Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Bucket List & Traditions for Newlyweds

This year the element of Christmas I am most into is... enjoying the season!  I love this beautiful season so much and don’t want it to be over – the past couple years Derek & I have been traveling back and forth or at events in New York and this year we are just home.  Staying put, being low key and enjoying the season and the real meanings of the holiday.
Yes, opening gifts on Christmas morning is still very high up on my list and I will continue to sleep over at my parents’ house and be the youngest until I have kids.  But now that life has calmed down I am embracing the littlest to biggest things of the season from holding the door for an elderly person at the grocery store to Christmas Parties and Family Dinners.
It’s easy to get caught up in the “doing” “list making” “shopping” “wrapping” “baking” and sometimes forget to just stop and enjoy the season and this year with the traveling in the past, that’s what Christmas is to me - e n j o y i n g   &   e m b r a c i n g
We've already either already done or are planning to do all the activities on the list.  I'm sure future years lists will look similar with probably some additions but this is it for our first married year!
I have so many Christmas Traditions for the holiday season – some from my family – some I made up on my own – some for before Christmas – some for the holiday – some for Christmas Break.  I’ve had so much fun sharing them with Derek and having him be a part this year is even more special because it’s officially our “first” Christmas together.
 We’re working on coming up with our own traditions to continue year after year. The season flies by – make the most of it and plan out some traditions you want to do each year. Here are some of our traditions we’ve started/are starting that could work for Newlyweds or any couple!
Tree Decorating Party:
We didn't do this this year because of travel and being sick but next year I can't wait to start this tradition. P ick one special day and have a great time decorating the house (or at least just the tree)maybe while watching a Christmas movie and eating a special meal.
Get an Advent Calendar:
Every family must have an advent calendar and while I'd love to steal the one I grew up with - Derek and I picked out our for our new house!  My favorite kind (and the one we got) is the type where you move the Santa from date to date.  This will be hanging on our pantry door for years to come.
Christmas Movie(s) Date Night:
We've had a bunch of "Christmas Movie Nights" so far but we plan to have one special night revolving just around that - a great date night for any couple!  Either appetizers, pizzas shaped like Christmas trees or breakfast for dinner will be the meal and some kind of joint baking for dessert
Stocking Stuffers Mall Trip:
We've already completed this one.  In my family we make a big deal over stockings and one of our traditions is to all pitch in and get a certain amount of things for each persons stocking - so Derek and I went to the mall the other night to gather some of our items.  Since stockings are huge, we are making our own stockings for each other at home too - After we were done our gathering we each split up for about 20 minutes to gather surprises for each other and then met back up - safe to say this could be fun to continue
Good Deeds:
December is such a fun month at church celebrating the reason for the season.  I was always so excited to help pick our families Angels off the Angel Tree and help get the gifts.  Last week Derek and I picked two of our own angels to shop for.  This weekend we're also doing some shopping for items to donate to the food shelter.  We're really into giving back this year so we're also trying to just do little every day things like holding doors, letting cars go before us, being friendly with elderly people in checkout lines, etc.  It is so rewarding and really can make someone's day - we keep sharing our stories with each other and trying to get "more good deeds then the other person"
Christmas Activities in Town or a Town:
We put a focus on NYC last year since we were in the phases of Derek's final weeks of work there and did Christmas activities there, We've done Christmas activities in our town and this year we're going to do some Christmas Activities in Philadelphia - each year we'll take advantage of one (or more) special to an area, activity
Special Dinners:
It's the perfect time of the year for some special date nights and special dinners.  A special dinner at home, a special date night out, a family meal, etc.  It's fun to cheat a little and enjoy some good holiday calories
Mail Christmas Cards:
This will for sure be a yearly tradition - we just got our first set of Christmas Cards in the mail and I can't wait to send them out
Christmas Lights Night:
This is one of those "pass down traditions" that is so simple and easy and just takes an hour or less.  We used to drive around looking at Christmas Lights at least one night in December - a lot of times on my birthday and this year, we have a new neighborhood to check out - I think next week will be the start of this tradition for the two of us.
Matching PJ's:
Another passed down - Mom and I always have matching pajamas on Christmas morning - sometimes the boys sort of coordinate but this year we've found the perfect set for everyone.  This set will last us for a few years and then we can pick something new.  I'm glad that Derek is happy to go along with this
Side note: I promised Mom we can recycle some years past for a little - I mean Christmas is only one month long, you don't need 20 pairs of Christmas jammies
I'm hoping that we will come across one of the million recipes on Pinterest and pick one holiday baking item that is special to just the two of us - I've already got a list of items for us to try this year.
Live in the Holiday Moment:
A new tradition will be for us to follow the lead of this year and live in the holiday moment each and every holiday season and make sure to always enjoy the season and enjoy the day and do what makes us happy in order to enjoy the holiday together

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