Every year I lament not creating Christmas traditions with my hubby and not working harder to bring that holiday spirit into our home. Somehow not long after I throw up our single box of Christmas decorations, suddenly the holiday has passed without much else happening. But this is the year! As I write this I’m surrounded by glowing Christmas lights, can smell the subtle perfume of my pine-scented candle, have my scheduler open reminding me of grand plans for cookie-decorating this week, and am smiling just thinking of some new traditions I’ve made. This season I hope I have no regrets and can carry these new traditions into future years. Check out the three I’m doing this year, then tell me about yours:
Christmas Tradition #1: Advent Calendar
This is the first year I’ve put together my own advent calendar, and I’m so in love with how it’s turning out that I’ve already decided to make it into a tradition. Last year I did a 12 days of Christmas for my hubby but was surprised by how quickly all the “little” trinkets added up! I felt like instead of spending money on all those little things, I’d rather put it towards something larger that hubby really wants. But with the advent calendar I decided to use chocolates from a favorite shop in Napa Valley. Although they are pricy chocolates, overall they still end up being cheaper than any other option, and it’s fun to guess the flavor each day. We watch a 30-second Christmas video corresponding with the day, and then open our yummy snack. I wrapped up each sweet treat in this customized Christmas paper from Tiny Prints that I fell in love with. It says, “Be Merry~ with love, Justin + Gina.”
Christmas Tradition #2: Christmas Cards
Confession: I never understood family Christmas cards until a year ago. For the longest time I honestly felt like they were a silly way to spend unnecessary money. But that all changed last year when I had a friend from Japan ask if she could send me a card. I’ve received cards from many friends over the years, but never from one overseas. (Are these photo cards a tradition anywhere but here?) It made me suddenly realize how much I missed that connection with my friends and family abroad. Both hubby and I have many loved ones in east Asia and miss them frequently, as well as our faraway stateside family. Maybe I am late to the game, but I finally realized how those simple pieces of paper can reconnect you with loved ones and bring the holiday spirit into a home. I scrambled to put together my own card to send back to my Japanese friend and was a bit ashamed of what I came up with; but being that it was such late notice I sent it off anyways and vowed to be prepared next year. And I am! I was so excited to start a Christmas card tradition this year, and so happy to find out that it doesn’t have to be a “silly way to spend unnecessary money.” I got my cards from Tiny Prints, who I think have about the best value out there. I ordered business cards from them earlier this year and fell in love with their selection of modern pretty designs for a really great price. So happy I have these beautiful cards to send out this time around. Find these exact ones HERE.
Christmas Tradition #3: Family Calendars
My own family has seven children and the last one just got married a few months ago. When everyone began to spread out, my parents started making family calendars so that we could all stay connected and be aware of special events. So one year I decided to do that with my hubby’s family and it became a Christmas tradition. This one took me almost no time to put together because I saw this design on the first page and immediately knew it was the one. These came from the Tiny Prints site too, and are all wrapped up in my customized paper and these perfect little matching gift tags.