The holidays have always been my favorite time of year. From October to January you can find me at my happiest and it's been this way for as long as I can remember. As a little kid I would collect a few spare branches when we cut down our family Christmas tree and string them with lights for my bedroom. When I lived by myself I would spend hours making decorations, wrapping presents and baking goodies- even if they were just for me! Now that I have little ones, the holidays have taken on an entirely new meaning and are more wonderful than ever. This year we reached a very sweet stage in which there's even more magic to the season. Our kids were over the moon with excitement during October as we created haunted gingerbread houses, watched spooky movies and prepared costumes, so I am thrilled to think of what the weeks ahead will be like.

I think the reason that this year is different is that our kids are old enough to understand how special this time of year is and it feels like it's officially time to create some of our own family traditions. There is such a specific joy that comes along with creating traditions as a parent. It's a privilege to be the architects behind making memories that will hopefully last a lifetime for our children. The way we dress for Thanksgiving and prepare specific dishes together and write our letters to Santa, the way we decorate our tree, the treats that we bake, the pajamas that we wear...these are all the things that everyone does a little bit differently but leave such a big imprint on one's childhood and I'm grateful to see it from the other side as the elf behind the magic that we're creating in our own home.

If we're lucky, these new traditions will carry us through this next season of life (it all goes by too fast) and one day our kids will look back fondly on the way we celebrated. And if we're REALLY lucky, having traditions of our own will inspire our kids to create unique ways of celebrating with their future families- either the ones that they choose or the ones that they create- in a season filled with comfort and joy.