It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And after the year we’ve had, we all deserve some happiness this holiday season. At the Ireland home, we are busy baking cookies, attending (socially safe) holiday events, getting together with SOME family and friends… and still finding time to make some new family memories.
Here are few of our family holiday traditions of old and new:
- Butch Bando Fantasy of Lights: This is a local event that we’ve attended the last three years. The drive through light show is held at Alum Creek State Park and has hundreds of different holiday displays like Santa Olympics and the 12 days of Christmas. This year, the kids even got to meet Mrs. Claus! It’s a great way to enjoy lights and Christmas music without stepping foot outside of your vehicle.
- Columbus Zoo Lights: Another local tradition. We love attending zoo lights on a warm winter evening. I know many local zoos host similar shows across the nation. While we don’t get to see many animals during this time, the lights really are an amazing thing to see and experience.
- The Nutcracker: I grew up going to The Nutcracker with my mom every year. I remember buying a new dress and having lunch out before the show. This year, Eden is cast in the New Albany Ballet Company Nutcracker performance, but it has been postponed until January.
- Holiday “parties” in person or via Zoom: Isn’t it a weird thing to say “in person” parties as if a party would be held any differently? Only in 2020. We haven’t really been around many people but our small inner circle, but we are trying to make the best out of the time spent with the ones closest to us by watching Christmas movies, baking and making Christmas ornaments.
- Christmas Tree: the weekend before Thanksgiving every year, our family treks out to a local tree farm to find the perfect family Christmas tree. We started this tradition a few years ago and it’s now one of my favorite things to do during the holidays. I didn’t grow up cutting down our own tree, so this is a new one for me. The kids love helping dad pick out the Griswold Christmas tree.
- Salvation Army Bell Ringing: I took the older two kids to our local Kroger this year to ring the bell for the Salvation Army. This was a really cool learning experience for them and a great way to give back in a small way.
- Christmas Movies: Honestly, Christmas time is the only time of the year, I actually sit and watch a lot of TV. I love watching all the classic Christmas movies. Some of my favorites: National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Elf, Home Alone, Santa Claus, A Christmas Story, Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, The Holiday, Love Actually… oh there are so many!
- Christmas Eve: We usually attend family Christmas Eve parties while the kids track Santa on my phone, but that will be canceled this year. The kids will still track Santa, but we are on the hunt for a new Christmas Eve tradition. We won’t be going to Church that evening either… I’m thinking some cookie baking, hot chocolate and maybe a walk around our neighborhood at night to see the lights!
- Christmas Day: I usually host Christmas Day at our home with our family. This year, I hosted Thanksgiving so my mom is taking on Christmas. We have a set menu that never changes. (Coming Soon to My Cousin’s Kitchen). The kids open gifts and play all day while we sip mimosas and eat great food!
- Road Trip. After Christmas, we load up the car and set out on a LONG road trip to Arkansas. It typically takes us 12 hours one way, so we have to get mighty creative for all of that car time. I will share a holiday travel with kids post later this month!
What are some of your favorite family holiday traditions?? Comment below and let me know!