Winterberry Farm and holiday traditions

When we were kids, my parents had a few traditions around the holidays.  We decorated a tree.  We always spent the night at grandma’s.  My uncle was always Santa Claus (well, Father Frost, but same difference).  New Year’s eve was our holiday and we did it as a family.  When we moved to the US, new traditions emerged.  We got our “Christmas tree” on Christmas eve because we didn’t celebrate until New Year’s and, hey, why not get a free tree?  Along with a tree on Christmas Eve, our family traditions included getting in a fight over decorating the tree and opening all our gifts before midnight.  You see, my personality rings completely true to those of my family – we’re passionate, impatient, and opinionated.  Throw 4 of us into one room and the sparks are hard to miss.  We love one another endlessly.

When Jon and I started a family of our own (with two pups in tow), we didn’t really have any traditions.  We went along with whatever everyone else was doing – Christmas at Gigi’s?  Sure.  New Year’s out with my folks?  We’re in.  We were always game for sleeping on a floors, the couch, or whatever else was around.  We had no ties to our “home” and we were both happy to be with our family for the holidays. When we had our first baby, our traditions started to evolve.  We love watching our kids walk down the hallway on Christmas morning.  We always wrap gifts last minute :)  We still try to spend as much time with family as possible – Christmas afternoon at grandma’s and New Year’s with my folks.

And along with these traditions, we’ve created the tree-getting traditions at Winterberry Farm.

Winterberry Farm 2010: 2 pups and no babies.

Winterberry Farm 2012 (for whatever reason I didn’t blog our 2011 photos): 1 almost 2 year old in tow and a very pregnant belly.

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Do you have family traditions?


  1. Christmas Eve was always the big day in my family growing up. We lived just miles from both sets of grandparents so we’d spend the afternoon, eat supper then open presents with my Dad’s side. Then we’d head to my mom’s side for the rest of the evening. Until I started dating TNT I didn’t realize Christmas Day was actually the “big” day.

    I think my Sophomore year of HS my mom, sister, step-dad and I decided not to do a tree or any decorating. We still did the gift exchange and had a toned down Christmas. It was the absolute best Christmas’ ever. I continued that way until 3 years ago when TNT begged for a tree. But this year I’m not putting anything up. One more hassle in this super hectic life right now.

    TNT and I do spend Christmas Eve together and we really enjoy exchanging gifts and then watching the fur kids play with their new toys.

  2. So sweet, those girls are so adorable!! We do a lot with my Mom, she’s a widow and I hate her spending any part of Christmas alone. The year my Dad died (2010) we all spent the night at my mom’s Christmas Eve and opened gifts together Christmas morning, since then, we still do it every year and it’s something we all look forward to doing.

  3. When I was a kid we would get up nice and early and open all the presents then my grandma would come over and we would have a huge dinner (just like Thanksgiving). Santa would only bring stocking gifts, all the presents under the tree were from Mom and Dad.
    When I got married by ex-husband always wanted us to travel from Kentucky to Northern Indiana to spend Christmas with his parents. We would go to Midnight mass on Christmas Eve, my exmother in law would make a nice breakfast and we would open gifts there. But once my son was born I wanted to stay at home so usually my in laws would come for a visit before or after Christmas.
    Then when I got remarried by new hubby’s parent’s hosted all his siblings on Christmas Eve. We exchanged gifts with them and then on Christmas Day it would just be us and our 3 boys and eventually 1 girl.
    Then we moved from Kentucky to southern Alabama so now it is just Christmas Eve service and then our immediate family on Christmas Day.

    So I guess we really don’t have any family traditions per say because each year it changes depending on where we live and who lives close by or who can visit, etc.

  4. OMG, your girls are the cutest things ever!!!!

    One tradition at my house growing up was that we got to open one gift on Christmas Eve. It was always a pair of pajamas to wear to bed. That is something I want to be a tradition at our house now. Cameron got a cute sleeper last year. This year we all have pjs to wear that coordinate. I promise they aren’t matchy, just coordinate.

  5. I love, love, love Christmas, and I love family and traditions. So special!

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