I’m so excited to share with you all… my favourite holiday tradition in our home! We actually did this a few weeks ago, but I was saving it to talk about as part of the Christmas Traditions Blog Tour! I’m thrilled to be a part of this tour, partly because the other ladies participating are amazing but mostly because I think traditions are so important. I love looking at all the beautiful homes tours out there, and would have loved to take part in one of those for Christmas, but we’re living with two 15 month old babies, running around
terrorizing the village and touching everything they can reach. It’s not practical for us to deck our home in beautiful ornaments, the doorways in garlands, and cute reindeer around our fireplace. Nope, we have a gate around our fireplace 90% of the time. That’s real life and I thought I’d be up-front with you (because you’re real people too, I hope) instead of putting decorations up for photos only to take it down and hide it from our babes.
That being said- we still love to decorate for Christmas. I’m sure you’ve picked up on that over the last couple weeks. We’re just being strategic and limiting our decorations to areas that are out of our kiddos’ reach or decorations they’re welcome to touch (like my trees pillow cover). Okay, so enough on that… what’s my favourite tradition!? Decorating! Ha, considering I just ranted about that, do you believe me? It’s true, I promise.
It’s not just the act of decorating that is my favourite though… it’s the event we’ve built around it. Before kids it was a day long event. We’d get the tree out in the morning, slowly set it up and put on lights, taking breaks for a big brunch, cocoa and board games (we’re games addicts). Since babies, we’ve compacted it into a two evening process. We build the tree and string all the lights in one evening- this evening is never as fun since we use an artificial tree that’s not lit. And I like a million lights. But the magic comes the next night…
We dig out all of our decorations and take our time sorting through them. We wash up our Christmas mugs and make ourselves cocoa (with lots of marshmallows) and eat holiday treats. We pull out the Christmas music and get in the holiday spirit. We laugh about some of our tacky old ornaments and the stories behind others. It’s so good. It’s like Christmas hits in one evening. We go from busy fall to Christmas cheer overnight and that’s magical.
Every year we change our minds about our Christmas style. We started our marriage with red and gold. That lasted a year, then we tried red and silver. Then gold and silver. Then just silver. Here’s where we’re at this year. We used a bunch of our silver and gold ornaments, as well as all the glass ones we’ve collected. We decided we needed something a little fun to tie in with all the natural decor we wanted to incorporate throughout the house (like this wood slice).
I’m so in love with what we came up with. I have been holding on to some of my Papa’s old plaid shirts- they had been altered so I just had pieces. He passed away when I was in highschool, and I’ve been saving them to make something and haven’t gotten around to it. I used some of the plaid last year for our Cozy Christmas Party, so Shane suggested I pull it out again. We ended up tying pieces on to the tree and I’m thrilled with the result. It adds some rustic charm and it feels so special to have a reminder of my Papa at this time of the year.
I really love having a tree that speaks to who we are and doesn’t just look pretty. We have some ornaments that we put on every year regardless of our decor scheme. I have the ornament from my first Christmas my parents passed down to me as well as the one I engraved for Shane and my first Christmas together. We have this tacky little nutcracker that I dressed up in Flyers garb for Shane (his favourite Christmas ‘thing’ is nutcrackers and his favourite hockey team is the Philadelphia flyers) he always demands be front and center. And we have this left handed guitar Shane’s brother carved for him one Christmas that he was living in Australia.
Okay, okay and the pickle! I put the pickle in my post title to suck you in… did it work? My mom got us this ornament a few years ago because both Shane and I grew up being the ‘pickle monsters’ in our families. Weird, right? We were always the ones sneaking them off the dinner table before food was served. So she gifted us this shiny pickle and when I unwrapped it and read the back I was taken by the tradition the ornament holds. The box explained that you’re to hide the pickle in your tree and on Christmas morning the first person to find it gets a special gift. When we had it we didn’t yet have kids, and even now they’re still too young to participate. So until then, Shane and I have taken to hiding it for each other. It goes on the whole time the tree is up. Once we find it, we move it for the other person to find. I’m so excited for Emmitt and Aubrey to be old enough to play with us!
So that’s my favourite Christmas tradition… so far! This is such an exciting time in our lives as far as traditions, because we’re able to start building them for our family. I’m grateful that we’re talking traditions and I can check out everyone else’s on the tours. I’m pretty sure we’re going to be an elf on the shelf family, but there’s so many more ideas that I can’t wait to test out. Christmas was so special for my family growing up, my mom went all out with home made advents for my sister and I, we did pine cone crafts with my dad, baking with my mom, and decorated gingerbread houses well into highschool. Shane and I love talking about how we’ll make Christmas time special for our kiddos- so far though, these little traditions make Christmas special for us.
I’d love to hear all about your traditions in the comments! Meaningful, goofy, or just tons of fun- I’m an advocate for tradition and the value they give to family. Also, if you enjoyed reading about my family’s traditions, you should take the time to check out some of the other bloggers on the tour! Here’s the other girls that are posting today, but the tour has been going on all week!
- Fifty Two Weekends of DIY- A Kid Friendly Christmas Tree
- Life on Virginia Street- Christmas Eve Fondue Dinner
- Migonis Home- Through the Years: Christmas Tree Stump Display
- Grace Langdon Art- Figuring out our Traditions
Our Christmas traditions are similar! I love carving time out to decorate the tree with music, drink and reminiscing. We have a pickle ornament, too! ;)
Yes, they are! And they’re good ones :) Thanks so much for organizing the tour Rachel, I had a blast participating with you lovely ladies :)
We have a Christmas pickle too, and I definitely want to start that tradition when Isla is old enough to understand it.
We don’t have a lot of Christmas traditions, but we always do a Christmas movie night (or two) where we watch Christmassy movies: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone, A Muppet Family Christmas, and Die Hard. (Hence “Christmassy!”)
Ah, the pickle. We do the grinch every year too! Love it, With cocoa of course :)
Traditions totally bring this time of year to life for me. My family has a lot of down to earth traditions like taking a hike to cut down our tree, decorating sugar cookies with lots of frosting and treats, and wearing Christmas PJs (thankfully they aren’t matching—ha. My sister and I when we were little used to be too pumped about our gifts to each other that every Christmas Eve we would tell each other so we could relax just a little knowing the answer to what was inside at least one of our gifts.
Thanks for sharing yours! And the pickle totally got me but I literally thought in my head that it was going to be about a tradition of decorating a pickle each year. Don’t ask. I’m glad it was a really cute story and wonderful tradition!
‘Traditions totally bring this time of year to life’… How perfectly said Brittany! Two things… your pickle decorating idea is hilarious! I can’t imagine how that would look. And I care way too much about the rules to tell what’s in any gift (I’m like the board game police)-it’s cute that you guys do though! That I would want to open it instantly to get it :)
i have heard of the christmas pickle tradition before- i love it! it’s just quirky enough and fun! :)
Yes! I’m realizing how popular it is and I love it! It’s no elf on the shelf though ;)
I can totally relate to the decorating with babies issue. We have a tabletop tree in a pot this year because I just knew a tree on the floor wouldn’t stand a chance around here this December! I usually go all out, but this year I will be keeping it simple and baby proof. My in laws have this pickle tradition. It’s so much fun! I would love to start it at my house too!
Ah a table top tree would have been a good idea. I was actually just thinking about you, my daughter has started climbing on the chairs then on to the table and I remember you had a solution for that. I’m off to track it down!
I’ve never heard of the Christmas pickle tradition – how cute! BTW – I just came across your blog through this tour! I love it and can’t wait to see more :)
The pickle is so much fun! I’m loving reading all the other tradition tours (I’m just catching up now), it’s been so fun to learn about some bloggy friends- and meet some new ones!
We also do the pickle tradition, though instead of receiving an extra gift, the finder starts the gift opening with the first present.
I love reading your traditions. Nice cup ;0). Makes me feel a little part of your Christmas. We are doing the tree today. The bottom decked out with Fyo proof ornaments and the top with all the glass. Though I think them beautiful, I can’t bring myself to do a colour coordinated tree. When we got married we received a lot of ornaments and we started a notebook. Each ornament has been recorded with the name of who gave it to us or where we bought it, so it is always a walk down memory lane, as we end up thinking of the many people who have cared for us over the years.
That’s such a great idea Erin- there’s definitely enough gifts already to go around at Christmas :) Ahh I wish we had more kid proof ornaments. We’ve put the bells at the bottom because those can’t be broken, but there’s not many of them left on the tree now- they’re all in the toy bin!
A notebook is such a great idea because I’m sure I’ll stop remembering eventually. I have a bin full of ornaments from growing up (we were gifted one each year) our goal is to have a tree in our family room when we finish that has all of those and all the ornaments our kids make- it’ll be theirs to decorate.
I thought it was the law to play Christmassy music as you put up your decorations – are you saying this is in fact optional?!?
(Love the pickle btw, it’s fab!)
Haha, It’s definitely pretty close to law in this house too :) Thanks so much for stopping by and the sweet comment!
Andrea @ life love larson
I have never heard of the pickle tradition, super fun!!! I love the idea of making a tree your own, without it having to be perfect or pretty!
Thanks Andrea! I am a sucker for a pretty tree- but it’s not worth keeping all the memories in boxes! Thank you so much for stopping by :)
Oh my goodness, Colleen! I absolutely LOVE that you use pieces from your Papa’s plaid shirt on your tree! What a treasure! I am so thankful to be on this traditions tour with you!
Thanks so much Kristi! This tour has been so wonderful to meet new bloggers and learn more about old blogging friends :)
Colleen what an awesome family tradition! I love that you guys started a tradition with your own little family. And your tree is beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing with us at On Display Thursday! I hope you will link up again this week – the link up closes on Monday at midnight! And it will be our last party until the new year – hope you can stop by! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Hi Shelly! Thanks for stopping by- I will see you in the new year… enjoy your holiday with friends and family!