Singing Christmas carols, baking cookies and getting flour in your hair, decorating the tree and drinking cocoa with a movie as you watch the fresh snow fall outside. These are all memories I have of my childhood holidays and I’d venture to guess many of you do, as well. The holidays are such a special time of year for us to spend with family, focus a bit more on what wonderful blessings we have and make memories. While this season is not the only time for us to do so, it certainly is one with heightened awareness of family and tradition. Ah, traditions!!
Christmas is, hands down, Adam’s and my favorite holiday! However, we did grow up with slightly different family traditions and ways of doing things. So, when it came time to celebrate our first married Christmas together in our own home, we decided it was time to honor our past traditions, but make new ones of our own. Due to how emotional we, as humans, can get about time-honored traditions, this wasn’t as easy as one would think. Here are a few things to consider when creating your own traditions for your new family.
First of all, what is your top priority to keep from your childhood family traditions?
Each of you should be able to keep at least one. A lot of these we agreed on, like decorating the Friday after Thanksgiving, playing Christmas music exclusively, attending church on Christmas Eve and spending quality time with family. Other things we do are watching Home Alone on Thanksgiving night (one of Adam’s favorite memories) and going on snow walks (one of my favorite past times). I also have certain cookies that are special and always make it a point to read the story of Christmas frequently in December.
Then, what is something new that speaks to your personalities and relationship?
A big thing for us was to be sure we start traditions that we will pass down to our future children. We always decorate the tree together and recount the stories behind our ornaments, drink cocoa and listen to carols as we do. It’s such a special time to revel in the fellowship that the season has to offer and focus on each other.
Since we fully intend on replacing many of our childhood ornaments with our little’s someday, each year we get an ornament together, that we will keep out when the others get packed away in years to come. It’s so fun to go select our annual ornament and something we both look forward to. Not to mention, the ornaments often come with their own stories and memories of that year. The other thing we do, that I know will be fun for years, is drive around and look at all the lights. There is something so magical and beautiful about those silly little bulb displays. Someday, I can hear little ones gasping and giggling at the spectacles. Someday.
Lastly, what celebrates what you love most about the season?
We adore family time, relaxing and spending time with our dearest friends. While it doesn’t always happen in December, we like to gather our friends for some kind of holiday celebration. Having fun and making memories, all while being evermore grateful for the gifts we have already received, is what we adore about the Christmas season.
For us, that also means meaningful gifts that are personal to each of our dearest. I’ve always been a giver and it’s my favorite! I like to think that I’m rubbing off on Adam, but only he can tell you. Sitting down and going through the umpteen drafts of holiday cards and our gift list is one of my most treasured times. Knowing that we have intentionally discussed and curated how we are going to shower our family and friends with love in the simplest of ways is such a joy!
No matter how you celebrate Christmas or determine what traditions you carry on, I hope that your holidays are filled with more love than you can imagine. I would love to hear what traditions you and your loves have!