I’ve written about traditions before and here I go again. I love them and look forward to certain traditions more than others. Here are a few favorites around this time of year. What are your special traditions? Please comment below! Maybe I will have some added to the list next year.

Picture Caption: A letter from my sweet girl. She leaves me notes everywhere now!

The Detroit Turkey Trot: Since I first did this 10K race in Detroit with my friend Christina back when we were 20 years old, I have kept with the tradition. I have dragged many different friends out the morning of Thanksgiving to partake in one of my favorite traditions. Call me crazy to love running bright and early on a holiday but it feels like it kicks off the season for me. I’ve missed a few years here and there but will continue to do my best to keep this tradition. Being a parent now, I understand how hard my dad worked to take my sister and I to the Detroit Thanksgiving Parade every year. Thank you Dad!

Now, as far as going out in a blizzard with two kids again? That’s questionable. It was tough to make everyone happy this year!

Pajama Breakfast: My friend and I have been getting together to craft around the holidays since 2000. When we started having kids, we changed it up and turned it into a Pajama Breakfast. Basically, a playdate in our pjs with snowman pancakes! One week until our annual get together and I can’t wait!

Christmas Caroling: This will be our 5th or 6th year Christmas caroling at the local senior home. It started out with my neighbors and now it’s a bunch of our friends and their kids. It’s one of those charity events that instead of simply donating money, you SEE the benefits of your time and energy right before your eyes. The smiles on the seniors’ faces and the happiness they get with each hug and high five the children give them is priceless. These are the kind of charity events I am trying to get our family involved in rather than writing a check to an organization. Even our annual charity walks don’t show them the reason we volunteer. I like that it is a family filled event and we are actively doing something but it was hard to explain why we were walking for Alzheimers earlier this year.

Tree Decorating: We never make plans the morning after Thanksgiving. It’s time to get out our Christmas tree and decorations. We listen to Christmas music and fill our house with red and green galour!

Three Gift Rule: My cousin inspired this gift-giving tradition for us. Three gifts from Santa. That’s it. Something to play, something to wear and something to read. We then generously fill their stockings and give one nice gift from us (Mama and Papa–because why would Santa bring gifts but not Mom and Dad?) I’ve had moments of panic thinking “Is this enough? Will they feel the joys of the holiday with just four gifts?” Then I look around at all they are given the night before on Christmas Eve and on Hannukah from family and the anwer is yes. They are blessed with gifts around the holidays and this Three Gift Rule is perfect for our family.

Christmas Genies: My friends and I had the Christmas Genie tradition since college. There are five of us that exchange names and we only know the name of our genie, no one elses. For three weeks, we mail out gifts in the mail to our genie. Then at the final genie party, we reveal our genies and give a nice gift after dinner. It’s a lot of fun going to the mailbox and getting your special genie gift. Then trying to guess the handwriting or the packaging. Genies are tricky though so you never know what they will be up to! Even my girls get excited about my genie gifts!