Our Holiday Traditions

We are driving to Disneyland today because my husband has never been before! We're so excited. But I wanted to share some traditions with you that we cherish at the holidays...

Part of the reason I think a lot of us love the holidays so much, is because of the memories created surrounding traditions we do with our friends and family this time of year! As a newly married couple (well, sort of...a year and 4 months in ;)) I love thinking of traditions we can start for our new family, even before adding kids to the mix. I thought I'd share some of my family's traditions + some that my husband and I are doing now.

- Getting our tree the weekend of Thanksgiving: this is one my husband and I have started, though this year we got it just a few days early! We always take a timelapse of us decorating the tree and save it so see how each tree turned out. Kinda fun!

- We decided last year that every year we will get each other an ornament. Last year I got him a beautiful sea turtle to remember our honeymoon in Hawaii, when he got to see them up close while scuba diving! This year it's more generic, but still cute. This way we will be filling up our tree a little more each year with meaningful ornaments! 

- Growing up my mom and dad got us an ornament every year, too. This stopped when we both got married, so now we carry on the tradition. My grandma gave me a Precious Moments ornament each year, all the way from my very first Christmas to when I was 25. I have 25 beautiful Precious Moments to look back on. They are some of my most precious things I own! I can't wait to pass them down to a daughter one day.

- The other fun thing we always do, ever since I can remember, is open a pair of new Pajamas on Christmas Eve from my parents. We all change into them and wake up in our new jammies on Christmas Morning. My mom has already let me know that the tradition will carry on this year -- even spouses get new PJ's now! ;)

- Every Christmas Morning my mom makes the most glorious breakfast. A delicious egg casserole and sweet cinnamon coffee cake. If I ever smell or eat either of these two things in different times of the year, I'm immediately transported to Christmas Morning with my family. The recipe for the casserole is below! When we were here in Michigan for Christmas last year, I made the casserole myself and it turned out great. I even made it a few weeks ago for a girls Christmas brunch. It's easy!

- I would always make sugar cookies with my grandma when I was younger. Now I make the recipe on my own, but this year since we'll be in CA for Christmas, I'll try to go over there and help her make them like old times. The recipe is here. 

- A few years my mom has hosted a Christmas Eve party at our house for my family. This year all of our extended family will be in town so there will be somewhere around 30 people in our home. We can't wait to see everyone from all over the country! Sweet family time :) I usually think of a game or two we could play.

Quite a few Christmasses ago (like 2012), I made a video of our celebration with my dad's side of the family, then the next year made one for my mom's side. If you care to watch them, then there are the links!


Here's the Egg Casserole Recipe: (you need to do part at night and part in the morning!)

6 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded and divided
1/2 medium onion chopped
1/4. cup sweet red and yellow pepper, thinly sliced
8 oz cooked sausage (the recipe says ham, but we use sausage!)
1/4 cup butter, melted
8 eggs beaten
1 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tblspoons fresh or dried basil, tarragon, thyme, oregano

Sprinkle 3 cups of cheese in a bottom of a 13x9" baking dish. In saucepan, cook the onion and peppers in the butter until veggies are tender but not brown. Drain well. Sprinkle veggies over the bottom layer of cheese. Cook the sausage and arrange on top of veggies. Sprinkle remaining 3 cups of cheese over the sausage. Cover and chill the refrigerator over night. To serve, combine eggs, milk, flour and pour over cheese layer. Sprinkle spices (along with some salt and pepper) on the top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes - an hour. Let stand 10 minutes or so. 

Serves 12.


Hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do!

The holidays are often a sweet time of family and celebration, but I want to take a moment to note that I also understand this time of year brings up a lot of emotions and sometimes sadness, yearning for a person who might not be at your table this year, or grieving another form of loss. We have experienced that loss with my husband's father passing away almost two years ago now, so you are not alone if that is you. We try to do a few things to remember his dad in the month of December, as it was his birthday month. This is a sweet way to keep his legacy alive.


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Thank you for stopping by! If you have a specific question, please email me at hello@michaelanoelledesigns.com. I always reply to emails! Have a blessed day! xoxo

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