As a child my family had some fun Christmas traditions, my mom would read us stories out of our Christmas storybook. My favourite was The Little Match Girl, only when I grew up did I realize how unbelievably depressing that story was. We would all have hot chocolate on Christmas morning and open our stockings together before digging into the gifts. So when I got married I wanted to start our own family traditions. I searched on Pinterest: Christmas Traditions to spark some creativity. What popped up was "20 Holiday Traditions Your Kids Will Love! Traditions To Start On Baby's First Christmas. 12 Christmas Traditions To Start With Your Kids." But what about us couples without kids? Christmas may be a big deal for kids but adults enjoy Christmas as well. Where are all the childfree Christmas traditions?! I love Christmas. Like.. start listening to Christmas music in October kind of love. I decorate every year on November 1st without fail and finish all my Christmas shopping by December 1st so I can fully enjoy the Christmas season. Kids or no kids, I was determined to continue to live my best life during the holidays and come up with my own childfree Christmas traditions.
Here are some of the traditions my little family enjoys, no children required.
Meaningful Ornaments Growing up, my husband and I were both gifted a yearly Christmas ornament from our respective parents. We continued this tradition together while we were dating, each year buying the other an ornament. Our tree is now decorated with a mish-mash of childhood and relationship memories. Once we got married we transitioned to purchasing an ornament that sums up that particular year. The year of growth, the year of adventure, and 2020, the year of the pandemic. This years ornament is an all too appropriate plague doctor. This makes putting up the tree every year more fun as we sort through the ornaments and look back on all the memories each of them hold.
The Festival of Lights
Adult can enjoy Christmas lights just as much, or maybe even more, than the kids do. I grew up in Niagara Falls, ON and every year they put up a beautiful Christmas light display down by the falls. You can stay in your car and drive through to look at them or find a parking spot and slowly stroll through. When my siblings and I were young our mom used to bundle us up every year and drive through to see the beautiful lights. Fitted with Christmas music on the radio and hot chocolate in our hands, it was a favourite holiday event for me. My husband and I have carried on this tradition on our own and I love it. The city has since added interactive light displays and charming photo-ops. If the weather is nice enough we bundle up and enjoy a casual stroll together, talking, enjoying each other's company and taking in the beautiful handiwork of the city.
DIY Advent Calendar
This is one of my favourite Christmas traditions. It's easy to purchase a chocolate filled advent calendar, but for me it's more fun to make one! I purchased small linen bags, number tags and each year find a new way to display it. My husbands calendar gets filled with a few small gifts, a date or two, and various different types of chocolate or candies. Each day he will either find a treat or a small present ornament that can be exchanged for an actual present! Every year I gift a new Christmas sweater and scatter things like a manly scented candle, fancy new boxers or a box of golf balls throughout the rest of the calendar. In the 24 days he typically gets 5 actual gifts as his birthday is also in December. I also splurge a little and buy slightly more decadent chocolates in leu of the inexpensive 'advent' chocolates. Not only does this calendar cut down on eating chocolate every single day, but he never quite knows what that day will hold! It makes it fun for him, and I love gifting, so it's just as fun for me.
Christmas Eve(date) Box I started this tradition originally out of annoyance. Every Pinterest Christmas post I had come across was geared towards children. I understand Christmas is a magical time for kids, but what about the rest of us? I found a pin for a Christmas Eve box for families with children and it intrigued me. The child friendly box has a Christmas movie, snacks, new pjs and maybe a toy. I loved the idea and decided to adultify it for us. Our Christmas Eve Basket has some popcorn and/or small snacks, some adult beverages, our favourite Christmas movies (The Santa Clause & Four Christmas') and a new board or card game. Every year we spend the evening together, watching our favourite movies, getting just a little tipsy and learning a fun new game. It's an easy tradition to keep going and guarantees that at least one day out of the busy Christmas season we spend some quality time together.
What are some of your Christmas traditions? Is there any traditions I'm missing out on that I should add to our roster?! Let me know in the comments!