We love the Holidays and now that we have children, we love incorporating new Christmas traditions and making those memories with our families. It’s strange because growing up, your parents have traditions and you kind of just follow those, but it’s so cool when you get married and have a family of your own, how you get to decide on traditions and what you want your Christmas season to look like.
We wanted to share with you guys some of our favourite Christmas traditions. We love hearing about what other people do this time of year and getting inspired their traditions!
Sushi and Egg Nog: As gross as that combination sounds this is probably one of my favourite (and the longest standing) of our Christmas traditions is decorating our tree. After our tree is cut down and set up, we order sushi, buy a big bottle of egg nog, put on some Christmas music, and get to decorating. I don’t know how this began but we’ve done it since we’ve been married. It’s not exactly traditional holiday food, but we love sushi and always look forward to this night. We eat a bit, then decorate, then back to sushi, then decorate some more. This year we even picked up a little sushi christmas ornament for our tree to signify our little tradition. Which brings me to our next tradition….
A New Ornament Each Year: Every year up until my husband and I got married, my in-laws would buy/make him a tree ornament. My mother in law got really creative and would make it something that reminded her of the year he had. She put the date on all 23 of them and gave them all to him to take when we got married. It’s so cool now for my husband to unpack them all, look at the date and be reminded of that time in his life. Each ornament has such a cool story and was so thought out by his mom. We wanted to do the same for our kids so every year we get them an ornament that says something about the past year. For example, last year Dex was Batman for halloween, so his ornament is a little Batman. This year he is dump truck crazed, so it’s a little dump truck. I write the date on each one and plan on giving each of my kids their box of ornaments to take with them and start their own tree with.
Christmas Book and PJs: I feel like a lot of families do this and for good reason. Who doesn’t like fresh new jammies on Christmas eve! We get the kids some PJ’s and a Christmas book to read before bed. Recently, we’ve talked about moving this little gift to December 1st to “kick-off” the holiday season and get more wear out of the Christmas pjs and more time to read the book.
No Gifts Under the Tree Until Christmas Eve/Morning: This one is from my family and I LOVE it. Growing up, my parents wouldn’t put a single gift under the tree until after we went to bed. I remember maybe a year or 2 before I moved out (so I’m like 17), it was a couple days before Christmas and my mom goes, “Are you girls okay with me putting your gifts under the tree?”. My sister and I almost died. OF COURSE IT IS NOT OKAY! WE just loved going to bed with this big empty space under the tree and then on Christmas morning..BAM! SANTA CAME! My husband and I even do this and sneak our gifts to each other under the tree super late at night when we know the other is in bed for good. It’s kinda childish and silly but we just love that anticipation and excitement on Christmas eve.
The Christmas Story: This is another tradition I really love. Each year on Christmas morning before we open gifts we read the Christmas story from the bible (Luke 2:1-20). My husband and I did this even before we had kids, to just remind of us of the reason we are celebrating and what the gifts we are about to open are symbols of. Dexter is most likely going to be forcing the bible shut in order to get to the presents (haha) but we know someday he will get it and appreciate that reminder on Christmas morning.
Elf on the Shelf: I had heard of this fun little activity for the past couple years but the twins weren’t old enough to start it until this year. At the start of December, we introduced them to “little Elf” who helps Santa build toys at night. Every morning they have to find where little Elf is and my husband and I have so much fun with this! He has been upside down in their boots, in the cereal box, on their potty, in mama’s coffee mug. They giggle every time they find him and have to give him a hug and a kiss before he goes back to sit on the shelf.
Building a Gingerbread House: This was always something my family did the week leading up to Christmas so I have loved carrying on this tradition with the boys! This year we got them a gingerbread train because trains are their current obsession and they definitely ate more then they decorated but they enjoyed it none the less!
BIG Christmas Morning Breakfast + The Christmas Story: Christmas breakfast at both our homes was always huge growing up. We wouldn’t need to eat again until the big turkey dinner at supper time! When Ron and I first got married we didn’t put as much emphasis on breakfast because we would often be travelling on Christmas Day but last year we found and made this amazing breakfast casserole and decided that was going to be our new Christmas morning tradition going forward! Like Britt’s family, we also make the Christmas story a priority of the morning, reminding the boys of the true reason we celebrate. We normally read it at the table during breakfast and before we do presents.
Kulkuls and Oliebollen: Each Christmas growing up, my family baked one traditional recipe from my dad’s side and one from my moms side together during the Holiday Season. Kulkuls are a sweet cookie made in India at Christmas time and Oliebolen is a dutch treat (it tastes like a dutchie donut!) normally made at New Years. We haven’t started doing these in our own family yet because we still just enjoy the ones my parents make but I do plan to carry on these traditions with the boys as they grow older!
Christmas Eve Service, Board Games and Snacks: We normally go to our church’s early service at 5:30 on Christmas Eve and then we have family over for board games and christmas snacks. Since we travel so much over the holidays, we made a decision after the boys were born that while we have young kids, Christmas Eve and Christmas morning would be spent in our own home.