It’s here! I’ve been looking forward to this newsletter for months now. With the help of FamilyMade team members far and wide, we’ve gathered all of our favorite holiday traditions, gift guides, movies, music, and more for you, right here.
Today, you’ll get to learn a bit more about your favorite creators and their favorite things. So grab a hot chocolate with extra mini marshmallows, light that fire, turn up the Mariah Carey, and let’s party!
The 2022 FamilyMade Holiday Tradition Guide
The thing we love most about this time of year? The warm, fuzzy traditions. Maybe it’s selecting the perfect tree, gathering around the family Menorah on the first night of Hanukkah, frosting sugar cookies, or watching a classic holiday film together (yes, Die Hard is a Christmas movie).
We took some very official polls, and here are the results—every FamilyMade favorite’s very favorite things this holiday season.
One quick note: We are sharing the sentiment exactly as communicated so you can experience the full enthusiasm of our participants 😂 there’s a lot of passion here.
Holiday decor: before or after Thanksgiving?
Daniella & Andrew: BEFORE!
Jaclyn & Seth: Definitely after Thanksgiving. Jackie would prefer to have Christmas decor up all year round but Seth wants to make sure each season is properly celebrated!
Mykayla & Jonas: Definitely before Thanksgiving!
Shannon & Chase: BEFORE! We are those obnoxious folks who go full-on Christmas-everything right when November 1 hits 😅
Amanda & Stephen: This is a hotly debated subject and whole households (ours included) are divided on this one. I (Stephen) am all about putting them up the day after Halloween. Amanda, on the other hand, is more traditional in the sense that she wants them to go up after Thanksgiving. (They go up after Thanksgiving 😉)
Favorite holiday movie?
Daniella & Andrew: Tough choice. The Santa Clause or Christmas Vacation are two greats!
Jaclyn & Seth: The Holiday. HANDS DOWN.
Mykayla & Jonas: We can’t decide! We love Elf, The Santa Clause, Home Alone, and The Grinch.
Shannon & Chase: Elf for both of us! (runners up: Home Alone, Four Christmases, Love Actually)
Amanda & Stephen: There are so many great ones. I think that both of us would agree that A Christmas Story is our favorite. However, some noble runners-up are Elf, Home Alone, The Family Man, Christmas Vacation, and It’s A Wonderful Life.
Shawn & Andrew: Home Alone, The Santa Clause, The Polar Express, The Grinch (animated version!), The Holiday, Love Actually
Best holiday song?
Daniella & Andrew: “Carol of the Bells” IS THE ALL-TIME BEST HOLIDAY SONG.
Jaclyn & Seth: “The Christmas Song.” Nothing gets me more in the Christmas spirit!
Mykayla & Jonas: “Jingle Bell Rock”
Shannon & Chase: “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey, ALL DAY!
Must-have holiday season food item?
Daniella & Andrew: Pumpkin pie
Jaclyn & Seth: Eggnog French toast! It’s a favorite my mom has always made!
Mykayla & Jonas: For Mykayla—ham with pineapple and a brown sugar glaze. Jonas is an eggnog guy.
Shannon & Chase: Streusel mix & Muddy Buddies!
Amanda & Stephen: The most frequently made is hot cocoa. I know that’s not a food item, but we spend many a night making hot cocoa and watching Christmas movies by the tree.
Shawn & Andrew: Flexible on Christmas food—it’s usually a potluck. Something sweet for Christmas morning like monkey bread!
Best part about having kids during the holidays or your favorite holiday activity?
Daniella & Andrew: Creating traditions together
Jaclyn & Seth: We drive to this neighborhood that goes CRAZY when it comes to Christmas lights and it’s the most impressive experience! We bring our own little hot chocolate and we slowly drive through marveling at all the lights. The kids literally love it!
Mykayla & Jonas: Black Friday shopping
Shannon & Chase: Gifts of Togetherness advent calendar! Each day in December, we do an activity that allows us to spend time together as a family. We take a polaroid picture of the activity and put the picture in the advent calendar so we can enjoy the memories when we pull out the calendar at future Christmases. So fun!
Amanda & Stephen: Going skiing as a family during Christmas break has quickly become a family favorite. All the family time together snuggled around the fireplace after a day on the slopes, or hot tubbing with snow falling all around and your hair turning into a block of ice—it just feels like Christmas.
Shawn & Andrew: The anticipation of it all is the best!
Favorite holiday tradition?
Daniella & Andrew: Ooh, driving around looking at lights, or the early morning Christmas wake-up (tough to beat!)
Jaclyn & Seth: My mom always hid our presents and had all of the kids go on a scavenger hunt to find them. She would leave clues from Santa on the tree and then we’d wait until we found all of them and open them one by one so each gift and each kid got the proper celebration. I’m so excited to do this for our kiddos too!
Mykayla & Jonas: Snuggling and watching Christmas movies
Shannon & Chase: Getting hot chocolate & driving around looking at Christmas lights as a family!
Amanda & Stephen: We take the kids to pick out an ornament each year and then on the first Saturday morning we can get free, we put on Christmas music, make brunch, put up the tree, and watch a Christmas movie together. It’s our second favorite day of the year, surpassed only by Christmas itself.
Shawn & Andrew: We love being at home with the tree lit, looking at Christmas lights, and making cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. Now that they’re older, we can’t wait to see the kids wake up on Christmas morning.
Got any New Year's resolutions?
Daniella & Andrew: Practice gratitude daily and make sure we're doing everything we can to serve others
Jaclyn & Seth: Improving health from the inside out! Reading more books and researching more about the foods that work well with our bodies. We really want to know our bodies, steward them well, and be the best we can be health-wise to set an example for our kids and to live a long, active, and wonderful life!
Mykayla & Jonas: Have a baby!
Shannon & Chase: For Shannon, it’s going to bed earlier! For Chase, it’s eating out less and making more meals at home.
Amanda & Stephen: I think getting into the house we have been building for almost two years will be a big one. Also just generally trying to be as healthy as we can as a family. Spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
Shawn & Andrew: We’re big on this time of year. We have a whole list we’ll be sharing!
The ultimate holiday movie list. This seems to be the mother of all movie lists, and it includes categories like family-friendly and movies WITH SNACK PAIRINGS. Stop it! Go pop that popcorn!
Gift guide for all ages. Wow. This is a crazy good list of gift ideas for all broken down by age AND interest. Santa, take note…
Free & festive. If the FM fam list didn’t get your gears going, this list of free and festive holiday activities has 29 more ideas for you including catching a parade, hitting up a brisk 5K, and caroling!
Oh...and one more thing: Notice some new names in that roundup of all of our phenomenal FamilyMade talent sharing their holiday faves? That's because we're growing tons right now! And we've got some exciting announcements coming very soon!
We hope you’re having as much fun as we are. Merry memory-making, fam! Meet us back here on Friday!