Tag Archive for: holiday traditions

Family Holiday Traditions

family holiday traditions


Family holiday traditions are what make memories.  It’s experiences and gifts you remember for years to come that are repeated annually.  There’s lots of family traditions including annual cookie swaps, trips to the Nutcracker Ballet, or Ugly Sweater competitions.

Every tradition requires planning and organization.  Most important are dates and deadlines. When will you host your tradition? Invite early to be sure your guests are available.  Be sure to make a list of what you need and have it available.


Here are my family holiday traditions.  Each family holiday tradition shares memories of the year that has passed.

Annual Dinner

Each year we take our grandchildren for a fancy holiday dinner in downtown Houston.  It’s just the grands and Gigi and Paps (that’s us!).  It’s our time together to enjoy the holiday lights and drive.  We spend the dinner talking about our holiday together and each of their interests.  It’s a special night together.

holiday dinner

Christmas ornament

Since each grands birth, we have given them an ornament for Christmas. I order these around September in be sure they arrive early.  The theme of each ornament depends on something special each year. Some year’s the ornament is about a special activity that year, like baseball or gymnastics. This year it was an beach ornament for each grand celebrating our beach trip together.  These ornaments are a treasure each year as they place them on the tree. The ornaments have their names and year on each one.


personalized Christmas ornament

Pap’s Photo Album

My husband, aka Paps, only Christmas gift is an annual photo album.  I started these albums when we had print photos!  It takes time to gather the photos from the year.  I gather these from all the spots that photos comes from including my camera, my phone, his phone, and all my family.  I upload these and create an annual photo album filled with all the year’s fun.   Throughout the year I organize the photos with this album in mind and work on it throughout the month of December.  It’s the gift cherished by my husband everyone in the family looks at it all year.


I’d love to learn about your family holiday traditions too!  Post these in the comment please.

Happy organizing and Happy Holidays!







Holiday Traditions

The joy of the season is in sharing our time with family and friends. Here are some simple ways to  create special holiday traditions and share the fun of the season

Set a time to cook your family favorites together. One family has a traditional pierogie recipe that they make together 2 weeks before Christmas.  It takes all day and they spend it together.

Set a family holiday gathering time that is NOT Christmas Eve or Day. Calendar a time, such as the 2nd Saturday of December or December 26, to gather together. This eliminates stress on the holiday itself and helps families feel they can be at home for the holiday.

Instead of  buying individual family gifts, host a White Elephant Swap with ornaments, holiday decor, or crazy funny gifts. Include a purchase price limit that is affordable for all family members.  Not only is the game fun, this is a budget friendly way to share just a little something for the holidays.

Purchase only stocking stuffer gifts for your family.  Small functional items such as flash lights, gift cards or chapstick, can be great gifts and require no gift wrap. 

Host a decorating or gift wrapping party!  Have all your family members decorate a different room,   wrap presents together for other family members, or help with the outdoor lights.  Set the music up high, serve some holiday cookies and you are all set!

Want to spend a girls night in?  Host a “girls’ favorite things” party. Just like on Oprah, everyone brings their one favorite thing, from lipstick to gloves.  Attendees wrap their item in a brown bag and they swap items.   What a great idea for a low stress gathering of the girls!

Starting new traditions makes the holidays even more merry and bright.  What family traditions are a special part of your holiday?

Make A Difference with Holiday Donations

At this time of year we feel abundantly blessed!  Make a difference for your family in donating toys to area philanthropies needing donations. Here is a list from the most recent Kingwood Observer. 


Empty Stocking Project/ Humble ISD/HAAM                   


Food, monetary donations, toys


Society of St. Stephen                                                  


Toys, food


The Mission                                                              


Food, monetary donations, toys


Village Learning Center                                             


Sponsor a client, subscriptions, DVDs, gift certificates




Toys, teenager gift cards


Find a worthy cause that you are passionate about. Help your children part with toys and more to take to the facility.  Take your children with you to make the donation. Create an annual holiday tradition around this event.  Can you think of anything more rewarding during this holiday season?


Please add your worthy cause as a comment below so we can share! 


Start a new holiday tradition: Clutter free gifts

clutter free gifts


Each year we really want our holidays to be special.  Purchasing just the right gift, being sure it arrives on time, wrapping it, and budgeting for all the gifts can all be overwhelming, paralyzing and most especially not in the spirit of the season.  Is it time to rethink gift giving and simplify?  Start a new holiday tradition with clutter free gifts for your family and friends.

Our family is moving to the next step of gift giving. We are going to share in the fun of creating our Delap Family Cookbook. Everyone contributes recipes for this.  We  will print it and share it with the spirit of the season.

For our grands, we are giving memberships to the Houston Children’s Museum   www.cmhouston.org  and Houston Zoo  www.houstonzoo.org.  It is all about the experiences we will share as we go together to these places.

So here are some other conscious consumerism ideas. What creative and fun ideas will your family share this holiday?






Make some yummy treats to share with your friends and family too!

Ellen’s Banana Bread




½ c oil

1 ½ c sugar

1 t salt

1t baking soda

4 T milk

2 beaten eggs

3 very  ripe bananas mashed

2 c flour



Mix all together n electric mixer in the order given. Bake in 2 loaf pans sprayed with Baker’s Joy.   Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Freezes well!