Wednesday, November 19, 2014

5 Favorite Christmas Traditions {+Giveaway}

I don't know if it's because I'm home all day, JaiseAnn's wearing warmer jammies, or because it snowed but I have been really embracing the holiday spirit. I am so excited about wearing sweaters, drinking hot drinks, and spending time with family. The holidays seem to have a sense of surprise and excitement, but also a sense of dependability. Traditions are so common during the holidays.

Even though it's not quite Thanksgiving yet, I thought I would share my five of my favorite holiday season traditions with you---and I'd love to hear yours. So stick around, there's a giveaway at the end of all of this!

1.One Thing We're Thankful For
My family doesn't have a lot of Thanksgiving traditions...we eat, there's usually football (ugh), and we eat some more. Usually during the meal my mom will have us stop to name one thing we are thankful for. It's one of my favorite parts of the meal and I always look forward to it.

2. Decorating for Christmas
I have always loved putting on Christmas music and decorating for Christmas. Now that Zach's part of the picture, we've melded our traditions. I decorate the house to my Christmas music (usually the Country Christmas station on Pandora). We then decorate the tree together and follow that up with watching A Muppet Christmas Carol--like Zach did every year growing up. It's one of his treasured traditions and I am so excited to include JaiseAnn in it. She won't really understand this year, but she'll love it in the coming years.

3. Pajamas on Christmas Eve
My mom always gives us pajamas on Christmas Eve. I love having one present to open the night before and I love wearing my new pajamas on Christmas morning. It's a tradition I will be passing down to JaiseAnn and any future children as well.

4.  Santa
Santa still stops at our house...and my mom's house. I love Santa! I love everything about the idea, concept, magic of Santa. I can't get enough Santa movies at Christmastime and I love having Santa visit our home. (I remember my first Christmas with Zach's family, I was a little sad to be leaving the way I knew things at Christmas behind. I asked him, "Does Santa still stop at your house?" He told me that he did--so you can imagine my sadness when he did not actually stop by. It's not about the gifts, it's about the concept of Santa that I really love. When I told Zach that he lied he was like, "Well no, he doesn't come by, not any more. Not that we're grown!") Well, Santa will be a staple in our house for the remainder of my life at least.

5. Christmas Shopping
 I know that seems silly, but I love buying gifts for other people. With a tighter budget, I've had to get creative, but I love figuring out a list of gifts and crossing them off my list. I used to go Black Friday shopping with my mom. I was more motivated by the idea of food at some point during our excursions than the shopping part. I will not be participating in the sales this year--as most of them are the night of Thanksgiving and I just will not do that.  My mom and I also hit up a Christmas bazaar every year and we pick up a few gifts while we're out (and then go out to dinner after). It's one of my favorite ways to get my Christmas shopping done.  (For more about how we give gifts at Christmastime in our home see here).

Whether you plan to hit up the Black Friday sales or plan to stay home and shop from the comfort of your computer, I've got great news for you! These lovely ladies and I have teamed up to bring you SEVEN $25 gift cards from our favorite stores, just in time for some holiday shopping! Get everyone on your list their favorites from Target, Anthropologie, Etsy, Amazon, H&M, Sephora, and Gap. You can enter below. Giveaway ends on November 27th. All entries will be verified. Good luck!

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