By Guest Blogger Carrie Sockwell, author of Our Carolina Home

Traditions at Christmas is what keeps the excitement alive. It is what has me ready for the holiday year after year. Some traditions date back to before we were even born, but we still take part in those traditions with our families. Gingerbread houses, singing Christmas carols, putting lights on the tree are just a few examples. For our family every weekend right before Thanksgiving we go to get our Christmas tree at Cobbs Tree Farm in Gibsonville. It is without a doubt that we are going to drink hot cider and eat sprinkle cookies before we look for the perfect tree. We are going to see our neighbors and share stories from the years past. This tradition for my family has now brought excitement to my children as well. They now look forward to those same little details that I do! When we pull out of the driveway at Cobbs, we are eager to get back the following year.

Traditions are something that most families have created over the years. It’s something special that they do together with their family or friends. Something unique with details that they could only recall. But do our traditions only have to happen at Christmas or can they happen throughout the year? As we go into the new year I urge you to think of new traditions that you can start with your families and friends. Traditions throughout the year will add extra excitement to all seasons!

Spring- With spring, comes flowers, rain and warm weather! Everyone is itching to get outside and smell the fresh air. Think about activities that you could do every year, that involve your family being outside. One of our favorite traditions in the spring is picking tulips at a local farm. We drive up to the farm, find the prettiest tulips to spread throughout the house and then enjoy a beautiful picnic at the farm or a local park. I love watching my girls get so excited about the simple things in life. It might be simple but it brings memories that will last a lifetime.

Summer- Our summertime tradition is one that I am sure many families have. We head to the coast for a week! Typically we pick a North Carolina beach and find a fun house that will allow our family to just chill and soak in the sun. Maybe your family might go to the same beach every year, eat at the same restaurants and stay at the same house. As you think back on your beach trips, think about how much joy they have brought your family.

Fall- Fall traditions are easy to pick because like Christmas, there are many things to do! It might be apple picking, visiting a local pumpkin patch, or making apple butter. The list could go on and on. This year we started a new tradition that I hope will last for a long time! We went to an outdoor movie, showing Hocus Pocus! We love Hocus Pocus but there was something special about sitting under the stars on a picnic blanket that made it so memorable.

What are your favorite traditions? When do you want to start a new one? No matter when or where your tradition begins, it is sure to be memorable for your family. A tradition is a special treasure that you will never lose!

Merry Christmas Eve!

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