I love Christmas. For as long as I can remember it has been my favourite holiday. The lights, the music, the food, and the traditions. Most people have traditions that surround the holidays and my family is definitely no exception. Some of the ones that stand out to me are:
- Downtown Day: a day spent in downtown Vancouver looking at all the hotel decorations, Canada place, and exploring the city
- Specific seats around the tree: I have no idea when it started, but everyone in my family has a very specific place that they sit when they open presents, mine was always on the floor right beside the tree
- Baking: my mom loves to bake and there are always the favourites that come out at Christmas-time including peppernuts, shortbread, chocolate covered craisins, and biscotti
- Movies: I love the classic Christmas movies such as Rudolph, Frosty, and Santa Claus is coming to Town, but I also love newer ones such as The Grinch, Elf, and whatever cheesy movie is on Netflix
- Christmas Eve: my family would always open some of the family gifts on Christmas Eve after church and about a million photos in front of the tree
- Disney Parade: after opening presents my mom and I would always go to watch the Disney Christmas Parade
The thing is that I am growing up. Last year I didn’t go home for Christmas and that meant that many of the traditions that I experienced for 22 years didn’t happen. This was hard, I had gotten used to being across the country from my family, but Christmas made it harder. But this is also where new traditions came into play. 2016 was my first married Christmas, and with that comes the perfect time to make new memories. Nigel and I spend the week before Christmas in the Caribbean on a cruise for a delayed honeymoon and then when we came back we got to do things our way.
I got to make a Lego Christmas scene for the first time, my husband made me breakfast on Christmas morning, and there were feet of snow outside the house. My mom sent over some of my special Christmas decorations and baking to us so I still had some memories of home, but a lot of things were new and different.
It can be hard to be far from family around the holidays and having my husband with me definitely made last Christmas easier, and this year I got to come home. Now we combine the traditions, the old ones that I have grown up with and the new ones that I make with my new family, and that makes this Christmas season even better.