How to Build Christmas

Holidays are one of the weirdest things to figure out once you start your own family and home. Some parts are awesome and some are hard, but mostly it just takes effort. While we were growing up Christmas just happened, I didn’t have much say in the details or traditions. But now Dave and I could establish anything as our Christmas traditions. (Open presents in our underwear? Drink diet coke out of champagne glasses? Family pictures with the cats?) Some things have naturally happened, and others we’re thinking through and deciding intentionally. And of course we’ll have plenty of years to work on what makes the holiday special for our little family. So far we’ve really been enjoying these:

  • A Natural Christmas tree — this is one of my favorite traditions. In fact I took my sweet time picking *the* tree because I just love walking about and asking “what about this one?” about 30 different times. I love the one we picked and the hodge podge decorations we’ve come up with.Lots of
  • Candles — a while back I read something that said Scandinavian people light lots of candles during the darkest part of the year to stay positive and I’ve adopted the practice myself. There’s something just super cozy about flickering lights everywhere.
  • Lots of Lights — same idea as the candles, except on our house! It makes me smile huge everytime I drive into our driveway and see our house lit up like an airport runway.
  • Presents for the Kitties — this developed out of a conversation I had with Dave last week. I asked him what he wanted to do on Christmas Day since it’ll just be the two of and opening gifts won’t reallly take that long. His answer? “We’ll watch the kitties open their presents and play with them!” So that means I’ve had to come up with some good gifts for them. They won’t know what hit them on Christmas morning.
  • Hospitality — before the decorations went up, we purged, cleaned and organized our house better than it had been since our wedding. And except for my craft stuff, it’s stayed acceptably tidy. Which has made having people over super fun. In December alone we’ve had more guests than in the last 3 months combined. There’s nothing better than chatting around the Christmas tree while sipping something hot.

Do you have any fun Christmas traditions? I’m seriously looking for suggestions to make our first one as a married family special.