I love Christmas Traditions. For some reason I love the thought of doing the same things every year. It makes me feel at home… It makes me feel loved. We had a few traditions growing up that we still continue every year. We always when a cut down our tree as a family. When I moved out east for school, I sometimes wouldn’t get home until a day or two before Christmas. My parents and brother would always wait for me to go pick our tree. We always go to mass on Christmas eve as a family. When I was younger, my brother and I sang in the children’s choir and as I grew older I joined the adult church choir. Following mass we always go home to mom and dad’s and have our Christmas Tortiere with our cousins (the neighbours!). Once our bellies were full, we would put milk and cookies out for Santa and sugar for the reindeer. We STILL put out milk and cookies and sugar (yes, I am 28 and my brother is 24!). That’s how important Christmas Traditions are for me.
When I started dating Scott, we had to tweak our traditions a little. Now, on Christmas Eve we have a big dinner at Scott’s parents. All this aunts, uncles, and cousins come for the evening. We all sit at one long table together to enjoy our meal as a big family. Everyone at the table wears a Santa hat while eating. We share Christmas jokes and talk about the year past. The first time I was invited to this dinner, I was so amazed to look down the table at (at least!) 20 Santa hats – everyone fully embracing the tradition. I love it. I look forward to it every year. This coming year will be my 6th dinner at the Blairs, and over this time the family has grown by a few people! We will have to make sure there is a baby Santa hat this year for the newest member of team Blair.
Following dinner we go to mass and then fill our tummies with Tortiere at my moms. Last year was the first year I didn’t stay overnight with my family. Scott and I stayed in our house and made the trip over in the morning. It was a little difficult knowing I wasn’t waking up at home, but that was when I realized it was time to start our own family traditions. I was about 6 months pregnant last year and all I could think about was how much fun this year would be! It is finally here! Olive’s first Christmas and our chance to start our own traditions.
For the past few days I have been scouring Pinterest for some ideas. I came across some really good ones that I can hopefully talk Scott into starting! (All photos below are courtesy of the linked websites).
Advent: One book for every day of advent. It is such a great way to encourage reading and learning! The books could be Christmas books, religious books, or every day books. Olive already prefers to sit on the floor surrounded by picture books than toys. I think this idea will be a real winner!
Yearly Letter in a Christmas Ornament: Seeing as how I am already on the letter-train this year, I think this is a must do. How much fun would it be to read through letters in ten years from now? What will our family be like then? What will our future family think of our present day family? This is a fun time-capsule tradition that I can see us all pulling out a pen and paper for.
Sharing with Others: I think this is one of the best ideas I have ever heard. Giving to others! Something simple, but something that will put a smile on a neighbours face. This website has a cute list of things to do for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. You can “ding dong and ditch” or if you live in the country (like us) where it is hard to run all the way to the end of the driveway and hop in the car to get away without anyone seeing you, you can leave it in the mailbox!
An Alternative to mailing your letter: December 6th is the feast day of St. Nicholas. Scandinavians celebrate this day by shining their best Sunday shoes and putting them by the front door on the evening of December 5. Christmas lists are tucked inside the shoes. The next morning everyone wakes to find that St. Nicholas took the Christmas list and left a few treats and surprises the shoes.
Christmas Movies in bed: Scott and I are guilty of having a TV in our bedroom. Sometimes it is my lifesaver because Scott literally falls asleep BEFORE his head hits the pillow. Me on the other hand… It takes about and hour (or more) before my eyes decided it’s time. How much fun would it be to choose a movie – Home Alone? The Grinch? – that we watch every year in Mommy and Daddy’s bed?
Annual Ornament: I had a friend whose family always had a ornament night where they would all sit down and make something for their tree for the year. My mom’s tree is covered in handmade ornaments that my brother and I made over the year. I prefer these kind of trees to the designer trees you see in stores, so this tradition would be a great way to made our tree handmade (and by the way – its a real tree… not fake)! I already have an idea for this years ornament… But I can’t tell you just yet – some people might be receiving one as a gift this year!
Olive says “Let’s get these traditions rolling!