So the last couple days I have been so overwhelmed with work wondering how the heck I could possibly write this blog. Of course I thought about describing the holiday season or maybe Thanksgiving, but after reading the newest edition of Magnolia Journal I decided on something different J
When Matt and I moved here in 2014 we didn’t plan on staying. The idea was to move south, get jobs, save money, then move back in a couple years. Within about six months we knew that wasn’t happening. Even before we came to the mountains we knew North Carolina was the place for us.
On one hand that was an exciting prospect, and we immediately had our eye on cabins in the mountains and other places where we could put our “Live Simply” motto into action. On the other, we knew that meant that we may live 12 hours away from our closest family and friends… forever.
I sometimes rationalize it by saying that 15 days of the year I am sad and miss everyone, but the other 350 regular days of the year I am the happiest I have ever been. That’s true, but being in our first home during the holidays reminded me that getting through those 15 days is made a little easier when we start new traditions or rekindle some older ones. For example, this year we had a couple friends stay with us for Thanksgiving. It was so great to have the company and the Black Friday hike officially had its first year, a tradition we hope to continue. Below are some of our favorite “winter” traditions we were brought up with, that we cannot wait to share with Camryn in the coming year.
- Maple syrup on fresh snow! I am hoping it snows enough for this because I always thought it was so neat as a kid.
- An emphasis on stockings. I’m not sure what it is but I just LOVE the stocking part of Christmas day. I cannot wait to get a set of custom family stockings and build some traditions around them.
- Decorating the Christmas tree was really fun! We would throw on some Christina Aguilera Christmas and get the decorations out from the basement. Having a specific soundtrack to look forward to made it even better! Every time I set up a tree I think of that no matter what is playing.
- Like many families we were allowed to open up one present on Christmas Eve. So every Dec. 24th there would be a loud knock on the front door late in the evening. My parents would ask us who we thought it was and when we opened the door there was always a gift sitting there. We would even hear sleigh bells in the distance, and we were always so excited to open our “gift from the elves”. This tradition continued even as we got older, well beyond the Santa years, when it was all about figuring who the heck had the bells.
- We always got these HUGE coloring books to color in while the Polar Express was read on Christmas Eve. Alyssa says she will be making us when Camryn is old enough.
- Woodbury, CT has an amazing tradition of lighting luminaries all along Main St. on Christmas Eve. I took Alyssa there our first Christmas together and sharing that with her was really special. We already decided we will be in our town’s Christmas parade next year, and I can’t wait to see what other holiday traditions they have.
We are lucky enough to have a list ten times this size of memories that our families made happen, yearly or not, around the holidays. Even though they will not be physically with us we keep them close by keeping some of the traditions alive, and I know Camryn will understand how special they all are because of it.
What are your favorite traditions? Even if they are totally out of the norm, we would love to hear about them!