There’s no time of year I love more than the holiday season! It’s a time I spend reflecting on friends, family, and everything else the Lord has blessed me with. In my opinion, the holidays have always been more about togetherness, family, and giving thanks than they are about gifts and Santa-related festivities. Don’t get me wrong — it can be nice to give and receive gifts, and Santa never hurt anybody, but it’s important to remember that there is so much more to the holidays than the stereotypes.
It has always been my dream to spend the holidays the way people to do in the movies: surrounded by family, with lots of great traditions and foods, and taking the time to remember why we celebrate in the first place!
Below are just a few of the traditions my little family has taken up:
Decorating the Christmas Tree
Every year, my family decorates our Christmas tree with unique ornaments that are special to us! In the Saffold household, decorating the tree is a family affair. Granted, we’re not the most organized bunch around, but all of our ornaments are very personal, and putting them on display means a lot. from Rodger and I’s first Christmas spent together, to our first pet, first child, first home, moving to Cali…we’ve got a unique ornament for them all!
Wearing PJs by the Tree
We’re a very Netflix-and-chill type of family, and the holidays are no exception. My husband’s job is physically demanding and time-consuming, so when he gets time off, we love to cuddle up as a family and enjoy some quiet time together! But who says you can’t Netflix and chill in style? Every year, we get new PJs for the holidays, in part because the kids grow out of their clothes so quickly! I love dressing up together and taking photos by our Christmas tree. Years from now, I’m sure our annual holiday photos will bring back lots of memories. These photographs are also a great way to track the kids’ growth! This year I found the cutest pj sets for the kids from Cotton On Kids. I also picked up some adorable masks and cape sets from there, which by the way were major hits for both the kids…super fun!
Making a Big Breakfast
The Saffolds love food, and breakfast is our favorite meal of the day! We go all out on Christmas. I added a few of our favorite dishes from my good friend Ayesha Curry’s bestselling cookbook called The Seasoned Life. Her challah French toast and holiday smoothie are to die for!
Making Pie for Santa
It’s funny how this tradition came about. Aaliyah and I were playing make-believe like we always do, and I was Santa. She was the good little girl, and I was pretending to come down the chimney when she greeted me with “pie and milk.” Yes, that’s right — pie and milk instead of cookies. According to Aaliyah, Santa prefers pie. So we now prepare apple pie the night before Christmas and leave a slice out for Santa, along with a personalized note from each the kiddos!
We Saffolds love Christmas movies, and I can’t imagine a better way to spend our holiday than curling up in bed or on the couch and watching our favorites. We’re always open to new Christmas movies, but the following films have always been a real holiday treat for us:
1 A Christmas Story
2 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
3 Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
4 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
5 This Christmas
Keep It About Christ
Remember the meaning of the holidays. In our family, we take time to recognize how blessed we are to have an amazing Lord who died on the cross for us so that we can live more abundant lives! I thought it would be a good idea to give thoughtful cards to my family this year, and share how much I love and appreciate them. For as long as I can remember, I have saved and collected cards for my family. In fact, I have cards that I received on my fifth birthday that I’ve saved. There’s something about a handwritten letter that is simply timeless. I got these custom cards made by my cousin Karly!
I encourage everyone to develop their own unique set of holiday traditions. Family traditions make the holidays much more personal because they mean something to you. Instead of relying on what everyone else does, celebrate in a way that feels right to you and your family.
I wish you all a very merry holiday season!