December 23, 2010

Christmas Traditions

To me, some of the best Christmas Traditions are simple and sweet. The countdown-til-Christmas paper chain that I make with my brother, decorating the tree, displaying Christmas crafts that we made years ago around the house, sipping hot chocolate with marshmallows after making a snowman, tracking Santas whereabouts on NORAD, opening one present on Christmas Eve, leaving cookies, carrots, and milk out for Santa and his reindeer, a big snuggle fest with my little sister and brother on Christmas Eve, getting excited for Santa to come (hey, it's hard to not get excited when you have a brother who is sixteen years younger than you!), creeping over the banister with my sister in the middle of the night to scope out the goods (parents - you didn't read that!) Moms yummy Christmas breakfast, a delicious lunch at my Memes. Gosh am I ever missing home today.
My mom decorates the tree so beautifully every year!
This will be me and TJs 4th Christmas together, but technically our first! The first two years we were playing in Massachusetts, so he went home to New York to be with his family and I stayed in Mass to be with mine. Last year we were in West Virginia so it was easiest to drive to New York to see family since Massachusetts is a (terrible) fifteen hour drive from WV. While it was great to see family, we had to wake up at 5am, quickly open presents, then hit the road for 6am to head back to West Virginia. TJ had to board the bus at noon for a 9 hour road trip. Yes, on Christmas day. Brutal, huh? I can't believe another year has come and gone.

Here in Germany, Christmas is celebrated on the 24th. We will be going to my girlfriends house on (our Christmas Eve) Christmas and I am very excited for her special Bavarian meal. I think TJ and I will then come home and open gifts like they do here in Germany. The 25th we are hosting a small Brunch for the North Americans on the team who celebrate that day. I picked up a couple of steaks, perhaps I'll cook them up for the two of us later that night.

It's been really important to me to actively start creating our own little holiday traditions, but I'm having a really difficult time doing so. TJ and I were discussing today how this doesn't even feel like Christmas. Something is missing (family?), and it's really depressing. Maybe it will come back in a few years when TJ and I have a little one to get excited with, but right now I just feel like we are 5,000 miles from home and there is nothing magical about this holiday. I don't like growing up. I miss my brother and sister. 

Sorry folks, but I'm feeling a little green today.

Do you have any special traditions you have started with your significant other? Do you have any tips on how to keep the spirit and magic of Christmas alive?


  1. It was hard for me when my husband and I were first married. It seemed like just a time of obligatory visits and things going on around me that I didn't really enjoy.

    I have no solution because we ended up having a kid. That puts you in the holiday spirit like nothing else.

    Merry Christmas! I'm sure the spirit will find you this weekend.

  2. Joey - Ok I feel better that I am not the only Ebbe Scrooge on the block :)

    Ahaha, you are the second person today to mention having children to brighten up the holidays and make me not so homesick ;)

    Merry Christmas to you as well!!

  3. I was a scrooge last year, my hubs was deployed to Iraq! This is our third Christmas together, but the first as husband and wife so we're still trying to figure out what traditions we want to start. We're kind of stuck on it too, so my new theory is that traditions just happen - you can't really plan them! =)

  4. I can only imagine how it would be to celebrate other than the way I have been doin all my life. I'm lucky as Liam and I split the holidays and he would prefer to have Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine...which works best for both of us since my family doesn't do much for Thanksgiving and he's doesn't do much for Thanksgiving. I know once kids get in the pictures, its going to change and we'll have to start our own traditions...which will be exciting, but I'm sure I'll miss a few things as well. I guess its all part of growing up (is there any way to stop that process??? Not sure if I'm a fan of it;) However, some things we have started to do is we always get a real Christmas tree, we decorate the house together, we go and see this block of lights in the city that is all lit up and we watch the monument get lit up in the city (which is usally the first Thursday of December). I'm sure we'll start more once we have kids as well...which I hope to include reading the Night Before Christmas on Christmas eve (which is what we do at my family's house)

    Merry Christmas pretty lady!!!

  5. Maggie - that is a good way to look at traditions - the best things in life "just happen", like love! Merry Christmas to the two of you!!!

    Marian - If you ever find out HOW to stop this terrible growing up process, please send your secrets this way ;) I love all the of the little (BIG!) things you and Liam do together. I agree once little ones are in the picture there will be so many more traditions to look forward to..I can't wait to read stories and sing songs and make home made crafts with them :) I sing to TJ and decorate but it's just not the same haha. Merry Christmas to you as well!!!

  6. It's currently 2:20am (Czech time) and I'm commenting?! I can't sleep and I'm feeling exactly what you have described above. I'm gonna jump on the train of thought that having kids one day will help brighten the Holidays. Christmas day schedule; Team meeting and then team practice?! So basically, this chick is gonna fly solo. Lovely. Ugh. Feelin' green.
    Merry Christmas!

  7. I see this is an older blog, but relevant nonetheless.  I went  through a time when I began to lose the Christmas cheer after my wife and I divorced. Then I received a Christmas Wreath from my aunt in Maine.  It was made from Maine Balsam wood and when I opened the box the smell of a Maine forest filled my entire home.  That smell  rejuvenated me and completely changed my outlook on Christmas.  Tradition is very important.  If you do not have any yet, make some and stick to them.  If you are looking for a Maine Balsam Wreath, the store my aunt uses every year is Harbor Farm.
    Thank you for letting me share


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