I get older, I love mixing old traditions (ones with my family I've done over the years) with new ones. The weather is notoriously gloomy in December, so it’s also just fun to have cozy things to look forward to. Here’s a few of my favorite holiday traditions that I keep holding onto:
Decorating Mini Rosemary Trees
Living in small spaces means getting crafty sometimes, so I tend to stick with simple decorations. While I love getting a fresh tree every year, I also love grabbing a mini rosemary bush and decorating it as a “mini tree”. You can grab small rosemary bushes at Trader Joes or at local nurseries and I just end up using whatever left over Christmas ornaments I have to decorate it with. Plus, it smells amazing! How cute is this one from last year?
New Christmas Pajamas
Christmas pajamas are the bee’s knees! Getting a new pair of pjs take me right back to being a kid and it’s totally fun to get a (sort of) silly pajama set I might not normally get during the rest of the year. This year I snagged this red and white stripe pair from Target and they’re super warm and soft as a t-shirt. And there's basically nothing better than cozy pajamas during the thick of winter.
I’ve talked about how incorporating more reading into my lifestyle has been such a positive change, so towards the end of the year I love stopping by a couple of the "little free libraries" around town to donate some books I won’t read again (and maybe snag some new ones in exchange, too). I did this last year and plan to do it again as a tradition to share some good books with strangers. It's a kind gesture and easy to do! If you don't have a "free little library" in your city, donate your books to a used book store. I read a lot of contemporary novels and used bookstores always seem to appreciate having some new, in-demand titles.
Decorating Sugar Cookies
What’s Christmas without a little sugar rush? Sugar cookies are equally delicious and fun to decorate -- and since discovering Miss Jones Baking co., I no longer have solo melt-downs in the kitchen after messing up the cookie dough (it’s happened more than I’d like to admit). Their organic baking mixes taste like they’re made from scratch but are wayyy easier to make! Seriously - I've gotten somewhat better in the baking department over the last year, but baking has never been my strong suit so finding their stuff has really allowed me to get into baking more. I'm now actually excited to bring baked goods to work or events because I know I won't screw them up anymore - ha! They have this organic peppermint frosting for the season right now that’s extra tasty, too. I've been smothering it on brownies and sugar cookies and it adds a sweet crunch on top.
Bonus: If you have any bakers on your holiday list this year, they make really cute gift boxes and sell them on their website - they’re pretty affordable and make creative gifts!
Making Mulled Wine
I love hot cocoa, but a favorite "grown up" treat of mine during the holiday season is definitely mulled wine. I'm obsessed with spicy Chai so mulled wine is basically a dream come true for me. It's easy to make on the stove top and makes the house smell ahhhh-mazing. Here's a great recipe. I love adding an orange peel as a garnish, too!
What are your favorite holiday traditions? I’d love to know!