The True Meaning of Holiday Traditions

It’s December! Can you believe it? Where did the time go?

This is my most favorite time of year. I love the lights. I love the caroling. I love the gift-buying. I love the snow (hopefully!). I love the magic of Santa Claus. This time of year is just that… magical.

December for us is all about traditions. We experience the same traditions over and over and over. I have loved seeing the boys fully understand and embrace these traditions as they’ve all gotten older. It warms my heart in ways I can’t fully describe.

I wanted to share with you five of our McClelland Family traditions that we do every year… I love thinking that when the boys come home for Christmas as they get older, they will always know what to expect and pass them on to their own families.

Our traditions…

1. Chocolate covered pretzel sticks! Every year since Matt and I got married, we make chocolate covered pretzel sticks for our friends and family. We saw the recipe in a magazine one year, and just thought to ourselves… these would be fun to make! And so we did! They have become “famous” among our friends. We take pretzel sticks and just dip them in melted chocolate. Then we take toppings and sprinkle over them… we have used Oreos, sprinkles, nuts, crushed candy canes, berries, apples… you name it! The boys LOVE when we make them… we literally have an assembly line now and have a blast creating them and making beautiful packages to give our family and friends.

2. Rockettes! We go to the Rockettes every single year. Actually, we started this tradition with my family in 2003 when Matt and I were living in NYC. My parents took us and we just fell in love with the show. From that year on we’ve gone every year. It’s fun looking back because the boys have been every year of their lives. I still remember in 2006 when I stood in the back throughout the whole show trying to get Alex to stop crying! Oh, the memories! Now the boys start asking about the Rockettes in the summer! They love it and it’s always the NYC show! 🙂

3. Santa Photos in Pittsburgh! When we go to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving to visit my in-laws we always go to a local store called Meder’s and get a Santa photo. We started this tradition when Matt and I were first dating. I’ll never forget the year I asked Santa there to send us a baby; that was in 2003! It’s the same Santa every year and he gets such a chuckle seeing us come back year after year after year with our family of boys! It’s a beautiful tradition for us, very meaningful.

4. Magic Fireplace! We don’t have a fireplace in our living room, so we’ve had to have a little fun! My grandmother had a “fake” chimney in her house when I was a child. When she downsized a few years ago, I inherited the chimney. It is our magic chimney that we only take out for Christmas and the boys are completely in love with the magic! We tell them that Santa needs our magic chimney to find our house. Whenever I see the chimney in the garage throughout the fall and spring and summer months, I smile. It’s very special to us!

5. Dressing alike! Oh, yes… I make the boys dress all alike for our holiday family photo. It is tradition, as I explained to my 7 year old this year! He didn’t want to wear the same thing as his brothers, but I told him this is just what mommy does! I love seeing their smiling faces all in the same item, it’s my special tradition. After all, if you have 4 boys – aren’t you supposed to do that!?

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