The holidays can often be a stressful time of year. With extended family in town, too many parties to try and attend, the kids are out of school, everything can feel overwhelming and a lot of time we’re left wondering where the holidays even went. Here at Bottle and Heels we find that having family traditions help make the holidays something to look forward to and cherish rather than dread. We’ve put together a list of 5 of our personal traditions that we think you will love and will want to try yourself!


1. Christmas Eve Gifts from your Elf on a Shelf

Kids LOVE their visits from the Elf on a Shelf. This year try something different. On Christmas Eve, before your little ones go to bed to prepare for Santa’s visit, give your little ones gifts that the Elf left behind for them. This is the perfect way to say ‘goodbye’ to your elf until (s)he comes back around next year.

2. Christmas Eve Visit from Santa Claus

One tradition we had when we were younger was that Santa Claus would visit our house first. While we were at Christmas Eve service, Santa would come and leave our gifts. Because our Christmas mornings would be so busy with us running around to family parties and everything we would open our gifts on Christmas Eve. We LOVED this. We felt so special that Santa would choose to stop at our house first. Now that I’m older I’m realizing my parents probably paid him to come to us early so they could actually sleep in on Christmas morning… 😉

3. Participate in 12 Days of Giving

We love this one because it is a way to give back during the Holiday season. We start each December off with 12 days of giving, whether that’s baking cookies and giving them to a neighbor, volunteering for a day, sending an old friend a thoughtful letter, anything that you can think of to bring a smile and a little extra joy to someone’s day. It’s a great way to put yourself in the right mindset for the Holiday season.

4. Fancy Candy Dinner

This is a tradition that I will forever cherish from my childhood. On Christmas night, SOMEHOW, my parents would manage to set up the dining room beautifully – we’re talking they brought out the fine china, lit candles, and we were all required to put on our “church” clothes. All the lights in the house would be turned off, except the Christmas lights, but the best part of the whole thing is that the only thing on the menu was every kid’s dream, candy. There would be a spread of all of our favorites; licorice, chocolate turtles, skittles, candy canes, anything we would ask for all year but get denied would be sitting on that table. Best. Christmas. Dinner. Ever.

5. Don’t Clean Up Santa’s Footprints

Leave the evidence! Use these clever stickers, to leave a trail from the fireplace to the tree to Santa’s plate of cookies and glass of milk.  Your kids will be overjoyed when they see that Santa actually comes in from the fireplace and took the time to eat and drink the special treats left out for him!

What are you favorite Holiday traditions?! Let us know and maybe you’ll see them included in next year’s post!