The holidays are steeped in tradition for most people, and we definitely have a few of our own! First, let me say, I LOVE the holidays! The months of October to January are my favorite months of the year! I love the decorations and music in the stores, the displays in people’s yards, the baking, cooking, planning etc….I know this time of year stresses a lot of people out, but I really just enjoy it!
I will say, that we do tend to limit our Holiday activities to just a few. There are only a few Christmas parties that we go to, and a few other holiday events we participate in. We do this in order to keep ourselves from getting too “busy” so we can focus on enjoying how we are spending our time, rather than worrying how we are going to fit multiple events into one weekend!
We always get our live Christmas tree Thanksgiving weekend. This is a tradition my husband and I started the first year we were married. There was a Christmas tree lot right outside the entrance to the apartments we were living in, and we decided to buy our tree from there. We found that our tree actually lasted the whole Christmas season…maybe because we got it fresh off the truck? At any rate, we have continued to buy and decorate our tree the first day my husband has off on Thanksgiving weekend, and our boys look forward to this every year.
We have various other traditions that continue throughout the season, like our nightly Advent readings and our Advent calendar. We also watch Christmas movies together, go on a yearly light drive (there are some really cool houses with awesome decorations in our area), and my kids love that they get to drink hot apple cider while we read Christmas stories!
Our Christmas dinner traditions revolve around my husbands work schedule. As a firefighter he works 24 hour shifts. Typically, his shift works Christmas Day two years in a row. In those years, we open presents with grandma and grandpa Christmas Eve, and have dinner with the family. On Christmas morning, we get up REALLY early, before my husband has to be at work, and open our presents together. Then we go to the station later in the day to eat Christmas Dinner there. I do miss my husband when he has to work the holidays, but I am very thankful that he has a job that allows us to still spend that time with him!
One last tradition we have is that my boys get to choose a new Christmas ornament for the tree each year. We’ve done this since they were each 6 years old (after those “Baby’s 1st Christmas, Baby’s 2nd Christmas etc. etc. run out). We always write their names and the year on their ornaments. They love choosing their own special ornament for their tree, and my plan is, when they do get married and have their first Christmas in their own house, I can give them these ornaments to put on their own tree. Think about it….typically that first Christmas you have as a married couple, you are short on ornaments because you just haven’t had time to accumulate them yet. This way, each of my boys will have ornaments to put on their tree that will carrry special memories for them. 🙂
Merry Christmas to all of you!