One of the best parts of the holiday season is partaking in family traditions. Like most of you, I love spending time baking cookies, decorating the tree, wrapping presents, watching Christmas movies, and driving around looking at Christmas lights - and all of these activities are even more enjoyable if done with my family.
Here are some of my favorite holiday traditions - I have found sharing experiences with family that we can reminisce about for years to come are the most rewarding holiday traditions of all.
Taking our cookie decorating to a new level, a few years ago we started an annual gingerbread decorating contest. Sometimes we keep it simple with gingerbread people, other years we go all out and decorate elaborate gingerbread houses. Regardless of what we decide to decorate, we all look forward to and greatly enjoy this family tradition (especially my daughter, who ends up eating as much candy as she uses to decorate with!).
We are fortunate to live within driving distance of several places where you can experience a good old-fashioned sleigh ride. There is nothing more beautiful than a vintage sleigh pulled by gorgeous horses through the snow. Bring some hot cocoa and a blanket and enjoy the ride!
A great way to kick off the holiday season is to attend a holiday concert together. Whether it be a school band or a professional symphony orchestra, the music will be festive and put everyone in the holiday spirit!
Small Town Christmas
Visit a quaint town that embraces the holidays and experience the many festivities of a small-town Christmas. Tree-lighting ceremony, chestnuts roasted on an open fire, holiday parade of lights, and a visit by Santa Claus are just a few of the events you may encounter. My husband and I recently attended a Christmas stroll holiday festival - I felt like I was starring in a real-life Hallmark movie!
The holidays bring many opportunities for us to give back to our community. We can host a clothing or toy drive, collect canned food, serve meals at a soup kitchen, purchase gifts for a family in need, or spend time at a retirement home with those who don't have family of their own. A friendly smile and a small amount of our time can make a huge impact on spreading holiday cheer!
Traditions are the stories that families write together - tis the season to add to your family's story!
Award-winning portrait photographer Shannon Edney's photos have been featured on multiple magazine covers with photos published in print and digital advertisements around the world. Based out of Missoula, Montana, Shannon specializes in portrait photography showcasing people, dogs, and horses (all breeds, with a focus on the Arabian horse). Shannon is known for her ability to catch the perfect expression and capture her subjects in unique lighting, resulting in portraits rich in artistry that will be treasured for years to come.