A year without Traditions & last link up of year

December 22, 2015


This Christmas has not felt like the past Christmas’s. I have been trying to analyze why for a few days now and came up with the conclusion that hubbies new job doesn’t allow a lot of family time and life is busy. Take a step back and I realize more importantly we haven’t made Christmas traditions a priority nor have we slowed down. And that is ok.
IMG_3881I think of my good blogging friend Keri of Living In This Season, who is the greatest encourager on having Grace on ourselves. She would say, “it’s ok.” God would say “it’s ok”. We can’t do it all. If we didn’t accomplish traditions like going to Christmas plays, lights viewings, or gingerbread man creations -so what. What we need to focus on is Christ, number one and then our time as a family when we have it.


Today’s post is so special as it reflects on a time as a family putting our tree up and it was the first Christmas the toddlers got to help set the tree up and decorate it. To me this is the tradition and memory I want to remember. We baked cookies and had Christmas music playing and everyone was cheerful to pitch in.


The days following this Christmas tree decorating were tough as my camera fell off a counter and the autofocus busted, leaving my good DSLR Canon in the shop. I couldn’t access my blog dashboard and posts for a few days (thank God for my graphic designers rescue) and this season has been rough on the attitude of our six year old (read her story here).


However, I have also seen God bless our family in so many ways that it outweighs the bad and the traditions and for that I am thankful. I am thankful for my children, husband, new dog, a vehicle that got fixed recently, my husbands new job, blog being fixed and a new to us family van coming our way as a Christmas gift from family. God is good.


Oh and here is the result of our tree….our one tradition done!


Today will be the last link up for this year. I will include a list of 5 featured bloggers on the Tuesday of January 5th as there will be no linkup or post next week/ I hope you enjoy time with family and this Christmas season.

What traditions do you have around Christmas?

Have you stopped a certain tradition this year?

Now on to the link up: *There will be no link up next Tuesday, instead enjoy time with your families and friends and MERRY CHRISTMAS. Featured bloggers from this particular link up will be chosen on Tuesday, January 5th.

Meet your Host: Rachel of Garay Treasures blog:



Rachel is a former full time preschool special education teacher turned full time stay-at- home mom of four children with a passion for substitute teaching and blogging at Garay Treasures on the side. Garay Treasures is a fashion and lifestyle blog with some added posts on faith and everyday treasures. Rachel loves drinking several cups of coffee a day (hot or iced), blogging, and reading and playing with her children. You can follow Rachel by bloglovin, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

Meet your co-host Ada of Elegance and Mommyhood


“As a very busy mom of an almost-three year old who works part-time also, I am always looking to stay stylish and elegant without breaking the bank. I am a budget shopper who almost never pays the full retail price. If you are looking for easy but chic mom every day style and you want to see a cute toddler girl in her adorable outfits, or if you are looking for an easy recipe or a fun Christmas post, you have come to the right place. Welcome by my blog Elegance and Mommyhood and let’s be friends! You can also follow me on Bloglovin or Pinterest. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to All!!”

Now on to the featured five from last time and link up:

Holiday Glam Collage

I loved She’s tips on how to look holiday ready without having to be fancy at it. Check them out here.


I was SUPER excited that this lovely lady above made a blogging comeback as I have missed her witty and fashion filled posts. Check out her first back to blogging post here.

flannel outfit 1

Amanda is new to the link up, but I loved her layering of a vest over plaid look. Something I am going to try with my white faux fur vest this week. See and meet Amanda here.


The tee says enough, I am obsessing over it and made quite the conversation starter with family members over what I would like for Christmas, all thinks to Whitney.


Sarah linked up two adorable maxi dresses she styled along with some facts on Dressember and Human Trafficking (which I find awful) check these out here and see how you can support this cause.

Now it is your turn, please follow the rules below and enjoy!

1). Please link up recent posts and include the link up button or post this URL link back on your blog. The posts can be about fashion, DIY projects, recipes, inspiration, tips, etc. *If you link up other link ups or giveaways please be sure you share this link up on your link up post to share the blog love and I will be sure to link up to yours. Also please follow me in the below social medias and let me know how you are following and I will follow back. Thank you!

2). Please follow your host Rachel of Garay Treasures either by Bloglovin, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter or all. Comment below and let me know how you are following so I can follow back.

3). Stop by and check out the other bloggers who have linked up and be inspired.

4). Have fun! Comment below if you have any questions! Thanks for linking up!

To link up it would be great if you linked my button to your post that you link up. Get button code below:

Garay Treasures


Linking up with: Turning Heads Tuesday Lisa, Melissa, Style Me Wednesday, Trendy Wednesday, Sandyalamode, Confident Twosday, Pumps and Push-ups, Thursday Fashion Files, Whitney, Grace, Trend-Spin,Leelo, Michelle, The Mummy Chronicles, Alice, Spotlight Weekly, Top of the World Style, Two Peas in a Blog (Tuesdays), Style Elixir (Tuesdays), The Style Files (Fridays), Elegantly Fashionable, Jaymie, Lauren, Carylee, Rachelle, Cappaccino and Fashion, Book of Leisure, Monica, Carrie, Style Me Weekly, Forage Fashion, Myriad Musings, Jennie, Molly, Cherie, Not dead Yet Style, Clairejustinexoxo, Wednesday Wearables, Tuesay Talk

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  • Sheree December 22, 2015 at 12:19 am

    Being around family is all we have as a “tradition” and it doesn’t really matter what we do as long as we do them together. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you Rachel!

    xo Sheree
    IG: @poshclassymom

  • Carrieslifestyle December 22, 2015 at 1:16 am

    nice pics

    Posts online about Rio, Australia, Amsterdam…

  • The Gifted Gabber December 22, 2015 at 1:32 am

    Sometimes, traditions can be a bit much and can be overrated – especially if the traditions are done just because it’s what we think we are supposed to be doing (like the gingerbread house, etc.). Merry Christmas to you! See you again in 2016! Eeek! — Amy @ http://thegiftedgabber.com

  • Tiina L December 22, 2015 at 3:33 am

    Merry Christmas, Rachel!

  • Claire December 22, 2015 at 4:55 am

    Merry Christmas Rachel 🙂 thanks for hosting each week ..

  • Jennie December 22, 2015 at 6:25 am

    So feeling ya, girlfriend! This year it seems my schedule hasn’t included all the normal Christmas traditions of years past. However, I am grateful for the Trolley tour with my mother-in-law, and spending the day with my sons picking out our tree and decorating it. I enjoyed seeing the photos of your family decorating your tree – so sweet!Merry Christmas, Rachel!

  • Kathrine Eldridge December 22, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful family traditions and your pretty tree! Have a wonderful holiday and thanks for the Link Up!


  • Red Tag Chic Los Angeles December 22, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!!


  • Becky @ bybmg December 22, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Prayers for you in this busy season. God’s faithfulness has shown through so much in your life. Soak up this week and all its magic! Merry Christmas!

  • Sarah @ Bows and Clothes December 22, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Thank you so much for featuring me, Rachel! I am honored! I agree with you; it’s okay as long as you keep the focus on Christ. Great post!


  • Amy Ann December 22, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Christmas has kind of turned into a pressure filled holiday. It’s important to have grace on yourself! Have a great one!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  • Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom December 22, 2015 at 9:09 am

    We haven’t had much time for traditions this year either, mainly because my daughter has gotten sick a lot and also it has just seemed to fly by! We did do the elf on the shelf and our advent calendar, but we wanted to see lights at a park and we waited too long and last night the line to get in was too long…we went home. But, that’s ok! Always next year! Merry Christmas!


  • Mary December 22, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Hi Rachel,
    This was a nice post! Your family time getting the tree decorated sounds really wonderful. I think it’s important to keep the traditions that add to our lives rather than just following the same ones even if they stress us out or put unnecessary pressure.

    We have a few family xmas decorations that have been with us for years, so we always make sure to get those out on display even if we go simple with other things like lights or decor.

    Happy Holidays to you!


    Love, Mary

  • Jaymie Ashcraft December 22, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Beautiful tree!! Merry Christmas! 🙂

  • M&MFASHIONBITES December 22, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Cute and stylish photos 🙂
    Maria V.

  • amy December 22, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Our traditions are church on Christmas Eve, a prime rib dinner, and watching the movie “Elf”. I still burst out laughing every time Will Farrell screams “It’s Santa!”

  • Petite Silver Vixen December 22, 2015 at 9:32 am

    I think it’s important to remember we can’t always do everything at Christmas and that that’s ok! I didn’t have time to put up a tree this year and I got annoyed about it but then realised that Christmas won’t stop just because I don’t have a tree up!
    Have a lovely Christmas with your family Rachael and see you in the New Year. Thanks for hosting each week.


  • Elle Spann December 22, 2015 at 9:34 am

    have a merry christmas! see ya next year!
    Southern Elle Style

  • Andrea Nine December 22, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Beautiful reflections Rachel and reminders for us all!! Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family. You are beautiful inside and out!!

  • Jill December 22, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Putting up the tree with holiday music in the background and everyone pitching in is the perfect tradition! Your tree looks lovely! Have a Merry Christmas Rachel!

    Doused In Pink

  • Sabina @Oceanblue Style December 22, 2015 at 10:30 am

    What a cure family and lovely tree Rachel! Merry Christmas and thanks for hosting! See you again next year. Ada is lovely choice. Sabina | Oceanblue Style

  • Teresa December 22, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family. I hope your Christmas day will be relaxing + fun. I have truly enjoyed reading your blog this year.

    Teresa from Mama Muse Me

  • Shea December 22, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks so much for the feature Rachel, that’s so sweet of you!
    I’m glad you’re giving yourself grace for not getting everything done this year–it’s always impossible to do, and we set such high expectations for ourselves. But sometimes you need to just put those aside and LIVE. I love the tree you decorated together!

  • Laura December 22, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

  • Shannon December 22, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    You’re tree looks gorgeous! I’m such a sucker for transitions I have so many I have done since I was a kid! Merry Christmas!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  • Michelle December 22, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Decorating our tree as a family is one of the traditions that has stuck & has become one of my favorites from year to year


  • Kirsten Wick December 22, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing Rachel, have a wonderful Christmas! Love, Kirsten xx


  • Annessa @ Seeking Sunshine December 22, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Your family is adorable! Merry Christmas to you all!


  • Nicky December 23, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Great post sweetie! !


  • Liz @ Downtown Demure December 23, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    So proud of you for extending grace to yourself and your family during what can be a stressful time of year. As long as you make a point of focusing on Christ, that’s truly all that matters. And your one tradition turned out quite nicely. 🙂

    – Liz @ Downtown Demure

  • Laura December 24, 2015 at 10:00 am

    LOVE your pics…hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!


  • Adaleta December 24, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    This is such a lovely post, and I wish you the happiest of holidays with your family! adaatude.com

  • Ada December 25, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    I am sorry you have had some rough last few weeks but so glad you saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I love that putting the Christmas tree is an event that involves the entire family. Such a nice tradition.

    Thank you so much for having me host with you your last linkup of 2015! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your loving family.

    Hugs, Ada. 🙂