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Christmas Traditions - Mom and daughter putting icing on gingerbread cookies.

Whether it’s a cherished ornament, the whiff of your Grandmother’s special Christmas cookies baking in the oven or coming up with ways for Santa to find your little ones on a sunny beach, creating and celebrating Christmas traditions are a part of what makes the holiday special. Check out a few suggestions below:

Christmas Traditions – Baked with Love

Whether it’s a well-worn recipe card passed down from your Grandmother, one found on Pinterest or on the back of box of mix, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without scrumptious cookies. These holiday favorites Starlight Mint Surprise, Thumbprints, Butter Cookies and Ginger Snaps are easy to make and super delicious – I dare you to eat just one. The Starlight Mint Surprise cookie, even has a local connection, as it was created by Naperville resident Laura Rott who was a winner in the first-ever Pillsbury Bake-Off®.

Christmas Traditions – A Trip Down Memory Lane

Maybe it’s a delicate gondolier picked up on a trip to Venice, an angel your child made years ago or a Chicago Cubs™ ornament you just recently bought to celebrate a victorious year; Christmas ornaments brighten your tree and home with not only vibrant colors but with memories of Christmas’ past. Before hanging each decoration, take a moment to reflect and share the story with your family of why its important to you.

Christmas Traditions- Couple looking at Christmas ornaments at an outdoor Christmas fair.

Christmas Traditions – Rocking  Around the Tree

Nothing screams Christmas like dusting off holiday standards by Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole and Johnny Mathis. These beautiful melodies have been putting the Christmas into carols for decades and still hold up over time. This year mix up your play list with new holiday favorites by artists such as Kelly Clarkson or Pentatonix .

Christmas Traditions – Away from Home

A Christmas tradition that many families enjoy is choosing to leave the hustle and bustle of the holidays at home – and hit the slopes, beach, city or wherever their bowl-bound team is playing instead. Most resorts have lots of activities for both kids and adults, such as Christmas luaus, creating travel buddies, Christmas tunes played on steel drums and even a Teddy Bear Tea Party.

Christmas Traditions- father and young son skiing

Christmas Traditions – Movie Night

Whether you gather with friends or family before settling in for a long winter’s nap enjoy watching Christmas classics, like It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story or Elf. Check out AMC’s Top 20 Christmas Movies list, which includes childhood standards like a Charlie Brown Christmas to cult classics like Bad Santa.

Christmas Traditions – Ugly Sweaters

Celebrate the gaudiness of Christmas with a truly ugly Christmas Sweater. The uglier the better! Whether you throw an Ugly Christmas Sweater party, give one as a gag gift or just like to wear them, make sure to take pictures and enter our Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest!

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions and/or cookie recipes? Please share below:

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