Saturday, December 3, 2011

Finding Our Traditions

When Dylan and I were getting ready to head out to Nebraska for Thanksgiving, we were chatting about Christmas traditions.

Last year and the year before we definitely just followed all of my Christmas traditions and Dylan did just fine. I think now that we are married, that Dylan's parents might come out this year and more importantly we will have kids within the next couple years, Dylan really wanted us to have our own holiday traditions.

I asked him what he had in mind and he said:
1) Caroling
2) Some kind of charity work, like a soup kitchen
3) Something in the cold, like sledding, to merit hot chocolate

My response to each was:
1) I personally will never go caroling. Just not in me to do. I suggested that I have a piano and really do plan on learning to play it, how about with our kids we sing around the piano at home? If Dylan really wants to go caroling, I fully support that and maybe there is a men's group or a choir he can join and sing with them (It would be great for him to have some "extracurricular activities" anyways).
2) For charity, I definitely support the concept. I said I would be fine doing a soup kitchen thing, but I thought an even better idea (one that I like more) is that we buy toys for kids and donate them. This would work really well now and in the future with our kids. Essentially we would give each of our kids a certain amount to spend and they would help pick out a toy to donate each year for Christmas. When I mentioned this to my dad, he said that was a great idea. He said his family could never afford to do much for Christmas most years as it was, but that it would be a great idea and to start teaching your kids those lessons early would be awesome.
3) For a cold weather activity, my first response was that the snow is so hit or miss every year, that we couldn't necessarily make that happen every year. My suggestion was that we do hot chocolate while we do our Christmas light cruising around neighborhoods (which I am SUPER excited to do this year since this is our first time in our neighborhood and so many people have lights on already!). If he really wants to be cold, we can walk and do it, ha ha.

So I think we made some decent compromise, and it is all in a bit of flux as the years go on. That is what marriage is about right? Compromising and growing and changing together :)

Some of the other traditions we have include watching Christmas movies. Dylan's favorite is Elf, and he also loves White Christmas. My favorites are The Family Stone, Elf, Scrooged, and Love Actually. I love most of the Christmas movies though. My parents always watch Miracle on 34th Street and It's a Wonderful Life. I also love The Holiday and The Santa Claus. And of course the animated The Grinch Stole Christmas, the claymation Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Coming to Town are classics too.

We also put up a Christmas tree (another blog on that soon since it is all up!) and theoretically Christmas lights outside every year (It is snowing a lot this weekend, so we'll see if we have a clear weekend between now and Christmas). 

We also usually go to a holiday show/play. This year we are seeing The Nutcracker since we haven't been to that in a couple years. We have been to White Christmas and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. We usually go to one show each year as a family and try to get dinner somewhere before.

I think that covers the basics outside of the gift giving and driving around to go visit everyone (and my dad and I are big visitors, even outside of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). I love this time of year and I love that it is snowing now and so pretty out to get everyone in the holiday spirit!

Outside our house right now!


  1. I love "White Christmas" Bing Crosby is the shit

  2. Love Actually is truly my favorite holiday movie. It's not december unless I'm watching that constantly. Traditions change the more settled you get. Things Mike and I were doing five years ago aren't quite the same way we do things now. It'll feel right when you get to a good place.


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