When thinking back on past Christmas memories, I cherish the family traditions that have persisted through the years. From small activities like baking cookies and decorating gingerbread houses to the bigger ones like our family weekend in Pittsburgh and our Italian Christmas Eve dinner, the one thing that makes these events so special is the people I share them with. Through the many get-together’s and holiday events, we hold our focus on celebrating the reason for the season and honoring the greatest gift of all, the one that makes all other gifts possible, the birth of Jesus Christ. While I’m excitedly looking forward to continuing my family’s traditions, Jeff and I are eager to start a few of our own for our first Christmas married!
Decking The Halls
Nothing gets me more excited for the holiday season like putting on some Christmas tunes and decorating the house with pops of red and all things sparkly. Jeff helps me put up the tree and hang lights and garland outside but he leaves the indoor decorating to me! Over the years, my mom and I have loved getting the Pottery Barn holiday catalog to flip through together for decor and design inspiration. I was so excited to have a house of my own this year to recreate some of my favorite looks!
I’ve always loved the tradition of sending and receiving paper Christmas cards! Some might think it’s “old-fashioned” because everything is digital and on social media now, but my mom always hung and displayed all the cards we received in a common area of the house so we could look at pictures and read the sweet Christmas wishes from our friends and family. With this year being our first Christmas married, I wanted to start this tradition for us!
Local Light Up Night
We live in Bridgeport, a small town in WV. The one thing I love most about our town is the sense of community it brings. For the past 15 years, the city closes down Main Street for an evening to host Light Up Night. At this event local businesses partner to create a magical night of celebration. The street is filled with business tents offering free tasty treats, hot chocolate, and trinkets for kids. Local elementary schools and musical talents sing Christmas carols throughout the night and there is always a spectacular firework show to conclude the night!
Christmas in the City
My favorite family tradition of all! For the past 12 years, my family has spent a weekend in December celebrating Christmas in Pittsburgh, Pa. This city holds many memories to my family as it is where my parents first met, got married, first lived together, and had my older brother and I. We have many relatives that still live there and we visit with them over this special weekend. It is now a city that holds a precious memory of mine, my wedding weekend, which was inspired by this Christmas tradition. Our weekend in Pittsburgh consists of a Friday night dinner with views of the city skyline from Mount Washington at Monterey Bay Fish Grotto, which is where Jeff’s parents so graciously hosted our rehearsal dinner! After dinner, we drive to the heart of the city at Market Square where there is a huge Christmas tree and ice rink around it along with villages of shops and local vendors set up. We then stay the night at the Omni William Penn Hotel, which is where we also had our wedding reception. They decorate the hotel lobby so beautifully for the holiday season where we usually sit and wrap up the night with a coffee or glass of wine. The following day, we visit with family, hit the mall, and stock up on our favorite meats and cheeses from the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company in the Strip District before heading back to WV!
Host Family Dinner
There is nothing quite like sitting around the dining room table and breaking bread with the ones you love! This year, we are planning to have our parents and my grandparents over for a pasta dinner to enjoy good food and fellowship in our newly decorated home!
I have always loved seeing holiday shows and concerts leading up to Christmas whether it was the Nutcracker, Elf, Holiday POP concert, etc. This year, Jeff and I took a little road trip to Louisville, KY to see Brett Eldgredge’s Holiday Concert in an old and intimate theater. It was so enjoyable to sit cozy and listen to live Christmas classics with my hubs! I look forward to finding a Christmas concert or show each year for us to enjoy together, even if it means planning a mini weekend getaway!