Keeping Holiday Traditions Alive

Danielle Leonetti
Danielle Leonetti

Those of you who have known me for any amount of time know that I’m obsessed with Christmas – OBSESSED! I have so many holiday traditions that I document and keep alive year after year, but we all know this year might look a little different but together we can keep these traditions alive and well! 

For years I have been putting together a Celebrate the Season album. These albums are a hybrid of Ali Edward’s December Daily and Shimelle Laine’s Journal Your Christmas. I start this project way early – usually before Thanksgiving and end around January 6th. In these books I have documented so many of our food traditions, who we gather with, where we go, what we watch, these are the traditions I always want to remember. Part of the tradition too is looking through previous books to see how things have evolved, what’s changed, what’s stayed the same and by doing so, sometimes we are inspired to add to our list of traditions.  

One of our favorite holiday traditions is visiting with La Befana at Epcot. She is the Christmas Storyteller from Italy and watching her is always so magical. I am almost always moved to tears and I almost always stop and take a photo with her. I have brought Tamy in on this tradition and it has grown over time. After hearing La Befana’s story one year Tamy and I decided that she would visit our house for the Epiphany. So when we wake up on January 6th we can expect to find a little something from our favorite Italian witch. 

I am so grateful to have these photos and layouts to remind me of the magic of La Befana because this year I don’t think she’ll be appearing at Epcot at all. Now of course that makes me sad but fear not she will still visit us and we will read her story for ourselves and take a different sort of La Befana photo this year. 

Other ways we can keep our traditions alive this season: 

  1. We can still make all the same food and never underestimate the power of the Zoom call. There is no reason you still can’t cook with your family! 
  2. Music can be transcending – put on the music that means something to you during this season and document how it makes you feel or what it makes you remember. Who knows this could be a new tradition. 
  3. Use this opportunity to photograph your home and your immediate family. Many of us have the gift of time this year, take the photos you always wanted to take around your holiday home. 

Things may be different this year but we can keep all of those traditions alive, isn’t that why our lives are so well documented? These are cherished memories and one global pandemic can’t take that away from us. 

This year I still absolutely intend to document every moment of this season. I will use my normal Celebrate the Season album but also Traveler’s Notebooks full of lists, photos, ideas, memories, no tradition will be left behind this year even if they have to be ever so slightly altered. I’ll also be documenting all of this over at so I hope you will come and join me there as well. 

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