To say I love this time of year is an understatement. Everything about it gives me warm and fuzzy feelings; the soft warm glow of the Christmas tree lights in the evening, the classic holiday songs, picking out our Christmas cards, and even picking out new rolls of wrapping paper. But what really makes holidays special are the traditions you’ve grown up with and look forward to each year. As we get older and split holidays between families or move away from home, those traditions can get harder and harder to keep up with.
A few years ago, when we moved in together, Gabe and I started a few of our own holiday traditions. The day after Thanksgiving we start putting up our tree and decorations and really make a “thing” of it. We’ll spring for the good bottle of wine, either make dinner together or order our favorite take out, and turn on Christmas music or a movie to start getting in the spirit. It’s a night we look forward to spending together every year, and the ornaments we’ve collected for special events or on our travels always brings back fun memories. This year we also got a real tree for the first time together!
We also started doing a PJ exchange on Christmas Eve a couple of years ago. It’s something simple that we do for just the two of us and, eventually, when our family grows it will be such a sweet tradition to share with our kids. Hopefully they will love it too and continue the tradition with their families.
Traditions don’t have to be just with family members or a spouse. Maybe you and your significant other cruise around to see holiday lights every year. Or maybe a group of your best friends get together for a wine tasting night at someone’s house, or go see the Nutcracker (a personal favorite holiday event). Just because you can’t make those cookies with mom doesn’t mean all is lost. I believe the holidays are what you make it, so take advantage of the wonderful people in your life and start your own traditions!
We’ve tried to experience as much “holiday stuff” D.C has to offer for our first Christmas here. To name a few, the downtown Christmas market was beautiful but, honestly, a little underwhelming. The national tree outside of the White House is very pretty, with 50 smaller trees surrounding it representing all 50 states. Certainly doesn’t beat the tree in Rockefeller! Nonetheless, our nations capital really dresses up for the season, and the sunsets are stunning.
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions, old or new?