Is there anything more fun than holiday traditions that you look forward to each year?
Growing up, we had several traditions I loved, and its been fun to create new traditions with our family with William.
We always got new pajamas on Christmas Eve. We mailed our letters to Santa via our Christmas tree the first week of December, the elves would come collect our letters and leave a new family movie and three boxes of Christmas sweet-tarts for us kids. My mama would always make homemade cocoa mix as a gift for neighbors and teachers and would always make a big batch for our family too. Sometime during Advent we would decorate a gingerbread house as a family, and on Christmas Eve after mass we would drive around looking at Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music. Christmas Eve would also include Chinese food for supper and children’s mass. We would always make sugar cut-outs with my dad; mom would prepare the dough and dad would help us all with the rolling and cutting out of the cookies on Christmas Eve.
As a kid, I always looked forward to the egg casserole my mom would prepare for Christmas morning. Christmas morning we would have to wait at the top of the stairs until my parents checked to see if Santa had come, put the casserole in the oven and to start the coffee pot. Then we’d head down to the tree to see what Santa had brought – the Santa gifts were never wrapped and always left in a small pile with our stockings. After we looked through the stockings and Santa gifts, we’d stop to get some breakfast before we opened the gifts from family. My favorite part of Christmas mornings growing up was watching Maddie, our west highland white terrier, play in the wrapping paper – she loved it! After presents, we’d each go shower and try on any clothes we received before getting back into our new pajamas for a day of watching new movies we received and playing new games. It was always a fun day of family time spent enjoying the gifts we received and each other’s company.
Now, William and I make pad thai on Christmas Eve and attend the earliest mass. We try to get a new ornament or two each year. The first Christmas when we were dating I gave William a wooden Bengal, last year I gave him a clay heart with our names and the year, a metal Idaho cutout, and a paw ornament for Mavis. William gave me a few White House ornaments last year and this year we picked up a snowman and a star while in Berlin. Its fun to add meaningful treasures to our tree each year. We also spend at least one night driving around to look at lights while listening to Christmas music. We decorate for the season as early in November as we can – we love making the house feel festive for as long as possible! Christmas morning I make a special breakfast like my mama did; last year I made monkey bread and this year I’m debating between gluten-free cinnamon rolls and egg casserole. We also enjoy watching a variety of Christmas movies throughout the month of December and try to see a movie in theaters – last year we saw The Force Awakens and this year we’re seeing Rogue One. We send out Christmas cards to our family and closest friends – they’re fun to put together each year. Last year we sent Mavis wearing reindeer ears to everyone and this year’s card features images from some of our trips and of Mavis being adorable.
I’d love to hear what traditions you and your spouse have and what traditions you grew up with!