Day 11 of the 12 Days of Joy Favorite Holiday Traditions

Day 11 of 12 Days of Joy

Favorite Holiday Traditions

Traditions Provide Comfort and Joy During the Holidays

Holiday traditions often provide comfort, joy, and beautiful memories. Traditions offer stability and a valued connection to family.  As long as you remain flexible and allow that some years may change slightly or even a lot from traditions, you will be able to relax and enjoy the Holidays. Avoid perfect holiday syndrome (not sure if that is really a thing or if I just made that up).

The year I moved from Wisconsin to Colorado and left all of our extended family, we traveled back for Christmas. It was great seeing people, but very hectic. After that year, we decided it was important to stay in Colorado. We would still travel to see family but not at Christmas.  It was hard at first, to create some new traditions, but it all worked out. Part of letting it work out was letting go.

There are traditions we have created as a family in Colorado and some that I have loved and enjoyed all my life. Our traditions are in a state of change as well with grown children, significant others, and grand-children enter the picture.

Some of my favorite holiday traditions:

Giving. Even giving your extra change makes a difference. I love donating blankets for homeless people. And I feel extra generous with tipping people in the service industry.

My Blog. I cherish doing my annual 12-day blogging event each year during the Holidays. The time I devote to thinking, writing, posting, and sharing keeps my focus on inner qualities and helps me stay peaceful and calm. Plus I love drawing a winner at the end and I love offering specials and freebies during the event. It feels like a 12-day party, but one that is energy expanding instead of energy-consuming.

The Music. From Handels Messiah to contemporary songs like Mariah Carey’s,  All I Want for Christmas is You. My favorite tradition is the music. My Sirius XM satellite radio is set on the holiday channels. I also like the classics. My favorite song is O Holy Night loving (Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, and Josh Groban’s versions). And also Luciano Pavoratti and Placido Domingo’s duo of this song always brings out a few tears. Pretty much everyone loves the movie and song, White Christmas.  The songs take me back to memories of caroling with my parents and attending Christmas programs throughout the years.

The Movies. New movies debut at the box office and traditional favorites play on TV and Netflix. My husband and son love movies, so it is a fun family thing to do. Netflix originals are fun, too. This season I have seen Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Knives Out, 21 Bridges, Ford vs Ferrari, and Midway. I plan on seeing a few more including Uncut Gems and 1917.

My favorite traditional Christmas movies include White Christmas, A Christmas Carol, A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Miracle on 34th St.

Church Services. My favorite is the candlelight service on Christmas Eve when the lights are dimmed, everyone is holding a candle and we all sing Silent Night acapella together.

Happiness and Joy

Christmas Lights. For the past couple of years, we have enjoyed the lights at the Blossom of Lights at Denver Botanical Gardens on York Street, We also love driving through neighborhoods and enjoying the lights.

The Tree. I put up several different size trees in my home. This year we have a puppy, so I didn’t put any ornaments on the trees because she chews everything. They are still pretty with just the lights.

The Stockings. Filling stockings with fun items is a joy. Christmas chocolate, cologne, jewelry, socks, hats, gift cards, are some things that may find their way into a stocking.

The Food. Homemade Christmas cookies are the best. Sugar cookies with frosting, rum balls, peanut butter balls, and fudge are a few yummy ones. Christmas Eve, we make appetizers, soup (this year it will be my famous chili), and desserts. Christmas day morning- breakfast burritos, mimosas, and cinnamon rolls, then Christmas dinner is normally ham, asparagus, roasted Brussel sprouts, potatoes, with pecan pie for dessert (I cheat and buy Marie Calendars Southern Pecan Pie). We enjoy delicious wine with dinner and host between 8 and 12 people.

This is my favorite easy Fudge recipe (it’s on the back of the Kraft Marshmallow Creme Jar):

cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine
small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup) (Do not use sweetened condensed milk.)
pkg. (4 oz. each) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped
jar (7 oz.) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
cup chopped PLANTERS Walnuts
tsp. vanilla
Line 9-inch square pan with Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Bring sugar, butter and evaporated milk to full rolling boil in 3-qt. saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 4 min. or until candy thermometer reaches 234°F, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Add chocolate and marshmallow creme; stir until melted. Add nuts and vanilla; mix well.
Pour into prepared pan; spread to cover bottom of pan. Cool completely. Use foil handles to lift fudge from pan before cutting into 1-inch squares.

The Drinks. Tom and Jerry’s. It is a batter that is available everywhere in northern MN and WI, but almost impossible to find in Colorado. It has to be special ordered. The recipe I like is half shot of rum, a half shot of brandy, a cup of hot water and a large spoonful of Tom and Jerry Batter. Don’t stir, leave the batter on top and then sprinkle with nutmeg. Sip the drink through the batter which becomes foamy when it touches the hot water.

Shopping and Wrapping. I love picking out gifts for people and I shop the stores as well as online. My kiddos love  American Eagle, the Gap, Dick’s Sporting goods. Kohls and Amazon are shopping favorites, too, because there is something for everyone. All the women love Victoria’s Secret. Another tradition is shopping small businesses. I like supporting local small businesses. Some years I love wrapping presents and create an elaborate theme. Other years, wrapping feels exhausting and I just get gift bags or decorated boxes.

Opening presents. We open one present on Christmas Eve and the rest of the gifts on Christmas Day morning. I send presents to my parents, my kids out of state,  and my in-laws.

Holiday Vacations  Often, we go on a trip right after Christmas and spend New Years on a beach. This year, we are cruising.

The most important part of all of these traditions is being with people I love.

If you enjoyed this article, you will really appreciate this article on More Joy During the Holiday Season

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I would love to hear about your traditions. Please share your comments.

In Happiness,

Sheri Kaye Hoff

Coach, Trainer, and Author, Sheri Kaye Hoff, is a Business Coach known for inspiring massive action and a catalyst for personal and business growth, joy, and profits in a way that is fun, relaxing, and fulfilling, Sheri inspires people to do the work they love and make more money. Sheri helps business owners and professionals to relax into success. She uses both spiritual and practical techniques to obliterate blocks and create dramatic change. She is a business, leadership, happiness, and inner game expert. She has overcome nearly dying, and the loss of her brother at an early age. She has made it her life mission to discover the keys to happiness and success and then share them with her clients and community. Learn More About Sheri


4 thoughts on “Day 11 of the 12 Days of Joy Favorite Holiday Traditions

  1. We have traditional foods — cheeseball, little smokies and a cheese/regular/caramel popcorn tin — for Christmas Eve dinner. I also love the tradition of singing Silent Night at Christmas Eve church service with all the lit candles. I always sing one verse in German (even if no one else does) because that was a tradition from my childhood church. (And it’s some of the very little German I know.)

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