Hi, my name is Nicky and I’m a holiday junkie.
New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Winter Solstice, Christmas Eve, CHRISTMAS, the traditions, the decorations, the gatherings, the food, the music, the all-around celebrations – I LOVE IT ALL.
No matter how bitter I’m feeling or what stress is going on in my life, I always look forward to the holidays. It’s seemingly an escape for me into a child-like state of pure bliss. It doesn’t make a difference in the slightest how old I get; I will always have a place in my heart for the celebrations!
Traditions are what make the holidays so special. There’s something absolutely enchanting about having an activity that gets passed down from generation to generation. Not to mention, they’re great excuses to make time for the ones you love by getting together and having some fun!
I have managed to either embrace traditions from my own childhood or create new ones for every single holiday at this point. Here are a few examples!
New Year’s Eve
I’m starting with this one because it gets my year kick-started in the right direction. Curtis and I have begun the tradition of traveling over New Year’s. I love the idea of ringing in the New Year somewhere fresh with those that I love. It sets the precedent for the whole year to get out there and experience new things whenever the opportunity arises.
This is probably my least favorite of all of the holidays. To me, it’s just a “Hallmark holiday” created solely to jack up the prices of flowers and chocolate.
However, I always express my love for the kids in my life and do fun projects with them to give to those that they love. This year was Liv hand-painting heart frames for each of her parents since they were her valentines!
Although Curtis and I don’t go all out for this day, I always make a point to express my love for him and really for all of those that I adore. Why not use this as an opportunity to express things that we sometimes forget to emphasize, right? That’s how I choose to celebrate!
St. Patrick’s Day
Here’s a random one that usually only 21-year-olds celebrate in a drunken stupor. I, however, have managed to pass on something that my parents used to do for me when I was young – leaving out pennies for the leprechauns! I mean, their pots of gold come from somewhere, right?
While the kids are sleeping, the leprechauns come in and gather the coins, leaving candy where the pennies were (usually Reese’s or Rolos, since they have gold packaging). Then it’s just a matter of making sure you find them all in the morning before the pets do!
Without fail, there’s always egg dying and an Easter egg hunt, and obviously the Easter basket from the Easter Bunny.
Not only is this a holiday to stress the importance of the ultimate sacrifice made by so many men and women of our military, but it is also a long weekend that does not go to waste. We have begun the tradition of taking advantage of the long weekend by doing something out of the ordinary. This year was a weekend getaway in Atlanta, GA!
Mother’s Day & Father’s Day
These two are holidays that I swear I love so much just because I love getting crafty with the kids to make gifts for their parents! I’m also a bit of a gift master, so getting presents for my own parents is fun for me, too.
4th of July
Barbecues, beautiful weather, water games, and fireworks. Every year. Can you go wrong?
Pumpkin carving, making costumes, and decorating the yard are probably my favorite aspects of this holiday! And taking the kids trick-or-treating! I love seeing all the kids dressed up and so excited about getting this candy bar or that one.
I started a tradition last year called the Gratitude Jar. Every day for the month of November, we each write something we are grateful on a piece of paper, fold it up, and put it into the jar. Then on Thanksgiving morning, we read them together. And since Thanksgiving last year, we leave the jar out and when something really great happens or there’s something we are particularly grateful for, we write it down and toss it in! This, in addition to ALL THE FOOD – yes, please!
This is one of Curtis’s family’s traditions that I have happily jumped onboard for! They all get together and celebrate Christmas on the winter solstice instead of the actual day. It’s a fantastic idea. We start with a nice family dinner and then there are all the holiday activities: gift-opening, the search for the pickle ornament that is hidden somewhere in the house, writing what you’d like to bring in to your life/what you’d like to release from your life on pieces of paper and inserting them into the yule log to be burned, and the lighting of the solstice candle accompanied by a reading. It’s a beautiful family gathering on a night when most don’t have tons of plans so we can truly enjoy the moment without feeling rushed or frazzled.
The morning of Christmas Eve starts with a new tradition that also started last year. Since Olivia wakes up on Christmas morning with her mother every year, we decided to find a way to get to experience the magic in our home. Merry (our Elf on the Shelf) kindly worked with Santa and now brings her Christmas loot a day early! Then it’s just a relaxing day of Christmas magic before she’s off to her Mom’s.
After she’s gone, Curtis and I go to a close family friend’s house for our annual Christmas Eve feast. It’s filled with tons of people, endless laughs, and enough food to feed an army. Starting to see why this time of year is my favorite?
Here’s the head honcho; my favorite of all of the holidays. I literally live and breathe for Christmas every year!
I start Christmas shopping right in the beginning of the year and pick at it all year long. Throughout the Christmas season, we make wreaths, have Merry the Elf come to our home the day after Thanksgiving, go to La Salette to see the Christmas lights, make homemade Christmas ornaments, and decorate our home to look like the North Pole moved in – and those are just to name a few!
Needless to say, I embrace any and all traditions when it comes to the holidays. Call me crazy if you want, but it brings me and those around me joy!
Spread the Joy
In this world, especially today, I find that negativity prevails. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s so prominent in almost all aspects of life because it’s easier for people to focus on the bad than the good, for whatever reason! When I make a stink about the holidays (as annoying as it may be to some people) the joy seems to be contagious. You can’t help but laugh at me when I’m making a fuss about setting out and then searching for pennies that the leprechauns have taken or stuffing old clothes with raked up leaves and hay to make my own scarecrow. Sometimes I really do look ridiculous, and I’m 100% ok with that.
I make a point to find a way to celebrate even the silly obsolete holidays because I think that at least once a month we need to emphasize something joyful. It’s as simple as that!
Jump on my holiday bandwagon! The more that join me, the wider the blissful circle grows! Even if it only starts with focusing on the enchantment for a single day each month, know that it is truly worth it to choose happiness and Decide Bliss.