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Merry Christmas, friends! Happy Holidays! I absolutely LOVE this time of year! It brings so much joy to my soul. My parents have always made Christmas such a special and meaningful time in our home and I have always wanted to carry some of those traditions over to a family of my own. This will be the second Christmas that Jeremy (the hunky husband) and I are spending together as Mr. & Mrs. and I can’t wait to celebrate the traditions we started last year for our first Merry Married Christmas! Whether this is your first Christmas as Mr. & Mrs. or if you have been married for 10 years, check out our favorite holiday traditions to celebrate as a family!
Attend a Candlelight Christmas Eve Service
This has been one of my favorite things about Christmas since I was a little girl. Jesus truly is the reason for the season. It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but we want to make sure we never forget the meaning of this beautiful time of year. Even if you don’t have a home church, find a local church with a candlelight Christmas Eve service. It is a beautiful time to slow down and really reflect on the meaning of Christmas. This is something I grew up doing and something Jeremy and I have done together since we started dating. It is, of course, part of our married Christmas traditions and is something we will continue to do with our future kiddos!
Buy Your First Christmas Tree and Christmas Decorations Together
This is SO MUCH FUN! There are so many firsts you are celebrating as a married couple during your first year of marriage and this is definitely an exciting one! We went to one of our favorite places on earth, Target, and found an amazing deal on the most beautiful Christmas tree! Right now, Target has 20% off of their artificial Christmas Trees! If you would rather shop together for your Christmas tree at home in your PJs, you can find the one you love on Target’s website and order it to ship to your home or pick up at your local Target! If you decided to pick it up at your local Target, this is the perfect time to shop for all of your Christmas décor. Target also has some great deals on their holiday décor and lights!
Don’t forget to use your Target REDcard for an extra 5% off! That is 25% off one of those beautiful Christmas Trees! If you don’t have a Target REDcard, I HIGHLY recommend you get one now! They have a credit card and a debit card option. If you are like me and don’t like to have too many credit cards, the debit card is the perfect option! It links directly to your current checking account! The debit card and credit card give you a 5% discount on your total purchase at Target, free shipping on most items from Target.com, and extended time for returns! I also just learned that REDcard holders get early access to special events and sales. For example, all REDcard holders get early access to select Black Friday deals on Target.com! I have saved SO much money over the years with my REDcard! Apply now to start saving at Target!
Buy a Mr. & Mrs. Holiday Ornament
Having an ornament to establish your first married Christmas is a must! We ordered this custom ornament from TP&C Design Studio on Etsy and I am in love with our ornament. It looks so beautiful on our tree and is a beautiful reminder of our first Christmas together. This is our second Christmas as Mr. & Mrs. and I’m so excited to hang it on the tree this year!
Host Your First Holiday Dinner Party and Gift Exchange
If you have read my blog posts before, you probably already know how much I love to entertain! I definitely got this from my momma. I will really find any reason to entertain. If this is your first year married or your 10th, you probably have a lot of gorgeous wedding gifts that you would love to show off to your friends! I know I couldn’t wait to pull out my wedding china and stemware! This is also a great time to show off your gorgeous Christmas decorations that you have worked so hard on this season! Organize a gift exchange, plan a dinner menu and cocktail menu, and have your favorite people over for a fun night to kick off the holidays! If you could use a few extra items to help you entertain, check out my holiday gift guide for the entertainer!
Have A Decorate The Tree Party
This is a tradition that I brought to our marriage from my childhood. My mom is seriously the best about making everything feel special and fun, especially around the holidays. We would always have a night where our whole family would have hot chocolate, watch a Christmas movie, and decorate the Christmas tree. My dad would always hold me up so that I could put the angel on the tree. This was my job and my brother was more than happy to let me have it! This is a tradition I have always wanted to do with my family and Jeremy and I had so much fun doing this last year for our first married Christmas. We watched Elf, had hot chocolate, and decorated our beautiful Christmas tree! I’m so excited to do it again this year!
Find a Charity and Give Back
While it is easy to get caught up in the gifts and holiday events during this time of year, it is so important to never forget how important it is to bless others. Our church always does a food drive and gift drive to provide Christmas dinner and gifts for families in the community. We have so much fun shopping for these beautiful families and it brings us so much joy knowing that we are able to help put a smile on their faces on Christmas day. Another charity that we love to participate in each year is Operation Christmas Child with Samaritan’s Purse. For those who are not familiar with this charity, this is a beautiful way to share God’s love with children all around the world at Christmas time. You can assemble a shoebox and drop it off at drop-off location near you, or you can create a box online! Their website has a lot of great suggestions for what to put in the shoebox and what the kids really want and need. My school always did this when I was growing up and it was so much fun to go shopping for these beautiful children and we have loved participating in this throughout the years.
Have a Gingerbread House Decorating Contest
This is a tradition we actually started when we were dating and my brother participates in this tradition with us each year. We all have our own gingerbread house and we have 1 hour to decorate our house using only the items that come in our kit. We can use any tools we can think of, but we can’t add anything to the house that doesn’t come in our box. We put on a Christmas movie and get to work! Once we are done, we take pictures of each house and label them A, B, and C. I post it on Facebook and ask our friends to leave a comment with their vote for A, B, or C. This keeps it completely anonymous to our friends to make sure there isn’t any bias. We put a time limit on the voting and then tally the votes once the Facebook voting portion of the contest ends. Once we tally the votes, we post the winning house with the winner’s name on Facebook and the winner gets bragging rights for the year. It is so much fun and a great activity to do together with our family. This is a Christmas tradition we are so excited to start with our future kids!
Look At Christmas Lights Together
This makes for a great date night and can be as inexpensive as you like! Bring some holiday treats and hot chocolate with you and drive around listening to Christmas music and looking at gorgeous Christmas light displays. If you aren’t sure where to go, Google the best Christmas light for your area. We have a couple of neighborhoods and parks that we go to every year. They are so beautiful and really put you in the Christmas spirit!
If you want to bring a little extra holiday cheer to someone, turn it into your very own Christmas light contest! Decide which house has the best lights from the night and leave them your first place prize for the most impressive Christmas light display! We made our own little award for the house that we picked and included a $15 dollar gift card to Target! We left it completely anonymous and just thanked them for bringing us so much joy through their beautiful lights display. Here is what our card says:
Thank you for making our evening Merry & Bright with your lovely Christmas lights! To thank you for bringing joy to this anointed season, we would like to award you with the Most Joyful Lights Award! We are not professional Christmas light judges, but we consider ourselves to be seasoned amateurs! We hope this gift spreads a little Christmas cheer! Merry Christmas! Luke 2:14
Disclaimer: If you decide to do this, just make sure you are cautious and following the law. Since this is their private home and property, assess the situation and make sure you can safely leave the card for them without causing alarm to the homeowners. The goal is to bless them, not make them think a suspicious person is lurking around and cause an unsafe situation.
Attend a Local Holiday Event
There are always so many fun Christmas events to attend, but never enough time! One of our favorite things to do each year is to go to the ICE exhibit at the Gaylord Texan. ICE is a walkthrough exhibit featuring close to 2 million pounds of ice sculptures! Each year is a different theme and it is only 9°F inside! They provide a parka for everyone to wear and there is always a giant ice slide a the end! When you leave the exhibit, there is a convenient hot chocolate bar ready for you to warm up! If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I highly recommend visiting the Gaylord Texan. They have so many fun holiday activities and they go all out for their Christmas decorations. It is so much fun for the whole family!
Have A Christmas Shopping Date Day
It really is more blessed to give than to receive! I have so much fun making my list of gifts for my loved ones each year! For our first year as a married couple, we had an even larger list of gifts to give. We decided to make a full date day out of it! We started the day with a delicious brunch, need all the energy for this full day, went shopping, took a break to catch a Christmas movie, shopped some more and then ended the day with a dinner date. It was very tiring, but so much fun! We spend the following day watching Christmas movies and wrapping our presents!
Do you have a favorite Christmas or Holiday tradition with your family? Or maybe you have a charity that you volunteer for each year? I would love to hear how you celebrate the holidays each year!