1. The Nutcracker or Handel's Messiah
We've rotated between these two events every other year and I absolutely love them both. Max was never one to jump for joy when I mentioned going to the ballet or seeing the Utah Symphony, but I think a part of him might enjoy it now as much as I do. I honestly believe everyone needs to sing the Hallelujah chorus with an orchestra and choir at least once in their lifetime. It's amazing. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.
2. We read Christmas Every Day & The Fourth Wiseman every year together.
I grew up reading Christmas Every Day, and Max read The Fourth Wiseman on his first Christmas in the mission field -- these both tie for two of our favorite Christmas stories. I also try and read A Christmas Carol on my own since I've read it nearly every holiday season since the 7th grade. It nearly ties with Great Expectations in my book.
3. Overnight in SLC
One day I really hope we can spend a holiday season in New York City, but for now we like to spend a weekend up in Salt Lake. Temple Square, carriage rides, Breakfast with Santa at the Grand America -- this will suffice until ice skating in Central Park happens.
This year will be our second year spending the holidays away from home, so we're keeping our presents minimal: (1) Something you want, (2) something you need, (3) something to wear, (4) something to read. It made Christmas shopping so simple, and lets be honest: most of us would rather spend our money on going somewhere rather than on something.
5. Luke 2
Like the rest of the Christian world, we have always read Luke 2 on Christmas Eve. Somewhere along the lines, my family started reading these scriptures by candlelight and afterward, we have a small testimony meeting and share with each other some of our thoughts about the Savior's humble birth and His life. This tradition will always be especially close to my heart.
And yes yes yes, the list goes on. But it's nearly midnight and I must retire for a long winters nap - or at least eight hours of sleep. I'd sleep 18 if I could.