What’s Your Favourite Holiday Tradition?

Every year I look forward to Christmas.  I like setting up the Christmas tree with my family and reminiscing over old ornaments and past Christmases.

For the last 4 years it has just been my fiancé and myself setting up the Christmas decorations.  While I sometimes miss the loud and crazy times, I have come to appreciate and love the quietness of our new Christmas tradition.  I am one of those people who have the “show home tree”.  I have 3 separate sets of tree decorations that I rotate every year.  Each has their own matching color scheme with a few accent colours to really make the tree “POP”.  Having no kids, it’s easy for me to avoid the homemade ornaments and the haphazard look of children’s decorating.  I’ve been told that once I have children, I will love the above-mentioned tree; however, I think I might go with the new trend that’s starting – a small tree for the children to decorate and the main tree for me.

I say “me” but to be fair my fiancé does help me decorate.  He helps me pull out the tree, set it up, and put the lights on.  He is then happy to sit back and put on a favorite Christmas movie while watching me finish decorating. (Side note *** As I re-read what I have written I do realize I sound like a decorating tyrant – but my fiancé isn’t one of those patient decorators.  He’d be more than happy stopping with lights.)  I ask his opinion on the placement of ornaments and he lets me know where I need more, or where I need to take away a few.

After the tree, I set up the Christmas village and my collection of snow globes.  Every year I debate setting up a few of the statues that we have been given as gifts, and every year they go back into the box with the excuse of “no more room for knickknacks”.

This routine has become our Christmas tradition. It may not be the tradition that I grew up with, but it works really well for us.  While I like the loud, chaotic pace of my extended family, I love the nice, quiet evening I get to spend with my partner.


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4 thoughts on “What’s Your Favourite Holiday Tradition?

  1. When I think about traditions, I think about:
    • as a child: Christmas baking took days on end, not being allowed to go into the living room to open presents until Mom and Dad had a coffee and all us kids had eaten an orange, going to a family celebration on Christmas Day and having all the relatives come to our house for Boxing Day then alternating the next year, tea towels, pot scrubbers or dishcloths for the men and crazy kitchen gadgets for the ladies, crib and ping pong tournaments and sitting around after everything was cleaned up and everybody had their tea out would come the guitars, accordions and the occasional sets of spoons and the music flowed until the wee hours.
    • a family of my own: Cookie exchanges with friends, still have to make coffee but the kids don’t have to eat oranges first, dinner on Boxing Day at my house for family and friends, new board games every year and watching movies and sharing popcorn by the fire.

    I wonder what my traditions will be like in a few years from now?

    • At my mom’s house we would have a special “Christmas Eve” gift every year. Without kids, it doesn’t have the same feel to it so I have stopped that tradition. If Jo and I have kids in a few years that will be one tradition that I bring back.

  2. That’s a great way to de-stress Christmas. Jo and I only do stocking stuffers because it just becomes too much otherwise.

  3. Several years ago our family decided that the Christmas gift giving tradition was stressing us all out. What did you get for someone who had everything! So we decided that in keeping with the spirit of Christmas, we would make donations to charities in each others names.

    Of course we couldn’t let go of presents completely so we decided that since we all love to read, books were the only gifts we would give each other. Every year we all develop a list of the books we would like to receive. I always wait until the Canada Reads book list is announced before I develop my wish list.

    It is fun to see each person’s list and throughout the year we get to share the books that each person received. In fact I just finished reading Sisters Brothers – a book I gave as a gift last Christmas. Audio books are showing up on a few lists and I look forward to borrowing them and trying that out.