Favorite Holiday Traditions


If you are like most families, the holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without a family tradition. Whether your traditions are simple or extravagant; or your looking for ideas to start your own, they are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression and make the Christmas season magical! Some of our contributors share their favorite family traditions.

Lighting Candles

“We light a bunch of candles on Christmas Eve and just sit quietly together for a few moments. We’ve been doing it since I was very small and we’ve started the tradition now with my kids.” –Elisabeth Herron Silvaggio

Book Advent Calendar 

“We wrap up 25 books (mostly books we already have, but some new ones mixed in) and put under the tree. Each night, she unwraps a book, and we read together in the glow of the Christmas tree before bed.” –Malini Dutta Swank

Serving Your Community

“My family serves Meals on Wheels every Christmas morning. We have since I was in high school or early college and now my husband and daughter join in as well. It’s so special to be reminded of the importance of giving rather than just getting!” –Shannon Gallatin

Ornaments and PJs

“I get my kids an ornament and new pajamas every year and give them on Christmas eve.” –Sarah Hyatt

Christmas Stockings and Breakfast

“We let the kiddos have their stockings on Christmas Eve. I also love to make a big Christmas breakfast. I look forward to it more than all the other holiday meals!” –Tiarra Householder

Random Acts of Kindness

“We like to do random acts of kindness – buy drinks for the car behind us in line a Starbucks, leave pennies at the Meijer pony ride, buy someone’s breakfast in a restaurant, cut coupons and place them by the products in the grocery store, etc. Also, it’s really fun to “adopt a grandparent” at a nursing home – especially if you have young kids.” –Malini Dutta Swank

Treasured Memories

“To celebrate the first Christmas as a married couple my husband suggested that we each get each other an ornament to help fill our tree. Throughout the years we’ve gotten ornaments that have represented vacations we’ve gone on (like the Eiffel Tower to symbolize our trip to Paris), new homes we’ve moved into, hobbies or interests and even homemade ornaments where we write on a big glass bulb special memories from the year. Now that we have children, we’ve continued the tradition and get them ornaments as well. Each year as we decorate the tree it leads to lots of conversations about each of our treasured ornaments. It’s a trip down memory lane and one of our favorite Christmas traditions.” – Amy Onifer

Relaxed Christmas

“After opening presents we like to lounge around in our Christmas pajamas all day and watch movies. There’s no formal dinner, just a smorgasbord of appetizers to nibble on throughout the day.”- Author


We would love to hear from our readers! What is your favorite family holiday tradition?




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Leslie came to Columbus 2 yrs ago via San Antonio, TX. A Kentucky native that bleeds neither red (Louisville Cardinals) nor blue (Kentucky Wildcats). She is a SAHM, homeschooler and Occupational Therapist (OTR/L) by weekend. Leslie and her husband have two boys, ages 6 and 2, and they love discovering new Columbus parks and restaurants! She proudly embraces the title of "boy mom", even when that means knowing more than she would care to know about dinosaurs. Her everyday wardrobe consists of mainly Nike Dri-Fit and sneakers. Leslie lives for her Burt's Bees lip balm and a good ole top knot bun. You can always find pull-ups, wipes, hand sanitizer, and Welch's fruit snacks in her designer handbag. She loves her family, fashion, interior design, working out, being a soccer mom, renovating the families 1962 ranch with her husband, and making a difference in her patients' lives. She recently became an advocate and volunteer for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. It is her hope to bring awareness and help raise funds, for a cause that is near and dear to her heart. She is also the owner and founder of The Penmanship Lab.