Updated: Dec 11, 2018

It's officially December which means Christmas is just around the corner! I love the smells, hallmark movies, and traditions that comes with it. Although it can get busy around this time of year, it's important for us to remember to spend time with our family and friends and cherish this special holiday. There are so many fun memories I like to talk about, but I made a list of my top 5 favorite Christmas traditions to share with you. Also, my friend Bethan who writes her own blog also decided to write about her favorite Christmas traditions too! Go check it out!

1. Christmas Caroling

Ever since I was eight, I've been a member of our local 4-H club. Before I joined, I had no idea what community service was or what it meant to the people. As I became more involved, I started helping out more too. That's when our club decided to go Christmas Caroling. It was definitely an adventure! We all loaded up on some decorated trailers and drove around the little town. Then, we would send a member who would sprint to the door, ring the doorbell, and sprint back. The person would open the door, clearly surprised, and then we would begin to sing Christmas carols. The looks on their faces were absolutely priceless and grateful. Even though it was absolutely freezing out, we couldn't help but smile through the chill because of how happy we were making them. Every year since then, we have done the same thing. Now, some of the people are ready for us and have favorite songs that we remember to sing for them. There's one elderly man who always hands out candy and sings along in German with us to Silent Night. Although it was cold on the outside, Christmas caroling warmed my heart.

2. Christmas Decorating & Hallmark

Everyone loves Christmas decorating, but probably not as much as I do! We have a rule at our house that we have can't listen to Christmas music, watch any Christmas movies, or decorate until after Thanksgiving. That weekend after, however, we haul up the big boxes filled with bows, garlands, and more up the stairs. We blast Christmas music while dancing around and hanging up the stockings. I always look forward to it because it's so much fun! I'm always in charge of setting up the Nativity Scene. Every year for Christmas our grandparents from Spain send us a new piece to the set. Soon, we have a whole village set up on the table! After we finish, it's almost like you can smell Christmas. Then, we relax with a Hallmark movie, drinking hot chocolate. There's nothing more Christmasy than that.

3. Gingerbread Houses!

I love making gingerbread houses! The thing is, we don't really make ours out of gingerbread, because there's so many of us, so it's hard to cook so much. Instead, we make ours out of Graham crackers because they're light and still delicious! We use leftover candy from Halloween and lots of frosting. At the end, we have a competition to see which house is the best, but we're mainly trying to see who's house doesn't fall down!

4. Christmas Eve Soup

The night of Christmas eve is probably my favorite time. We invite our neighbors over to our house and we all bring different kinds of homemade soup. It's soooo good! We give each other gifts and play board games. Then around dark, we head to our church where everyone gets a candle. We turn off the lights until all you can see is the shining candles and everyone singing Christmas carols. It's such a beautiful sight. After the service, we all head home and quickly go to bed, excited for the next day.

5. Christmas Day

Of course, the most famous part of Christmas is obviously Christmas day. Even though the rule is we have to stay in our rooms until eight, my brothers get up at five and take turns sneaking into the living room to see what Santa left. Then, they hurry back to report to each other! I love seeing the happiness and excitement on everyone's faces, but the best part is spending time with those I love. Christmas is such a special time for my family and I because we remember why we celebrate: to honor the day that Jesus was born!

Remember: Live Simply, Laugh Often, Love Deeply

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