One of my favorite traditions this time of year was going out to see Christmas lights with the family on Christmas Eve. There were some houses fairly close to ours that went all out with their lights, and it was a lot of fun to see them. There was even someone who would dress up like Santa and hand out candy canes to people in cars that were driving slowly down the street to enjoy the lights. It was also a tradition in the area to put out luminarias, which were lighted candles set inside paper bags. Seeing those in the neighborhood really was something.
We have tried to create some of our own traditions as a new family. Each year, we go to a local thrift store and look for Christmas sweaters to take a family photo in. Then we buy a picture frame ornament with the year on it to put the picture in. The first year we did this, one of my older sisters told another sister that she was worried about me. We tried to be as cheesy as possible so people would know that we weren't serious, but apparently she thought we were serious and I was turning into my mother or something. Ha ha! This year, we haven't found Christmas sweaters, so we think we may not be able to participate, and I'll be really bummed to have to break this tradition.
Another tradition we're trying to keep is based loosely on something we did as a family when I was younger. As a family, we went around to neighbors and family friends singing Christmas carols and giving some sort of homemade gift my mom baked. I wasn't a fan of the singing each year, but we always got into the spirit of it part of the way through. Still, I decided I'm not really interested in a Von Trapp singing family (especially since there are only 2 of us right now who can sing), but I want to at least do a little something for my neighbors. We haven't done this every year, but this year we dropped off poinsettias and Christmas cards, and all our neighbors were appreciative.
What are some traditions you have or would like to start for the holidays, whether Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve, New Year's, or some other day?