It's the most wonderful time of the year: giving gifts, baking cookies & spending lots of time relaxing with family! This year, I'm super excited to watch people open up their gifts - not to toot my own horn, but I think I did a pretty good job shopping ;)! I'm also always thankful for a couple of days off from work. But my most favorite part of the holidays is the traditions. It just wouldn't be the holidays without those passed down holiday traditions or the silly ones that my sister & I started ourselves. Today I'm sharing a few of my favorites...

1. Picking out a real Christmas tree. It's never officially the holiday season for my family until we find the perfect tree to bring home. In the past, we have had to stop by multiple places to find a tree that's up to par ;). We examine what seems like every single tree from all angles until we find one that's just perfect. 

2.  Decorating gingerbread houses. For as long as I can remember, my sister & I have had the tradition of decorating gingerbread houses together during the holiday season. We push everyone out of the kitchen & work on decorating our houses. When our family comes over to celebrate the holidays, we love asking each person to guess who made which house. Silly, but it cracks us up every time when a family member gets it wrong!

3. Waking up early to open gifts. My family is very much a 'stay in bed on weekends' kind of household (except my dad, he's up early every morning without fail!). Christmas morning is the exception to sleeping late on days off. Like children, we all wake up early and head downstairs first thing in the morning to sit around in our PJs and open gifts!

4. Yearly ornaments. Since the year I was born, my grandparents have been gifting my sister & I new ornaments every Christmas. For a while we went through a Santa ornament phase, but now the ornaments reflect something that happened to us during the year. When I was 16, I received a car. At 18, I received a diploma for graduating from HS. At 22, I received an Empire State Building for starting my job in NYC. I can't wait to see what this year's ornament is going to be...

5. Fondue Dinner/Dessert. This is probably our oldest family tradition - even before I was born - our family used to have fondue Christmas dinner. As years passed, instead of looking forward to fondue dinner, we would become slightly impatient with it since it took SO long to cook a single cube of meat. As you can imagine, dinner was a very long process. At some point, a number of years ago, we decided to switch to chocolate fondue dessert. It's now my favorite part of our family's Christmas meal!

 Top: Forever 21 | Jeans: c/o DL 1961 | Boots: Stuart Weitzman 

Share one of your favorite holiday traditions with me in the comments!

Michelle Paige