Christmas Traditions

I’m sitting here looking at my calendar and I’m excited – and if I’m being honest, just a smidgen stressed – about the next two weeks! The festivities of Christmas will be in full swing starting tomorrow at work with a secret Santa gift exchange and potluck lunch. After that, Husbie and I have some form of gathering to attend every single day until the 30th! We are making the most of our holidays and we will be really busy enjoying the company of loved ones, eating good food, baking treats, staying up late and sleeping in.

Since this is the first Christmas that we will be spending as a Mr. and Mrs., we wanted to make it special by reserving Christmas morning for just the two of us to start our very own Christmas traditions. To decide what they should be, we’ve been reflecting on the Christmases from our childhoods.

I remember our advent calendar that told the story of the Nutcracker through a series of miniature books that my brothers and I hung on the Christmas tree after taking turns reading one each day. I remember celebrating Sinterklaas on December 6, when mom would fling pepernoten at us and stuff our klompen full of goodies. Christmas eve was for opening stockings, which always included a chocolate letter of our first initial. On Christmas morning we’d wake up at the crack of dawn to unwrap all of our gifts before going to church. There would always be a few extra gifts for my mom under the tree since she’s a Christmas baby! We’d often read the Christmas story from the Bible and have dinner at my Oma’s house – she was the best cook I’ve ever known because she wasn’t afraid of butter. We’d celebrate with my dad’s side of the family with another big dinner, a white elephant gift exchange and plenty of tobogganing or skating. I asked Husbie to name something that he remembered about Christmas traditions while growing up, and he smiled and told me that he watched Miracle on 34 Street with his mom every year.

This year I think we will spend our special Christmas morning opening the gifts we got each other, cooking a delicious breakfast together with some Bing Crosby in the background and then snuggling up on the couch in our jammies to watch a classic Christmas movie, with coffee and Baileys for Husbie and some festive holiday tea for myself. I can’t think of anywhere else I’d like to be, or anyone else I’d like to be with!

When Husbie and I start having kids (don’t hold your breath, we’re at least 3-4 years away from that) I’d love to recreate some of the traditions from our childhoods for our own family. I’m lucky that we’re both from Dutch heritage and that so many of my cherished Christmas memories are similar to Husbie’s. Family traditions are important, even if they change as we get older, get married and start families of our own. They create so many memories filled with love and happiness – and that’s exactly how Christmas should be remembered from year to year!

//photo by Husbie

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