The power of tradition. These familiar moments we return to, year after year, invite us to pause and embrace the true value of the holiday season: connecting with the ones we love. Whether a tradition that’s been passed down through generations or one that’s just beginning, each leaves its own special mark on the season.
Along with sharing our own traditions, there’s beauty in hearing how others celebrate. Because of this, we asked members from our Magnolia Perks Crew Facebook group (which you can learn more about hereOpens in new tab) to share their personal stories of tradition. These stories may inspire you to evolve one of your current traditions, or spark a new idea for this holiday season.
What tradition(s) do you look forward to every year? Why do you love them?
My husband and I go to Christmas at the Zoo each year. It was our first date in 2018, and we now look forward to sharing the tradition with our son.
As a widow from a young age, I have four grown married children. Every Christmas morning I make four monkey breads and deliver them to all four houses in time for breakfast and see what my grandchildren (nine total) opened on Christmas Day! It’s so fun!
Every December, each person in my family picks out a new ornament to signify their year. We've done this since I can remember, and our tree continues to fill with more memories each Christmas. It's always fun to look back and reminisce on why we chose the ornaments we did and talk about why they signified that particular season. It's like each of our life stories coming together on one tree.
Why is it important to you that these traditions stay alive?
My mother passed away when I was a young teen, and she was the one that always bought my brother and I new PJs to open on Christmas Eve. It was the one gift we could open that night, and we were so excited! So to be able to pass something from my mom, to my own family, is a way of making memories with her, even if they didn’t get to meet her.
Even when things might be hectic, traditions are one thing we can rely on to bring comfort and joy each year. They allow us to slow down and savor the present while making new memories to look back on in the future.
Traditions mark the passage of time in a beautiful way. I love finding old pine tree needles in the box of ornaments and wondering which Christmas they were from. It's magical to remember how old you were, what you were excited for, how you celebrated that year—few other ways can so poetically mark your life.
Traditions keep family centered on simple things and the joy of just living life together.
How do your traditions make the holiday season feel more special?
Traditions tend to evoke nostalgia. They bring me right back to the childlike wonder of the holiday season. No matter how old I get, I'll always look forward to my mama's Christmas morning coffee cake and slowly opening gifts around the tree, one by one, as we try to draw out the day as long as we can. Traditions stop time—providing a sense of steadiness and familiarity even when the world around us is moving fast.
These traditions are a part of our story, they are the thread that weaves through each of us and keeps us connected across generations. They make us uniquely us, give us something to look forward to each year, and keep us anchored when it feels like so much is changing around us.
The same meal every Christmas morning and other little holiday traditions bring a warm feeling inside my heart and make me reflect on the many wonderful memories we have made together.
Describe a time you had to evolve or change one of your traditions. How did you do it?
Our son was born on Christmas Eve 2021. We’ve made sure to distinguish between his birthday and Christmas, which means we change our Christmas Eve plans just slightly to make his birthday special. It’s been a fun challenge for us to figure out last year and again this year.
When I married my husband, I learned quickly that his family opened almost all of their presents on Christmas Eve, which is preposterous coming from a devout one-present girl. While I love this time with his family, my favorite part of Christmas Eve is coming home afterwards with my family, and picking out the one gift they each are allowed to open on the Silent Night of Christmas, when all is calm, and all is bright.