Sunday, December 23, 2012

New Christmas

It is just a few days before Christmas and I am finding myself desperately trying to “feel like Christmas”. Between our wedding, summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and South Africa’s take on Christmas (but mostly the wedding), it has not felt like Christmas at all. I barely got to celebrate Thanksgiving, which is always the Christmas kick-off for me, so perhaps that’s where the downfall began.  

I also have found being married to be full of surprising transitions; notwithstanding, Christmas traditions. A few days ago, husband and I went to buy our Christmas tree. They do not have real pine trees here in South Africa; so we bought a cute (and by cute I mean small) fake one. We also had to buy decorations. I think I took for granted that every year there are the same decorations at home; the same candles, the same ornaments, the same snowman holding a sign that says “Think Snow” – but now we have to buy our own, new ones. How can this be home-y and traditional?! I was getting quite emotional over this.

And then I read the blog of a friend who, after being married six years, actually shared similar sentiments. What I found so encouraging (and a good reminder!) is that we (mostly me) need to enjoy creating our own traditions! (duh!) I knew this; but somehow in the hustle and bustle of transitioning to married life, I forgot.  I want our first Christmas to be wonderful and memorable, and I want us to create our own traditions that our kids will one day feel that it doesn’t feel like Christmas without. And I want husband to feel like it’s Christmas for him as well – which means pulling in SA traditions. (pray for me!) J 

So here are a few ideas I’ve collected, or movies we will definitely be watching. What are some traditions you’ve built up over the years? If you’re married, what was your first Christmas like?

Here’s to a wonderful, festive, and new Christmas – wherever you are in the world!

How adorable is this?! And they have popsicle sticks in SA!

My family has always watched this on Christmas Eve and last year, my husband (then boyfriend), got to join us for it. I think this is one tradition we'll be keeping.

Christmas crackers! My family never did these growing up, but started to in the past couple years when my aunt would bring them over from England. But here in SA they are a must. They come with all sorts of goodies inside - and for all budgets. We already bought ours - the least expensive ones we could find. :)

I was quite happy to learn that the "gammon" requested by my husband for Christmas dinner is basically just ham! I think I can manage this.

I'm so blessed to have a husband that understands American humor. He cried laughing the first time he saw this. We will definitely we keeping this as a Christmas Day tradition.


  1. Our first Christmas, I fought to have a Christmas tree. Tyler didn't want one (he was being very logical, not sentimental at all) since we weren't going to even be in Gainesville for Christmas. We ended up getting a very small and inexpensive tree. In fact, we got a discount on the tree because the top was literally broken in half! We had to duck tape it so it would stay up. We laughed about it and had fun with it because it was so fitting for us as 20-year-old poor young marrieds to have such a shabby little tree. But we loved it and it's a good memory for us :) Last year, we got a tree way too late because we had been traveling and by the time we searched for a tree there were NO trees in Gainesville. We drove around for hours and there was nothing. Eventually we came to the conclusion that we would either have to find out own tree and cut it down (Tyler's idea) or get a Christmas "bush" from Walmart and decorate that (my idea). I'll let you guess who won that one. This year, we didn't get a Christmas tree because we weren't going to be in town anywhere near Christmas - sometimes you gotta compromise! - but I did deck the house out for the holiday :)

    1. Christmas caroling, picking out a gift for children of families that don't really have alot of money, Christmas treasure hunts (my family does this! For special presents, my parents make us sing Christmas songs for "clues" which are rolled up parchment paper scraps, and we run around the house, basement, attic and backyard trying to find the last clue that leads to the present), instead of a snowball fight...a water gun fight or something, baking a favorite pie together...:) hope these gave you some ideas!

  2. Also, I LOVE Christmas Story! We watch it every Christmas Eve! I'm glad your husband enjoyed it!

  3. Now that i'm thinking more about it, we also make gingerbread houses every year, you could try that! Also you guys should make your own decorations together!!!


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