Memories of Holiday Traditions

As the holiday season fast approaches, I find myself reminiscing about holidays past. Christmas has always been my absolute favourite time of year. 

As a child I remember being so excited about Christmas I could hardly stand it. We had a few traditions we did as a family and some I just made up on my own and did every year. For example, my cousin, Allison, and I would call each other every hours with a countdown to how many more hours until Santa was coming. 

On Christmas eve, I used to go outside with my dad while he shoveled our driveway in preparation for company the next day. I would sit in a snowbank in the yard and belt out Christmas songs at the top of my lungs. Back then I wasn’t self-conscious about my singing voice and you won’t find me sitting in a snow bank now. I remember laying back making snow angels and looking at the stars in the sky and trying to see if I could Santa and his reindeer. 

On Christmas day, we would have to wait until 8am at the earliest to wake up my parents. Then it was time to open our gifts! My sister, Laura, always painstakingly unwrapped her presents and it would take her all morning to get through them. Me, on the other hand, would tear through that paper like there was no tomorrow. We always opened our stocking last and had to wait and do it all together.

Holiday Memories

Czar (our black lab), me and my sisters, Jillian and Laura

Family would always come over in the afternoon. My cousins and I would make up dance routines and sing with my dad’s microphone. I remember doing an airband to Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know. I will never forget the words to that song.

Holiday Memories

Laura (my sister), cousins, Kate & Allison and me

Of course, my dad and Santa had to get in on the action too!

Holiday Memories

Santa Claus & my dad (1988)

Afterwards, my dad and uncle would take us kids out snowmobiling! We lived next door to a huge field and forest. My dad would hook up the sleigh behind the snowmobile and the kids would all climb in. We would sing Christmas carols and Whitney Houston songs. The excitement we felt was palpable.

Back home with our cheeks flushed and bellys grumbling, we would all settle down for our Christmas turkey dinner. My mom, Grandma June and aunts would prepare all these delicious family recipes like Pineapple Cheese Salad, homemade stuffing and gravy, mashed potatoes, turnips and pumpkin pie and butterscotch meringue pie for dessert.  It was a feast! I always associated turkey dinners with my fond memories of Christmas past. 

Holiday Memories

Grandma June & my sister, Laura 

Though I’m no longer sitting in snowbanks or doing airbands to Whitney Houston songs, I am still enjoying turkey dinners…Butterball turkeys! This year I may experiment with our turkey dinner and try a recipe I found on the Butterball website. This Roast Turkey with Cranberry Orange Glaze looks absolutely divine! 

Roast Turkey with Cranberry Orange Glaze

What are your holiday traditions?

This post is sponsored by Butterball Canada. In exchange this review, I have received special perks in the form of products and monetary compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.


  1. Erika Birrell says

    Holiday memories are some of the best memories of one’s life. I have so many with my family. Now that I have a family of my own, I look forward to making more memories with my kids for years and years to come. Christmas time is so special, its a great opportunity to spend qaulity time with friends and family!

  2. Chantel W. says

    That you for sharing some of your holiday memories. I agree with Erika holiday memories are some of the best memories of one’s life. One of the holiday traditions we do in my family is every Christmas eve you get to open on gift (you don’t get to pick which) and in this gift is new pajamas to wear on Christmas morning.

  3. Amy Brown says

    Thanks for sharing your holiday memories! One of my very favorites is how we used to get the family together and decorate while we watched White Christmas.

  4. librarypat says

    Both my dad and mother come from large families. When I was a child, we would always attend Midnight mass with my mom’s family. Afterwards we would go to my grandparents’ house for brunch. It was wonderful chaos. My mom was on of 9 siblings and we had MANY cousins, well over 35. No gifts were exhanged, we just enjoyed being together. When we got home at 2 or 3 AM, Santa would have come so we opened gifts. Smart on my parents’ part. They got to sleep in the next morning. We went to my other grandparents’ for Christmas dinner. It was a wonderful, warm, delicious day.

    Have a wonderful Christmas.

  5. says

    This is a very sweet post. I have so many great memories of Christmastime during my childhood too. We used to spend every Christmas eve at my grandma’s house, but times have changed and that makes me a bit sad that we don’t share the same traditions anymore now that I have kids of my own. I just have to focus on making memories for them now, I guess!

    • Robin Quick says

      I know what you mean. My family no longer gets together for Christmas. And my son is 15 now & its not the same as it was when he was little. I miss those Christmases & cherish the memories of them all!

  6. Kelly Tanner says

    Awesome memories. My dad once made a sled out of a Volkswagen hood and pulled us kids behind his dirtbike. Sounds crazy and dangerous but it was a lot of fun!

  7. says

    Holiday memories are so special. I remember spending Christmas with family and getting to hang out with all of my cousins for the day. Those times will always be special. Thanks for reminding me to take a step back from the chaos over the next few days and remember the great times and how I can make special memories with my family.

  8. Aliya D says

    It sounds like you have some great memories… I don’t have very many other than hand writing Christmas cards to everyone with special personalized messages and decorating the area around the fireplace with the animals from Noah’s Ark.

  9. Sherry Compton says

    Holiday traditions and memories are so important. I tried to instill the love and excitement of the season with my children. We would always adopt an angel from the tree and shop for gifts for them. My daughter and I would decorate the tree and house while we sang to Christmas music. On Christmas Eve everyone opens one present that is chosen by someone else. To this day we still watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation on Christmas. The memories I have of my son wearing a Santa suit and passing out presents makes me smile. This year I gave that suit to my grandson. Traditions help bring us all together.

  10. Bonnie B says

    Thank you for sharing your Christmas memories. It make me think of my own fond memories of Christmas past, when my family was all together.

  11. Robin Quick says

    Oh how I cherish my childhood Christmas tradition and memories! I can remember my grandmother (we lived with her my parents were divorced) would have her carper cleaned every year in December & we knew that meant the next night our tree would go up! Why I remember that I dunno! lol We would watch Rudolph , Santa Claus is Coming To Town and many other Christmas cartoon classics every year! I now own the entire collection on DVD. We would ride around looking at Christmas lights for hours! On Christmas Eve my Aunts, Uncle & Cousins would come over & we would exchange gifts and have dinner. We would get new pajamas from my great Aunt that lived in Illinois every year. We would put out new pajamas on & get into bed full of excitement! We would get up around 6 and open gifts. Our stocking were also opened last. My family would come over again that afternoon & we would eat a huge turkey dinner! Ohhhhhh how I miss those Christmases! I’m thankful for the memories though & I cherish every one!

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