We’re pretty big on traditions in our little family, especially during this time of year. We have some traditions that go back ten years to when Kennedy was just a little baby and we lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment, and then lots of others that we’ve picked up along the way. It’s great to look back and see just how all of our favorite family holiday activities and traditions have grown and changed over the years, little-by-little, as our lives got busier and we got smarter. When Jack came on the scene two years ago just a few weeks before Christmas, we definitely had to make some changes and updates to some of our favorite “must do every year” activities. For the most part, we’ve always taken our cues from all of the holiday clichés and have gone pretty classic with our holidays. We always head out to cut down our own tree, decorate the tree together as a family that night, then make time for gingerbread house decorating, Christmas crafts, and watching the Santa Clause parade in there somewhere too. Some traditions, like bundling up to go skating (or just sliding around) on the creek, or taking pictures in Santa hats are just so much better for everyone now that we’ve got Jack around to make us all laugh. But some things, like decorating the perfect tree or doing most Christmas crafts, are pretty darn near impossible. All parents of toddlers are nodding their heads right now. 🙂 We’ve never really gone out driving around to look at Christmas lights, but last year it seemed like the perfect activity one boring Friday night, mostly because little baby Jack could sleep in his car seat the whole time and we could all relax. It turned out to be really fun for everyone with Christmas music on the radio and drive-thru hot chocolates. That’s definitely one we’ll be adding to our bucket list again this year. I can’t wait to see what other fun things we’ll come up with as the years go by and we have another family member who’s able to voice an opinion about something other than wanting to see more tractors! (Fact: toddler boys really love tractors. Maybe this will be a show for him too!) This holiday season, Property Brothers, Jonathan and Drew Scott, will be revisiting some of their own family traditions from years past and will no doubt be marveling at how many things have changed for them and how many have stayed the same. They’ll be going back to their roots as ranch kids in Alberta, Canada in a new HGTV series called Property Brothers At Home on the Ranch, in which they’ll be helping close friends of the family transform a rundown horse ranch into a dream property. Kind of like what we do around here, but much quicker. 🙂 Their family will be joining them as they reminisce about growing up in the wide-open spaces of the ranch. I’ll be watching it for the renovations of course, but also for the scenery! #BrothersatHome I can never seem to get enough of our wide-open country view around here, so I just know that the old horse ranch is going to be a feast for the eyes! The show will of course have all the fun and humor of the other Property Brothers shows that we’ve all watched and loved, and probably a few jokes from Drew about how Jonathan was raised in a barn, but will also talk about how the “Cowboy Code” of hard work and keeping true to your word has helped the brothers become successful as international home renovation celebrities. Inspiration, renovation, restoration, and a few cheesy jokes along the way! How could I not watch that? 🙂 You can tune in to watch HGTV’s Property Brothers At Home on the Ranch with me, starting on Wednesday, November 25th at 9|8c and you can always connect with HGTV on Facebook, on Pinterest, or on Twitter and Instagram by searching for @HGTV!
How have you updated one of your family traditions? Tell me in the comments and you will be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.