Happy December!

How do you entertain yourself when you’ve got a few hours alone during the holidays? A good read? A movie? A Hulu binge? When I have a few hours to myself, I love to watch classic Disney Christmas movies like Mickey’s Christmas Carol and other Christmas cartoons from my childhood.

I remember when I was a little girl, my mom bought me the Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol and Disney’s Christmas All-Time Favorites record albums. I used to love listening to both albums and sing along to my favorite Christmas songs. (I think I still have both record albums in a memory box stored in my basement.)  

Detroit holidays Cadillac Lodge
Over the weekend, we stopped by Cadillac Lodge in Downtown Detroit.

Over three decades later, I still adore Mickey’s Christmas Carol and Disney’s Christmas All-Time Favorites! Whenever I hear Chip and Dale singing “The Chipmunk Song” it reminds me of baking chocolate chip cookies with my mom and sister during the Christmas season.

In fact, while typing this blog post, I listened to the 1981 Disney holiday songs on YouTube and it brought tears to my eyes. 

Detroit holidays
The Downtown Detroit Markets at Cadillac Square feature Detroit-based, small business owners. You can find holiday gifts at the market, too!
Campus Martius

Sometimes I’d turn the radio on to a station that played holiday music 24/7 throughout the holiday season. I’d dance and sing along to the Christmas music and pretend I was performing at a holiday concert.

I’d even play holiday music before bedtime because I wanted to dream about celebrating Christmas with my family and all of the surprises that were in store for Christmas Day. 

Detroit Holidays

Now that I am a mother, the holiday season has a new meaning to me. For me, Christmas is extra special because I get to create new traditions and share old holiday memories with my own children.

Every year when we put up our Christmas tree, my kids’ faces light up with joy. I love watching them decorate the tree and play with the ornaments. Another holiday tradition we love is opening a new door on our Advent calendars. We always buy the kids the calendars with chocolate treats. It’s a fun and yummy way to count down the days to Christmas. 

Detroit Holidays 2019: Visiting Cadillac Lodge and Campus Martius
This year’s Christmas tree at Campus Martius Park in Downtown Detroit is beautiful!
Campus Martius Detroit Holidays

Last year, we started a new family holiday tradition: celebrating Kwanzaa. I wish I would have done this years ago, but the important thing is we started.

Last Kwanzaa, the kids and I created fun crafts, read Kwanzaa books, and lit each candle on the Kinara. It was a great way to teach them about our culture. Plus, they loved getting gifts and treats again after Christmas. 🙂

Cadillac Lodge
Detroit Holidays 2019: Visiting Cadillac Lodge and Campus Martius
Cadillac Lounge

Each year Travis and I work hard to bless our children with a good Christmas. Some Christmases have been tough financially (i.e. in 2017, after Travis lost his job), and we have experienced blessed seasons where we were able to give our children a little extra for Christmas. No matter the life season we have been in, every Christmas has been wonderful because of our strong, family bond.

Detroit holidays
Cadillac Lodge Detroit Holidays

One valuable lesson I have learned about celebrating the holidays is this: 

It’s the Christmas memories we make with our loved ones that are truly the best gift of all. They are priceless.

I once read in Pastor Rick Warren’s famous Christian, faith guide The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for? an inspiring quote about how our time is a precious gift.

“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.”

Rick Warren, A Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?
Detroit Holidays 2019: Visiting Cadillac Lodge and Campus Martius
Detroit Holidays 2019: Visiting Cadillac Lodge and Campus Martius

As we begin the holiday season, let’s remember to bless our loved ones, friends, and even new friends with our time. Just as Pastor Warren wrote in his book– time is the most precious gift we can give to our family and friends.

I hope your holiday celebration is filled with joy, love, and peace! Happy Holidays!

Jennifer xoxo 

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All photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.

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