Hey guys, Court here! Karlee and I were thinking that with the holiday season upon us, it might be fun to share some of our favourite holiday traditions. Of course, everyone celebrates differently so we decided to each share a little bit about some of our personal faves!
I think it’s safe to say that almost all of us love the food, the time spent with friends and family, and the excitement of shopping and finding the perfect gifts for loved ones. Or, I definitely love those things, anyway. Rather than rhyming off some pretty typical favourites, I thought I’d share a few that may or may not be unique to me, but are some of my personal favourites.
1. Visiting a Christmas Tree Farm: Growing up in my parents’ house, we always had a real tree. Is there anything better than the smell? I didn’t think so. This year will be my first Christmas in my own house, though, which means that Brad and I get to blend our individual traditions and come up with a few of our own as well. We decided that visiting a tree farm and cutting down our own, perfect tree would be a fun way to mark our first Christmas. Or, maybe I decided and Brad just kindly went along with it. Either way, I did a little looking around and found an adorable local tree farm for us to visit.
The best part? We were even allowed to bring Tucker, though he had to stay on his leash. The tree farm was perfect – tons of trees in varying types and sizes, a warm camp fire, hot chocolate and cider ready and waiting, freshly baked Christmas cookies. Even a cute little shop with tons of adorable ornaments. The weather was perfect, not too cold but with a little flutter of snow in the air meaning I got to bundle up in my fav toque ever (we’re even featuring it in our Stocking Stuffers gift guide) and spend a fun morning with my two fav guys.
This will be one tradition we’re sure to carry on! To mark our first Christmas in our house, we even had a custom glass ornament made by Jess, of Barefoot and Boho with our names and the year. Plus a couple melon ornaments for goodness measure since she designed our logo for us!
2. Baking: The holiday season can be tough on the waistline with all the sweet treats around. I’m a firm believer that enjoying in moderation is better than deprivation, though. Plus, I’m a huge baker. While I don’t have the time to do as much baking as I’d like, I absolutely love it when I get the chance. Growing up my sister and I would bake cookies with my grandma and/or mom and it’s something we’ve done every year for as long as I can remember. This year, I did the majority of my baking alone because I was also baking for our Girls’ Christmas cookie boxes, but it still remains one of my favourite holiday traditions! My personal fav? Snickerdooldles. Hands down.
3. Christmas Eve Gift Swap: When my sister, Rebecca, and I were younger we were always so excited to open gifts. I remember begging my parents on Christmas Eve to let us open just one. They were all piled neatly under the tree and perfectly wrapped. They were just so darn appealing. Tempting, even.
Finally, when we were old enough to be giving each other gifts (likely paid for by mom and dad), Rebecca and I decided that on Christmas Eve, to satisfy that desire, we would open our gifts from each other. It started off just as an excuse to open a gift, I’d give her permission to open the one from me and vice versa. It’s since become a tradition that we exchange our gifts every year on Christmas eve. Christmas is being hosted at my house this year, so we’ll be able to carry that one. I’m not sure how I’m going to feel if we aren’t together next year on Christmas Eve, though!
4. Christmas Stockings: You know when you’re so excited about something that you wake up super-early and can’t get back to sleep. That’s me on Christmas every year. (To be fair, I’m a pretty light sleeper anyway). When we were little, Rebecca and I would wake up super early and of course, we have to wait around eagerly for mom and dad to get out of bed.
Using my big-sister influence, I convinced Rebecca that we should dump our stockings and see what was in them. We could put everything back before mom and dad woke up. I don’t think she took much convincing. So, there we sat. The two cleverest kids around, rooting through our stockings and checking out the contents. This went on for many years. We only found out when we were much older that mom and dad would lay in bed awake listening to us and laughing amonst themselves until we were finished, and then they’d make their appearance. It’s still fun to take a little peek though…
5. Chocolate letters: My mom is dutch, and growing up half dutch means there are a few traditions that you just have to embrace. One of those is the chocolate letter. Every year, each of us got our chocolate initial in our stockings. White, milk or dark, there was a chocolate for everyone’s preference. I’ll be honest and say I’m not even particularly fond of solid chocolate. Often I’ll give my initial to my mom. That being said, I would be truly disappointed if that letter stopped showing up in my stocking every year. It’s definitely something I plan to carry on, even for my own (eventual) children.
What are some of your favourite holiday traditions? I’d love to hear and maybe try out a few! (I’m also debating trying out my mom’s tradition of buying herself her favourite chocolate and putting it in her stocking from Santa. Might not go with chocolate though…)