What does Christmas mean to you? Is it family? Friends? Parties? Religion? Presents?
To me it’s being wrapped around the softness of a cozy blanket while snuggling on the couch, the sweet smell of oranges and cinnamon, enchanting lights and decorations, beautiful shades of reds and greens, carol singing and festive foods. It’s also a time of reflection and celebration of life. But all in all, it’s family.
In a hope to inspire you and get you all prepped up for this holiday season, here are some traditions I look forward to experiencing every year:
Go see the Christmas lights
Whether you live in a big city with plenty of attractions or a smaller town with just a few window displays, it’s always fun to take a nightly walk to see the magic of lights and breathe the brisk air. It’s also a good idea to make a warm tea or hot chocolate to bring along in a thermos.
Watch a Christmas movie
I love wintery nights spent by the Christmas tree, sipping on a warm drink and a good movie. Although our son is not interested in watching movies yet (his attention span quite short and he tends to go grab his toys rather than sit and watch), this year I’m planning on picking one or two movies and play them just to mark the tradition and create a sharing experience.
Taking out the Christmas decorations is an experience on itself. And decorating the house while playing Christmas carols brings anticipation and excitement for the upcoming weeks. Not only you add color and freshness to your living room (am maybe a little bit of clutter), but the overall atmosphere is simply inspiring – it incites family, celebration, empathy.
Buy a new ornament every year
Christmas decorations can get really pricey and you can easily get carried away. An easy way to build up your collection is to gradually buy, or even better, upgrade your decorations after the Christmas season is over, when everything is on sale. Also, it’s neat to have 1-2 things you buy every year to save it as a memory – I get so nostalgic when I take out Paul’s first Christmas ornament or our first Christmas as a married couple decoration.
Make cookies for Santa
On Christmas Eve, Paul leaves cookies for Santa before going to bed. In the morning, when he wakes up, he finds the crumbs and knows that Santa passed by. It’s such an adorable tradition that unfortunately doesn’t last too long. But it’s worth doing it when they’re little.
Christmas pajamas or socks
On Christmas Eve, the reindeers leave a gift – pajamas and socks to be worn that night. Not only that his pictures opening his gifts will look festive, the child will get excited about Santa arriving soon.
Mail out Christmas cards
With the advancement of technology, it’s so darn easy to put a message on social media and wish everyone your sincerest wishes. But nothing compares to a handwritten note to your close friends and family. There is something so personal and touching about receiving and sending a little card by mail.
Celebrate Saint Nicholas
On December 6th, children clean out their shoes and await for Saint Nicholas to bring little gifts (stocking stuffers, candy, cookies or fruit). It’s something I grew up with and I’m happy to transmit that to my son.
Sharing with others
This is such a great occasion to bring comfort and joy for others who don’t have the same privileges as you. Sharing a little something (food, clothes, toys, etc) will make a real difference in someone’s life. There are plenty of charities and associations around or you can always inquire at your local church.
In the upcoming weeks, I will keep expanding on the festive theme. I’d love to have you back for more images, shared thoughts and experiences. And most importantly, enjoy this magical period and let yourself be amazed and humbled.
Have fun with the preparations!