Our Christmas Traditions

I really like having traditions that we follow as a family and it was how I was raised. I think it’s nice to look forward to those things every year. Traditions are also a way to spend time and have fun together. Plus lots are pretty cheap or even free which is rare this time of year. I figured I should share since these things all make me oh so happy. Maybe you and yours could steal a few or start a few of your own. I love traditions in general and the Christmas ones are extra special. Personally I think they actually serve a really important role in families but I also think you can do what you like. There’s no reason you have to do what everybody else does and they certainly don’t have to be the same as your moms. There’s no shame in that though! So this holiday season start some of your own!

Advent wreath at Mom’s house

How Christmas goes at our place.

I also pretty much like all of Christmas except the busy, stressful parts. Honey however said family traditions weren’t really a big thing in his life growing up. As much as I like the decorating and the presents honey hasn’t always even marked the day when we lived separately. He was usually alone and I visited for an hour or so. Some years he even spent the big day in other’s homes doing work in the middle of the night at my condo building since there were no shut offs or second bathrooms in the units. So lots of years it was a little sad for him. I hope in the last 7 years though it’s gotten a little less sad. Since he never had a tree and neither did I when we lived alone there were no handmade ornaments from little ones over the years. The first Christmas we lived together that meant that I got to have one of those really pretty curated trees. So I chose royal blue for him and purple for me with a silver star. He was pretty cool about it though and that year he came home with the world’s best tree stand as a surprise. We’ve since lost it and re-found it so now we have two.

Our very first tree together, you can tell it’s an old photo because it was taken on a 3G!

He doesn’t love all the Christmas stuff still but when I first moved in he was willing to make some concessions like a tree. I get and I also don’t want to have so many decorations that it takes over a whole room. Putting them out is fun, putting them away less so. I wish we did all of these things every single year but there isn’t always time or headspace to make that happen. This year ain’t lookin’ good so far but we’ll see. Oftentimes we’re working all out until Christmas Eve but since we have a statutory holiday on boxing day we usually end up taking at least three days off, same again at new years. Even if we’re not in the spirt in the days leading up to it the holiday spirit takes over at some point and it ends up being pretty great. Since my sister started having kids those cute littles have been a big part of it as has honey’s granddaughter. Watching them get excited about the whole thing is pretty great!

Our traditions

  • I stick whole cloves in mandarin oranges for a center piece for the month. Smells like Christmas looks pretty.
  • I used to do Christmas cards but they are pretty wasteful if you think about it. Now we take a fun Christmas picture with the tree each year and share it on social media instead. As the years tick on we have more fun with it.
  • We get new pj’s every Christmas ever which my mom started when I was little and she continues to this day. I make honey a funny pair of pants, think ninja turtles and superman.
  • Usually we have the whole family gang in one day for BBQ turkey dinner.
  • I do add some bling to the outside of the house in the form of blue and purple balls
  • I do the Mahone bay reindeer run with a light up tutu
2019: I gotta step up the costume for next year, I was under dressed!
  • We fill a stocking for the cat and pretend he knows anything about it
  • We have Christmas morning at our house as a couple. It’s easy to get pulled somewhere else when it’s just the two of you. This helps us to feel like enough of a family I think.
  • We make coffee while we open stockings but breakfast can wait!
  • We eat cinnamon buns from the blended family side’s recipe 
  • At least someone has an advent calendar
  • Everyone texts everyone else as the clock strikes 12 on new years
  • Christmas Day run!
  • Usually we do a big meal where we get everyone together for smoked turkey
  • We eat pirogies, my mom even makes me veggie ones
  • We go to my mom’s for brunch
  • We glitter pen date a purple and a blue ornament for every year
  • Lately honey has been doing his Christmas shopping with his best friend and they do a great job even with the makeup section of the list!
  • I set up some of my childhood decorations that were passed on including a nativity scene

Childhood traditions

I do know some of this is a little weird btw, what can I say?

  • We sing we three kings and a I saw three ships at our local beach to no one
  • We light an advent calendar with candles (see title)
  • Dad made raisin bread which I only liked at the holidays
  • Fondues for new year’s eve
  • My Dad sung along to the Christmas classics in the afternoons
  • We get certain presents every year, right now it’s mummers statues
  • We got new Pj’s on Christmas eve
  • My aunt (ciocia in polish) always made me a cool present when I was a kid

I really do think that all the love and traditions are what make the holidays special year after year. Lots of families have leaner years from time to time, it could happen to anyone and traditions are important in those times and all the time really to remember why the holidays are so special. Remember Dr. Seuss’ words:

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

Presents are great don’t get me wrong, I’m writing this on last year’s super generous present an iMac so believe me presents are a big part of Christmas around here too. While we’re not religious we’d both like to think that it’s about a lot more than just new apple gear. If you’re looking to help your kids in particular get that too traditions might just be what is going to drive that point home.

My favorite ornament on the tree, honey bought it for us 16 years ago in Sackville. Maybe he knew something I didn’t?

What are some of your favorite traditions? What’s one you miss from your childhood?

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