Christmas is just 20 days away! I am so excited. I have always loved Christmas. Part of what I love about this holiday is the leadup to it. From the first sighting of Christmas decorations in the store, which I admit happens a bit early now, setting out a plate of cookies Christmas eve, and the excitement of seeing everyone open their gifts. Christmas is just so full of joy, it’s hard not to be filled with Christmas spirit. Over the years, I have developed a few Christmas traditions. Some of these are throwbacks to my childhood, while others my husband, son and I have developed over the last 12 years. I thought it would be fun to share these traditions with you.
Putting up the tree
One of the first things we do is put up the tree. This generally happens on December 1, but this year we put it up a little bit early – on November 17. For the most part, this is my job. My husband isn’t big on doing the decorating, but I am more than happy to do it. I assemble the tree, string the lights and then put on the more fragile of decorations. Then, I let my son help me. He has a good number of ornaments himself, so I let him choose where they go. Growing up, my mother would always dictate exactly where every ornament went, and it took a lot of the fun out of decorating the tree. So, with only one exception, the ornaments go wherever they fit each year.
At this point, I start adding in my own ornaments as well, making sure to give special attention to my favorite ones. The last thing to go on is the tinsel. This is my job because sometimes it catches on ornaments as it goes on and I don’t want to see any fall and break. When all is said and done, we turn on the lights and step back to admire our work.
I bake year round, but Christmas baking is where I go all out. The desire to bake cookies, fancy bread and pie is strong and I just go for it. My favorite thing to make is gingerbread cookies. Once the cookies are cool to the touch, my son and I get busy decorating. Generally speaking, I do the icing, and he does all of the sprinkles. Once they are done, he picks out which cookies will be for Santa and those ones go into a special container. Then it’s a battle of whether to eat them all quickly or savor them. Usually, we scarf them down, which results in needing to bake more – which is okay in my books.
Christmas movie marathon
Nothing beats a good Christmas movie marathon to get you into that holiday spirit. Though we have always watched plenty of Christmas movies, back in 2016 our family started a doing a 25 day long Christmas movie marathon – or as we like to call it, 25 Days of Moviemas. The movies change around a bit each year, but one that remains the same, even before this marathon started, was watching Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer on Christmas Eve.
I can’t recall how long this has been going on, but I would say a pretty good chunk of my life. Each year, we each buy a new ornament, usually one for the tree. My husband doesn’t really participate in this, so it’s just the boy and I that buy them. Some years it is easy to pick one out and others it can be a challenge. Admittedly, some years we cheat and buy a multitude of ornaments. Last year was one of those years, and we ended up buying about a dozen new ornaments – in my defense, there were too many to choose from, so I went with all of them!
This year was no exception, although the selection is town was very small compared to previous years. I’m glad I bought mine while in the city and then the boy got one in town earlier this week.
This is something new. I never used to send Christmas cards out, but starting last year I gave it a go. I send out perhaps a dozen cards – mostly to friends but I made sure to spend an extra special one to my grandma. This year, I plan to do it again, though they may be late due to a recent postal service strike happening here.
That’s it, those are my family’s Christmas traditions. They may not be much, but they help to add a little extra special touch to the holidays. What Christmas traditions do you or your family have?