Spending Christmas in New York for our honeymoon last year sounds like a dream – and for the most part it was. But for a brief moment on Christmas Day, the only place in the world I wanted to be was at home enjoying our own Christmas traditions.
Spending Christmas away from home, especially in another country altogether, starts to just feel like another day. Not being surrounded by your familiar things and doing your familiar traditions can kind of throw the atmosphere. In the US for example, the traditional turkey dinner that we know and love in the UK isn’t really the done thing on Christmas Day (at least it wasn’t in New York) so already one of the biggest traditions that Andrew and I both grew up with, was difficult to recreate.
Heading into our third Christmas together, Andrew and I have already started to establish a number of holiday traditions. I was interested to find out what other couples got up to during the festive season, so I spoke to two of my favourite marriage bloggers.
When I asked the ladies from Wow and Vow Days and Just Murrayed blogs about their own Christmas traditions, it was suprising how similar their responses were. Turns out all three of us enjoy the same holiday traditions, albeit with our own slant…
Decorating the tree
“One of our main traditions is decorating the Christmas tree. We started buying ornaments to celebrate our wedding anniversary trips, but the tradition expanded to include any major trips we took together. We love decorating the tree with these ornaments while reliving the memories of these special vacations.” – Carrie, Wow and Vow Days.
“The first Christmas we were engaged, I received a Christmas ornament that was a giant ring, and the tradition started us off getting one Christmas ornament for every year that we’re married.” Elyse, Just Murrayed.
I love this idea and it’s something that Andrew and I have already decided to incorporate into our own festivities. Having our wedding anniversary so close to Christmas (with year one just around the corner!) we’ve setup a special Christmas tree in our bedroom. So far it’s pretty sparse, just sporting a set of twinkling lights. But each year on our anniversary we are planning to buy a special decoration, in the material of that year (ie. paper, wood etc). So every year the tree will become more elaborate as our marriage grows and strengthens.
Christmas Dinner & a Movie
“We decorate the kitchen table, pull out the wedding china, and dress up for our at-home date. After dinner, we exchange Christmas gifts. Then we put on Christmas themed pyjamas and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas which brings back memories from our engagement. We got engaged around Christmas, and after Trae proposed, we watched A Charlie Brown Christmas and enjoyed a quiet night together before telling anyone.” – Carrie, Wow and Vow Days
“We have our annual ‘Grinch and Grilled Cheese’ where we make grilled cheese and watch the animated version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.” – Elyse, Just Murrayed
We kind of do this one too. Because we’re often spending Christmas Day with our families, we make sure that Christmas Eve is just for us. Typically we lay out the table, make a new dish which we haven’t tried before and listen to Christmas jazz, dining by candlelight. We usually exchange one gift, which is always new pyjamas to see in Christmas morning! Then we settle down to a classic festive film.
I’m sure there are many more traditions that are unique and special to every couple, like how Carrie and her husband Trae enjoy listening to David Sedaris’ Holidays on Ice, as they make their annual 1000 mile trip to see family at Christmas; or how Andrew and I go to the local park for a special carol concert by local choirs. I’d like to think that even if/when we do have children, that these traditions will embed themselves into our lives and continue to make the holidays that little bit extra special.
What traditions do you enjoy at Christmas time? I’d love to hear about them. Share them in the comments below or connect with us on Twitter @LoveinMindBlog, @Wowandvowdays, @Justmurrayed.