Happy holidays from all of us at The Local Moms Network! We are now over 100 moms strong in 25 states across the U.S. One of the most amazing things about our network is the unique experiences and perspectives our moms all bring, from California to Connecticut. On that note, we wanted to share a few of our moms’ favorite family traditions…

From Sarah Paddack, Libertyville Area Moms:
“We moved to a very special neighborhood 2.5 years ago. We knew it was the “milk jug” neighborhood when we bought the home but nonetheless we were surprised to see the former owners left us 15 milk jugs, a string of lights and a note in our garage when we moved in. The jugs are handed down to the new residents when anyone leaves one of the 28 houses on Dymond and Dover just south of Golf Road in Libertyville. For the past 33 years, every holiday season over 800 luminaria are lit on these two cul-de-sac streets making it a destination for families seeking a special holiday experience of viewing holiday lights.”

From Ana Montesano, Cypress Hills Network:
“We do something called “straws for Jesus”, each time we see someone from our family or people visiting our home doing something kind, we give them a straw to add to Jesus’ manger. The more straws we add, the cozier Jesus’ manger is when he is born on Christmas Day. It really gets everyone in the holiday spirit and acting kinder and noticing the good acts that we may sometimes take for granted. It also inspires all of us to be kinder.”

From Briana Beaty, The Palm Beach Moms:
“I keep all of our holiday cards – year after year on a ring.  It is so fun to be able to look back and see the people we love over the years, and it makes a great conversation piece for cocktail parties.

Also, I give my husband a box with 10 backpacks filled with goodness (like toothpaste, wipes, bottled water, mouthwash, brush, qtips, snacks, etc) to hand out to homeless humans on Christmas night.  He always knows it is coming but he still loves it.  He gets sub sandwiches and sodas when he hands them out and sits and chats.  And now that the kids are more aware I love them seeing this.  They help me make the bags and always put cards in with thoughtful messages.”

From Melissa DeSanti, The Mendham Moms:
Every year we go to my grandmother’s (who is 98!) house to help decorate her Christmas tree and cookies. Each year we give her an ornament with the date and all the names of her grandchildren on it (there are 9 of us). When my cousin had his daughter we started a new tradition of giving her an ornament with all of the greats names (she is up to 11 great grandchildren now, with the addition of my youngest daughter born in September).

The cookies we decorate are butter cookies. The recipe is my grandmothers, and only a few of us have it (and we are sworn to secrecy!) The cookies taste like Christmas to me and we always leave them out for Santa. It is the most magical thing to watch your children take over a tradition that has been in our family for almost 40 years, if not longer!

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