Christmas and New Year Traditions With My Family During The Joyous Holiday Season


( ENSPIRE Lifestyle ) Our Magical Merry Christmas And New Year Festivities To Get Us Excited For 2022

ENSPIRE Contributor: Devyn Petraglia

The month of December is such a joyous time of year with Christmas and the exciting countdown to the new year. Everyone celebrates in their own special way, but I wanted to discuss how my family and I celebrate Christmas and New Year’s. Because I love feeling happy and festive, I always put the tree up early and I decorate right after Thanksgiving. Although, it wouldn’t be complete without Christmas music and Christmas movies which are a must-have during the entire month of December.

My boyfriend Hunter and I also love baking holiday treats which comprise double chocolate chip cookies with marshmallows, Oreo truffles, and puppy chow. Besides this, we have a Christmas party every year at his grandma Cheryl’s house along with close family and friends where we have dinner, take part in a gift exchange, and open stockings. We all get to spend time together and enjoy Christmas cookies decorated with Christmas-themed toppings.

Photo source: Devyn Petraglia

Christmas Eve is always eventful with Hunter’s dad Candon, celebrating his birthday by taking everyone bowling and to dinner at Outback Steakhouse. Before my grandparents passed away in 2019 and 2020, my mom and I spent the day next door at their house drinking hot cocoa by the fire, eating a nice Christmas dinner, dancing to Christmas music, and exchanging gifts. Christmas has been different for my mom and me ever since their passing. We now spend time together on Christmas day cooking lunch, exchanging our gifts, and watching Christmas movies.

On Christmas morning, my boyfriend and I wake up early to exchange our gifts and then we drive to his dad’s house. There, we make traditional biscuits and gravy and exchange gifts with the whole family. Christmas night, we have dinner together and build gingerbread houses while playing games and spending time together. On New Year’s Eve, we go to his dad’s for dinner and light fireworks to enjoy the countdown to the exciting new year! These festivities remind me of how thankful I am to have Hunter’s family and my mom for giving me so many laughs and amazing memories I can cherish forever.

Photo source: Devyn Petraglia

I interviewed my mom Kellie, my boyfriend Hunter, and his sister Ali about Christmas and New Year’s resolutions. 

What is your favorite Christmas festivity? 

Kellie: My favorite festivity is watching Christmas movies because it always gets me in the mood for the holiday season. 

Hunter: My favorite festivity is cooking for the Christmas party and bringing holiday treats. 

Ali: My favorite festivity is Christmas morning where we have breakfast and exchange gifts.

How do you feel positive around the holiday season? 

Kellie: I always make it a priority to help others around this time of year and give back. I’m involved with AA and I’m chair for the AA treatment center where I can go and help hospitalized or institutionalized patients receive care and get sober. 

Hunter: I prefer giving gifts for Christmas over receiving gifts because it makes me feel happy that I gave someone something they’ll enjoy. 

Ali: Since I’m 13, I can’t buy much so I get one gift for each person and I make it extra special. 

What is your favorite memory from 2021? 

Kellie: Being elected chair for the AA treatment center for all east valley hospitals and institutions. I truly feel like I can make a difference in people’s lives and help patients get sober. I can interact with people who can’t leave and attend meetings. 

Hunter: Moving to our third apartment, which is the best place we’ve lived in. I also got to buy a motorcycle this year so that has been amazing. 

Ali: I was given a PC computer for Christmas and I can now play video games with my brothers and you. 

What are your New Year’s resolutions? 

Kellie: I want to get involved with more AA treatments and continue to help more people.

Hunter: I want to learn Japanese so we could take a trip to Japan. 

Ali: I want to get a cat and start streaming on YouTube. 

What goals do you have for the upcoming year? 

Kellie: I want to continue sponsoring more people over the phone and help them stay sober. 

Hunter: I want to save more money for a house before 2023 for you and I. 

Ali: I start high school in the fall of 2022 and I would like to get involved in some school clubs.

Photo source: Devyn Petraglia

The holiday season is truly an amazing and eventful time of year for all of us. I’m lucky to say I’ve been part of my boyfriend’s family since 2016. It’s something I’m so grateful for. My mom, boyfriend, and his family have always made me feel included, taken care of, and happy. Around Christmas and New Year’s, the memories I’ve made with everyone hold a special place in my heart. We keep these traditions alive every year and it gets more and more exciting as the years pass on. 2022 will be a great one and I can’t wait to continue celebrating more!

Photo source: Devyn Petraglia

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