My Christmas Traditions

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

I can’t believe Christmas is less than a week away! I feel like it was just Thanksgiving and too early to start celebrating!

Well, now that Christmas is right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share some old photos that my mom dug out for me last week.

Aren’t my sister and I cute? I think this photo was taken at Christmas 1986. The date in the lower left corner says APR 1987, so I guess my mom didn’t develop these pictures for a few months. (Hey, single moms are busy!)


The back of this photo says February 1984, so I assume it was taken at Christmas 1983. My sister and I are totally rockin’ our footie pajamas. (I heard a rumor that you can buy adult size footie pajamas at Target nowadays. Can someone please confirm or deny? I might need a pair in my life.)

I wonder what my sister is wearing around her chest in this photo? It looks like a pair of underwear, which doesn’t really surprise me. She’s dressed up as Quail Man for multiple Halloweens! 😆


Christmas 1985 looked like a good one! Check out all of those gifts!


Nintendo!!! :mrgreen:


I’m pretty sure this is the year that I stopped believing in Santa. Don’t I look annoyed!?


Every family has their own special holiday traditions and ours is no different”¦ although, I think ours are sort of random!

On Christmas Eve, my mom, sister, and I watch Pee-Wee’s Christmas Special and A Very Brady Christmas. Both were taped off the TV in the late 80’s (one during a snow storm), so the quality isn’t great, but we still watch them. We even quote lines and sing along to the songs!

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We also have a Christmas morning tradition that never changes.

Growing up, there was a Christmas morning “rule” in our house that no present could be opened until my mom had her coffee. Not surprisingly, my sister and I quickly learned how to make my mom her much-needed cup of coffee, so we could open presents as soon as possible.

Over the years, our morning tradition evolved into making my mom her mug of coffee, delivering it to her in bed, and bringing our Christmas stockings into her bedroom to open immediately while my mom looked on and sipped her coffee. We’ve had this same Christmas morning tradition as long as I can remember and we still continue it year after year.

After we open presents, we eat Pillsbury Cinnamon Buns! 😀



I woke up with a serious craving for peanut butter this morning, so I made a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and banana slices on it.

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On the side, I had an iced coffee with a splash of eggnog.

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I also added some extra peanut butter to the other half of the banana that didn’t fit on my piece of toast. Peanut butter!

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Question of the Day

What’s your most unique holiday tradition?



  1. We had a similar rule that you couldn’t open presents until everyone was awake — and my sister liked to sleep in! I used to jump on her bed until she got up. 😉

    Unique tradition: because of divorce and a lot of family in the area, we have 3 Christmas celebrations on the 25th. Mom, Dad and grandparents.

  2. OMG I love a Very Brady Christmas!! When I was little, my sister and I would go out in our first snowfall and make a big snowball. We froze it until Christmas morning, then ran into my parents’ bedroom at some ungodly early hour and threw it in their bed to wake them up. 😀

  3. You guys look so cute! I love looking at old pictures of Christmas mornings. Since we have kids now, we like our own traditions and we have really just started them. We are doing marathons of Christmas movies and it really has been the highlight of this season for me. Have a great day Tina!

  4. Our most unique tradition involves my mom’s birthday, which is Christmas Day! We always try and separate the two as much as possible, but the afternoon always includes a birthday cake and a non-leftover lunch/dinner; this year it’s crab legs!

  5. Thanks for sharing pics from back in the day! I love hearing (and seeing) about Christmas traditions.

    Oh, and yes, you can buy footie pajamas at Target in adult sizes. I haven’t decided if this is the greatest thing ever or a little unfortunate. 🙂

  6. ahh…LOVED the comment about not opening any gifts before mom had her coffee. That’s hilarious!

    By the way, I’ve been stalking your blog for the past week and I absolutely love it. I’m a fellow runner as well and it has been fun to hear your stories about running and eating healthy.

    Have a great day!

  7. Great post! My mom’s side of the family is Mexican, so every Christmas we make hundreds of tamales with our extended family. Then, each family eats their share on Christmas morning for breakfast 🙂 A little weird for a breakfast, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

  8. A Very Brady Christmas is an awesome movie – Christmas Vacation is my favorite though.

    We eat steak and eggs for breakfast on Christmas morning – that is our tradition. My dad also used to read twas the night before christmas on christmas eve!

  9. My mom always makes those same cinnamon buns every Christmas morning! even though her and my sister are the only ones that like them!

  10. Yesss I love seeing childhood photos. You were adorable! Still are, of course 😉

    One of my favorite Christmas traditions is actually going to take place this evening. I’ll be baking a batch of my family’s favorite Christmas sugar cookies. I’m having a tough time thinking of other traditions, though, especially because things have changed so much in our family over the years. But I don’t mind because there are always *new* traditions popping up 🙂

  11. Thanks for sharing your Christmas traditions! I love the old photos. My favorite family tradition is to bake sugar cookies with my little brother and my mom 🙂

  12. YES! You can buy those footsie pajamas at Target 🙂 And…I believe they were on sale when I was at the Watertown Target on Saturday. Congrats on running the 20 miler, I found that to be worse than the marathon itself. With all the spectators and excitement on race day, those first 20 miles don’t seem nearly as bad as it did in training. Good luck on you marathon and Happy Holidays you you, Mal, and Murphy 🙂

  13. Yes, I can confirm the footie pajamas as well! Some of them even have little animal slippers as the feet!

    When our extended family does stockings, we don’t write who the presents are from and everyone has to guess – all at once! It’s a lot of unwrapping followed by shouting (Jim! Jim! ..? no? Chris!) and even more fun 🙂

  14. When me, my sisters and my cousins were children our parents and grandparents also had to have their coffee before we could head downstairs to open presents. This was unbelievably hard since we were usually up at 5:30 or 6, anxiously awaiting the big morning. Now, we get up leisurly, go to church as a family, come home, drink coffee, eat some kringle (so good! O&H Bakery), open stockings, eat early dinner, open presents. It’s an all day affair and always leaves me pleasantly pooped! 🙂

  15. A very Brady Christmas is so underrated. It’s never on TV anymore!! I’m pretty sure my girldhood BF, JTT, is in it as Greg Brady’s son.

  16. Isn’t it nuts how fast December is going. Growing up we would get up on Christmas day, open our gifts, eat breakfast and get ready to head to my grandparents – both sets. Now with kids of our own and living away from the extended family we have a new tradition. No gift can be open until everyone is up — let’s just say everyone is up too early. Then everyone takes turns opening one gift at a time. After all the gifts are open my hubby removes everything from boxes and assembles anything that needs it. I make orange julius (the kind w/o the egg) and bake homemade cinnamon rolls and an egg casserole. The rest of the morning is spent with the kids playing with their new toys and us watching them or in my hubby’s case playing with the toys. According to him he is doing a “quality control check.”

  17. I was just talking to my husband about traditions and starting new ones around the holidays. Most traditions are all about food! Except for the ones that are about presents – we’ll happily keep those. 🙂 But I would love to start new traditions that aren’t all about food, maybe even active ones.

  18. Up intil about a few years ago my dad, brother and i would go out to breakfast on Christmas Eve morning and then do all of my dads Christmas shopping at LL bean in Freeport, Maine. It was such a fun tradition but I think everyone got sick of beans so now my dad just gets giftcards for everyone. Now my dad and I usually just do some last minute things like stocking stuff for my mom and brother and get food together for Christmas eve.

  19. Love the 80s photos & hearing about your traditions! We always go to church on Christmas Eve, then come home for a yummy meal of steak & twice baked potatoes. My mom gets us each Christmas PJs to open on Christmas Eve & we all get an ornament that reflects something we did in the past year. Consequently, I have a collection of ornaments that tells the story of me. I cherish them! 🙂

  20. Walmart also has footed adult size onesies. I remember my dad bought me footed pjs for Christmas when I was in college. They were much appreciated in NW Minnesota! No traditions here. Our main job during the holidays is trying to keep the mothers happy since both insist on visits exactly on the holidays. One is in NC, one in MN, so we usually go our separate ways (this has been going on for 26 years). I’d love to wake up on Christmas in my own bed with my husband!

  21. I smiled as I read this because my parents have a similar rule! Even though my youngest sibling is in college, my dad is still adamant about going downstairs first, oohing and ahhing about the presents and setting up the camera while my mom makes coffee and breakfast. Then the annual top-of-the-stairs photo with my brother, sister, the dog and myself is taken. Then we finally get to come downstairs 🙂 I love Christmas morning.

  22. Our traditions are similar to yours – we always watch A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve (followed by a game if we’re up to it). Then on Christmas morning, we always opened presents and ate cinnamon rolls too.

    Last year I had to forgo eating the rolls because I had just found out about my gluten intolerance. This year, I’m going all out and making Angela’s cinnamon rolls for the Husband and me!

  23. My sister wakes all the kids up (around 7 am) and we sit on the top of the stairs until my parents tell us we can come down. Then, we run down the stairs and see all the presents under the tree for the first time. This got harder to do the older and bigger we got!

  24. Target does indeed sell footie pjs….I sadly know this because I tried some on! lol

    We have the same tradition of eating Pillsbury cinnamon rolls as well! I was contemplating making my own from scratch this year, but it just wouldn’t feel the same! 🙂

  25. Our Christmas tradition growing up was to eat “Christmas Eve Pasta”– or penne with peas, red peppers and an alfredo sauce. We usually watch a movie on Christmas too either How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the old cartoon) or Trading Spaces (with Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy)….depending on whether we’re at our mom’s or dad’s house!

  26. You can get adult footies at many places, probably Target too! I even saw an adult Grinch footie pj set.

    We could open our stockings when we woke up but had to wait until my parents were up to start gifts. Now, we have to wait for my 16 sister to get up because she would sleep until noon if she wanted.

  27. We usually have dinner at midnight (night before Christmas) and open one present each. Then off to sleep we would go to wake up in the morning for mass and party and christmas present opening! 🙂

  28. When we take down the tree the previous year we keep one ornament out and put it in an prominent spot in the house where it can “watch” everything. The following year, it is the last ornament put on the tree and it “tells” all the other ornaments what happened during the year. 🙂

  29. What cute pictures! I especially love the zip up jammies! And yes, Target will fill your life with zip up jammies once again.

    Those are great traditions. As a kid we were never allowed to go downstairs until my parents were awake because they always liked to see our faces as we saw the Christmas tree.

    Now I am working on a new tradition with my husband that involves Chinese take out and a viewing of Elf. 🙂

  30. Every year on Christmas eve, my brother and I got to open 1 present. It was always pajamas. When we were little, we’d put them on and we would ride in the back of the volvo station wagon looking at Christmas lights in the neighborhood. When we got back we always had cookies and hot chocolate with candy canes- it’s amazing how we ever fell asleep! Haha. Holiday traditions are so fun! 🙂

  31. Love this! I still have my Nintendo system! 😀 We do xmas a little different. We usually exchange our family gifts on Christmas eve and have some sort of take out for dinner that night. Then Xmas day we have UNWRAPPED gifts from santa but I think the surprise was still there for us because we couldn’t “exlpore” until Mom got up haha. Then we have xmas dinner. Its kinda like thanksgiving with family, a change of scenary and a whole lotta food! 🙂

  32. Every December, my tradition has been to watch “The Sound of Music”…has been since I was 6 (it was always on TV and now I just pop in my video). My daughter is now joining me on this tradition (my boys/husband just tease us…haha). For Christmas Day, my mother-in-law used have everyone over for homemade waffles (with all the fixings – strawberries & cream). Now that she’s gone, I’ve carried on the tradition for my family. I can’t wait…yummy!

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