There is absolutely no question- Christmas is MY favourite time of year. A time when things slow down and we take a break from our hectic schedules to spend time with family and friends.
As a child growing up the excitement started on December 1st when my mom would hang the advent calendar, a wall hanging that she made with a little bear who looks for Christmas, and everyday my sisters and I took turns moving the bear until he finally found Christmas. We always visited Santa to let him know our Christmas wishes and to snap our yearly photo which my mom would add to her collage of Santa pics dating back to when she was a child on Santa’s knee. Then came the time to bundle up and go searching for the perfect tree to cut down and decorate, we always had a real tree and the smell of fresh pine needles would fill our home with seasonal joy, my dad would put the lights on the tree then our whole family would add the decorations while we sung along to our favourite Christmas music. On Christmas Eve we always went to church for a special service and some carolling then off to bed for the big day! Christmas morning was filled with wonder and excitement, we would take turns opening our gifts so we could watch one another’s faces as they open their presents. Out of all the special holiday traditions what I remember most as a child was all the love that was in our family.
Now that I’m all grown up with 2 children of my own we’ve kept our festive family traditions alive, we still cut down a real tree and my parents come join us.
Our tree isn’t your typical tree with all the beautiful matching ornaments, we decorate our tree with all sentimental and handmade ornaments, each one is either a gift from someone or something the kids have made.
We love doing holiday baking as a family, going on family hikes to collect clippings to make our own holiday wreaths and one of the kids favourites is building and decorating gingerbread houses.
The kids - Wesley 6 years old and Hazel 4 years old - write their letters to Santa and we always go get a picture with them on Santa’s knee to add to our own collage.
Christmas Eve is still spent at a special church service and then it’s back home to read ’Twas the night Before Christmas, a pop up book that I’ve had since I was a child. There’s so much joy seeing the excitement in my children’s faces and making the holidays magic for them. My hope is that they carry the traditions with them as they grow and always remember that the true spirit of Christmas is spending quality time with the ones we love most.