I'm Lisa Kirk, a wife, mama, writer, and founder. Since 2010, Something Pretty has been home to my favorite memories, reflections, and inspirations. Thanks so much for reading!

Starting New Traditions


I know it might be a little late in the game for a blog post about Christmas traditions, but it was a big topic of conversation while Dave and I made our way up to Syracuse for the holidays, so it’s still very much on my mind. I’d love to share a few thoughts on the subject, and hear yours, too!

Family traditions are so important to Dave and me, and we know we want to start some of our own, but it has been hard to wrap our heads around planning anything specific when we know that, at least for the foreseeable future, we’ll be traveling across the country every year to see one of our families. Honestly, I think I’ve been putting a little bit of pressure on myself about our “first married Christmas,” wanting to squeeze everything in. Even though I know it will be really sweet and special to wake up next to my love on Christmas morning, I’m trying to remind myself that this is only the first of so, so many Christmases we get to share, and I don’t have to start EVERY tradition I ever want to do with Dave THIS year.

christmas cookiesCraftstorming

After talking through our own family traditions, Dave and I picked a few that are the most important to each of us–those things that Christmas wouldn’t feel quite complete without. We also came up with a few (read: super simple) traditions we want to start together this year. It’s not much, but hopefully, it’s only the beginning, and we’ll be able to add many special things to this list over the years. Here’s what we came up with:

1. Watch A Christmas Carol (specifically this version) on Christmas Eve. (From my family)
2. Bake one of my Grandma’s famous cookie recipes. (From my family)
3. Get an ornament to commemorate each year. (From Dave’s family)
4. Take a family picture at the top of the stairs first thing on Christmas morning. (From Dave’s family)
5. Read Luke 2 from our family Bible on Christmas morning before opening presents. (A sweet idea we’re borrowing from my friend, Victoria!)
6. Pop a bottle of champagne at Christmas dinner, whether for just the two of us or a house full of people, and write the year on the cork to save.

I’d love to know, what are your Christmas traditions? And if you’re married, how did you navigate choosing/starting traditions together?






  1. Jadzia says:

    Some traditions find you! How else to explain two Northerners living in the Middle East discovering turkey gumbo for Christmas dinner!
    I love the champagne cork idea. May you collect many!!

    • Lisa says:

      Yes! One of my favorites that we’ll probably adopt once we make our own Christmas dinners…or maybe I’ll translate it to NYE gumbo? :) Love you!

  2. India says:

    One thing my family has always done was wear matching plaid pajamas on Christmas Eve! It may be a little cheesy since we are all grown now, but it makes for really good laughs.

  3. Dana says:

    Cookie decorating wasn’t the same without you! Erik stepped up his game this year to some extent, which was joyous!

  4. I LOVE this topic! Even though I’m not married, traditions are so, so important to me – and a topic I adore thinking/talking about!! One of my favorite traditions from Christmas with my family was to read Luke 2 (great idea, Victoria!) first thing Christmas morning, before going downstairs to open presents… and we also sang “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. It is really simple and a little silly (come to think of it, we haven’t done this in years…), but it really focused us on what Christmas is truly about!

    I hope you and Dave have a wonderful first married Christmas together!!

    • Lisa says:

      Those traditions are so sweet! I love that they’re simple and easy to do, but they’re so meaningful. Thanks for sharing! :)

  5. Kyla Fetzner says:

    My family takes our own little tour around town to see all the Christmas lights and listen to carols along the way :) Merriest Christmas to you, Lisa!

  6. Kate says:

    I love this topic! This was my second married Christmas, and I agree, it’s hard to balance having your own traditions with traveling on the actual holiday. This year my husband and I did an Advent Bible study, which was a fun way to prepare for Christmas. And, it was easy to pack our study guides to take with us when we headed cross-country a few days before Christmas!

    • Lisa says:

      I love that, Kate! What a great way to prepare for Christmas together, no matter where you are. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Mary says:

    We always do Christmas Eve with my Dad’s family. This year we hope to celebrate Christmas as a season and do something special everyday until Epiphany! Hopefully we can keep doing this each year! Christmas and Advent has been extra special this year since Jimpy is old enough to (sort of) know what’s going on. :)

  8. Rhiannon says:

    Such a beautiful card! I hope your holiday was special, you guys xoxoxo


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