Christmas Traditions For the Whole Family
We leave for California this week to spend the holiday season with Perry’s side of the family. My family is from Arizona so it isn’t a rare thing for me to experience a sunny Christmas. While I will miss my side of the family, I am really looking forward to watching Winter interact with her cousins and seeing more of the West Coast.
Although this is Winter’s second Christmas, it feels like the first all over again. She was so tiny last year at around 5-weeks-old and essentially slept through the entire Christmas Eve gift exchange. This year, she is walking, talking and showing interest in all the things I love about the holidays, like the lights, the parties and the holiday music and cheer.
When we were house hunting this summer, a fireplace was on our wish list. Although we didn't get that (which is totally okay), I was really excited when we found this branch out in the woods because we knew that it would make for a perfect make-shift mantel. We even got these personalized stockings made this year to hang on the branch, which makes it feel even more real that we are a family of three.
Perry and I have been putting our heads together to mix in some holiday traditions that we did when were little, but also trying to come up with some of our own. Here’s what I have so far:
1). Cut Down Our Christmas Tree: The day after Thanksgiving, we drove to the mountains and had the opportunity to scout and cut down our own tree. The permit was only $10 dollars. It was so fun hiking around in the woods to find the perfect tree for our family. We didn’t measure the tree when we cut it and we really lucked out when we found that it fit perfectly in our home. This is a tradition I hope we keep forever.
2). Friendsgiving: Our families live in different states and to say that our friends have become like family rings so true for us. We had the honor of hosting a holiday party where everyone brought traditional Thanksgiving food. We exchanged white elephants gifts and listened to Christmas music. Oh and don’t forget the eggnog and hot totties!
3). Adopt a Family: We feel so fortunate to be have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and to not have to worry too much about how the bills will be paid. Between what’s going on in Aleppo, the stress of the election, and the overwhelming amount of stories of terrorism, discrimination and violence, this year has seemed so stressful for our world. It seems more necessary than ever to spread kindness to others. When I was growing up, my mother used to bring us to the mall to pick an angel off the tree that outlined a family that needed help getting Christmas gifts. I remember these adventures so vividly and I want Winter to know that the real Christmas spirit isn’t about getting, it’s about giving. This year we decided to adopt a family from my school. We give them their gifts this week and I wish Winter could be there to see it.
4). Read The Christmas Sweater: This is a book that tells a story about a little boy that goes on this wonderful adventure to find the true meaning of Christmas. While the author doesn’t share the same beliefs as our family, the story is really, really good and has a wonderful message about consumerism. Also, the illustrations are just beautiful and so heartwarming.
5). Go to a Holiday Play: Perry has always dreamt of taking us to the Nutcracker or The Christmas Carol. Winter is a little too young this year to go, but next year, it will be number one on our list.
This carry on is from Away. They generously gifted our family one for the blog post. We haven’t ever owned a hard shell piece of luggage before and we’re already loving it. Plus, it has a built in charging station in the suitcase, which is pretty wonderful if you ask me!
I hope each and every one of you is blessed with a good holiday season. Merry Christmas to all!
Photography by Brittany Renee'