Friday, December 9, 2016

Family Traditions & Simple, Affordable Christmas Decor

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Now that there's a little one in our household it's time to form new traditions to go along with our established ones. (In case you missed it, Graham and I took in my niece Victoria and the adoption will go through in a few months.) So far our established traditions are these:
  • Cookie Day. Graham initiated me into this tradition the second year we were together. His side of the family gets together one day in December to bake dozens and dozens of cookies. I mean A LOT of cookies. I am so excited to introduce Victoria to this tradition next weekend.
  • Collecting ornaments throughout the year. Graham and I make sure to buy an ornament (or something that can be used as an ornament) from everywhere we visit. It's a way to make our souvenirs more meaningful and a way to remind ourselves of our travels and adventures every Christmas season. As we hang each ornament, we say, "Remember this (travel memory)?" It makes putting up the tree more fun.
  • Sending holiday cards to family and friends. We, too, love ordering holiday cards with our favorite photos from the year. It's a common but amazing tradition that I get excited about doing.
  • Giving back either through volunteering, donating, or buying gifts for people in need. This year we chose to buy gifts for two children in need. We've also donated to several causes we care about recently. We might buy more gifts, too! I haven't volunteered as much as I wanted this year, but it's something I want to do more of as a family as Victoria grows up.
  • Decorating together. Our holiday decor is affordable, bright and cheerful. We also like to make our decor personal: Our ornaments are trinkets we collect throughout the year at places we visit and we display loved ones' Christmas cards. I try to keep our spending on Christmas decor minimal because I'd rather spend money on experiences or gifts. 
A glimpse of our home:

I included where we bought our decorations.

These red and green glitter clips were $1 each for a pack of six at Target.

We bought the garland at Lowe's (I think) and I am pretty sure these red bows are from the dollar store.

We bought this ornament and another similar one in Maui.

This ornament was a gift from my sister-in-law in 2014.

This glass vase and small ornaments were $1 each at a dollar store. The candy cane table runner was $5 at Target.
Pine cones and ornaments from Wal-Mart. We previously decorated with real pine cones before moving to Chicago.

We bought this ornament at Tonto National Monument in 2013.

This baked goods box is in the dollar bins at Target. This red tree skirt is from Wayfair for $18.99 (and I got free shipping).

I am not sure what new traditions we will create together as a family of three, but I can't wait to find out. What are your holiday traditions?