Christmas is the time of year when traditions come out in full force. The cozy, happy moments associated with the month of December are often lovely recreations of memories from years past and, when reenacted in your own special way, are just as beautiful.

My holiday memories and traditions are fun, happy snapshots from childhood that I’ve been able to carry out in my adult life. I remember picking out a live Christmas tree, decorating it with red tin ornaments shaped like sleds and bikes. I remember Christmas night slumber parties watching our favorite Christmas movie and hoping desperately for it to snow.

There were the beautiful Barbie ornaments that my Grandma gave me each year – ones that I would pull out every December and gaze in awe at their beautiful dresses and perfectly curled plastic hair. There were always cinnamon rolls, our favorite boxes of cereal, and reading about the birth of Jesus from Luke on Christmas morning.

But I think one of my favorite memories was the first gift of Christmas. Every year my parents would buy my brothers and I a new ornament to hang on our own special tree in our room. It’s a tradition my dad started for my mom, and they started for us, and now that I have my own real live big tree it’s something Lee has started for me.

Each year now as I decorate the Christmas tree,  I can’t help but think about the memories that are unwrapped along with each precious ornament. The darling ballerina – bought for me after my mom, grandma and I attended my first Nutcracker ballet. The Disney Cruise ship – for after our 2nd family Christmas cruise. The countless figure skaters in spirals and waltz jumps and layback spinning positions for my years and years of figure skating. And of course, the beautiful hot air balloon to always remember how Lee and I got engaged.

It’s memories like these – the precious ones, the humble ones, the real ones. That makes the Christmas season so special.

So tell me, what are your favorite Christmas traditions?