There is no denying that this is my favorite time of year! I love it for so many reasons, but one of the biggest ones is that I get to relax and be with the people I love the most. I get to enjoy fun holiday treats that I may not eat at any other time of the year, and my room is decorated with Christmas lights and garland. Today, I wanted to chat a little bit about this time of year, my family’s traditions, and how we celebrate the holidays in my home!
I’m not going to lie; it can be difficult for me to get into the holiday spirit when I am still in school! I am in my third year of college and I am currently studying for finals, which can be pretty stressful. I am trying to get into the holiday spirit, but I feel like I will fully get into it once the semester is over (2 more finals to go)! During the holidays, I love to just be at home, watching Christmas movies and wearing cozy pajamas. I used to drink hot chocolate almost every day because I was so obsessed with it. Now I really only drink it occasionally, but even more so around Christmas time!
My family has quite a few little traditions that we follow every single year. Most of them are small, but they’re meaningful to my family. Every year, my mom will get us Christmas pajamas and fuzzy socks on Christmas Eve (they’re usually matching in some way), and we have a little party for my immediate family. We always do our own version of “The Feast of the Seven Fishes”. My Grandma and Mom will always make clams, shrimp, and sometimes lobster tails and we will also have cheese plates, fruit and vegetable plates, bowls of chips and dip, and all of the desserts including cookies, ice cream, and pie. We’ll play some Christmas music and just hang out in the dining and living room for a bit. After this, a few of us will sometimes play a bored game like Pictionary (my uncle and I are always a team and we always win). This is actually a more recent tradition, but my siblings and I will also play Mario Kart or Mario Party before we all go to bed on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Even though I am getting older and some of that Christmas magic is no longer with me, I still end up waking up early on Christmas Day. I still get excited. My parents have actually told me that before me and my siblings were born, they used to open presents on Christmas Eve, but I never really liked the idea. On Christmas, once everyone is awake, we will start to go through our stockings and open gifts. Christmas music will be playing in the background as we open our gifts one by one. Every year we end up laughing so much because my family will sometimes write “To: (insert embarrassing or random nickname they call us here)” on our presents. There’s nothing better than seeing your loved ones reactions when opening gifts that you picked out for them and with my family’s sense of humor, there is bound to be some weird/funny gift exchanges! I feel extremely grateful to receive gifts on Christmas from my family members.
After this, we will just spend some time together and I’ll definitely be eating all of the chocolate in my stocking! Every Christmas dinner has been the same for us for quite a while now: stuffed shells (because you can never go wrong with pasta)! My Mom usually makes the shells with ricotta and mozzarella cheese with marinara sauce. It is so delicious and I always look forward to having it! Then a little while later we will take out some of the leftover cheese plates, fruit, chips, and desserts from Christmas Eve! We also have a variety of drinks out on the table.
For New Years Eve, we celebrate later on in the day. Once again, we will put a few snacks out on the dining room table, and we will have the TV on to watch the ball drop in New York City at midnight. We’ll take some photos and get our noise makers and whistles ready. At this point, I am already in my pajamas. We also follow another tradition on this day: before the stroke of midnight, my family needs to eat 12 grapes for the 12 months ahead, and if you finish all of your grapes before midnight you will have good luck in the New Year! I am not sure where this tradition really came from, but we’ve been doing it all our lives. Once midnight hits, my family goes around the room to hug each other and say “Happy New Year”. On New Year’s Day, we always go to one of our favorite Italian restaurants for lunch, and after this, the celebrations come to an end and we begin the New Year with each other, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about me and my family and how we celebrate the holidays! Leave me a comment below, and tell me how you celebrate the holidays or if you have any traditions you follow! Thank you for reading!