How We Know It’s the Holidays


Around here, we’ve been talking about the holiday season since Labor Day. We create new traditions every year with twists on classic dishes and  new interpretations of old favorites (like our Christmas cracker-inspired story in this month’s issue). However, the most meaningful things we do this time of year are the things we’ve always done, the heartfelt traditions passed down through generations. Here are a few that make us feel all warm and fuzzy:

Dish Duty

“For me the holidays have always begun in my family when my mom takes out the Christmas dishes and starts to wash them for use. Growing up my brother and I would always bring the boxes down from the attic and lay them out and it was always a sign that Christmas was on its way. As silly as it is, I still get excited each year when I see the dishes come out. ”

-Kristen Lefkus, Whole Living Editorial Intern

Sister Act

“I’m one of three girls. Every Christmas Eve, my mom lays out new “Christmas” pajamas on our beds to change into. They are usually the same pajamas in three different colors/patterns. The pictures that result are a little embarrassing but we love them – and we all look very festive on Christmas morning!”

-Diana Marko, Digital Project Manager

 International Inspiration

“My husband is Hungarian so if we’re not in Hungary for the holidays he always makes Hungarian pancakes (palacsinta) for Christmas breakfast. We eat them with apricot jam made by his mom that he smuggles back every time he visits.”

-Alanna Stang, Whole Living Editor-in-Chief

Edible Decor

“We get a little tree for the kitchen and decorate it with edible things like cookies, candy, popcorn, etc. and every year my sister and I make orange rolls with my grandmother on Christmas day to serve with dinner.”

-Courtney Anderson, Digital Marketing Manager

Window Shopping

“Growing up near Chicago, my family always went to see the beautifully decorated windows at Marshall Fields. It was usually the story of ‘The Nutcracker’ or ‘A Christmas Carol.’”

-Anna Ross, Assistant Photo and Research Editor

Scent-sational Wake Up

“Every Thanksgiving my mom makes fresh baked cinnamon buns in the morning – my siblings and I sleep at home the night before, leave our doors open and the sweet smell in the early morning never fails to wake us up. We all go down to the kitchen, grab a cinnamon bun and watch the NYC Thanksgiving parade!”

-Colleen Banks, Martha Stewart Weddings Editorial Assistant, Style

Taylor Combs is an Assistant Digital Editor at Martha Stewart. She’s obsessed with neon and polka dots and loves cooking Mexican food at home. Follow her on Twitter @Taylor2178. 

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