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Growing up, traditions were a huge deal in our house, especially around Christmas time. One of the exciting things about our first Christmas as a married couple is that we will now be able to have our own special Christmas traditions together. Here’s some Christmas traditions for couples that my husband and I will be experiencing together this year, no special skills (confession: we stink at ice skating) or snow required. And here’s another post with some tips about how to start a new family tradition.
Christmas Stockings- Yes, we may be adults, but there is still something special about Christmas stockings stuffed with little gifts even if you no longer believe in Santa. I loved filling my husband’s stocking last year with a collection of gifts that were funny, tasty, and full of memories from the last year. Looking for some ideas? Check out my posts on photo gifts and love letter gifts.
Tree Decorating- One of my favorite holiday traditions has always been decorating the Christmas tree together as a family. It offers an opportunity to listen to Christmas music, sip your favorite holiday drink, and make your home look festive. We share holiday memories from childhood and memories associated with special ornaments as we alternate putting ornaments on the tree. Since my husband had a whole lot less ornaments then I did coming into the marriage, I have been gifting him an ornament each year of his own. We also sometimes pick up ornaments on trips we take, such as our off-season beach trip last winter. Eventually when we have children we’d like to give them an ornament each year representing the previous year so they have a collection when they grow up as well. It’s also fun to pick a glass-blown ornament that represents something special from the last year of your relationship.
Christmas Markets- Our second date was spent exploring the Christmas markets in center city Philadelphia, such as the German Christmas market which is located at City Hall this year. It is a wonderful collection of tastes in the form of bratwurst and apple cider, Christmas lights, and wooden sheds filled with goodies from all over the area and the world. This will be our third year celebrating Christmas by going to the markets. Check out what your city or town offers, from concerts to a tree lighting to special festivals, which all make fun Christmas dates.
Gingerbread Houses- Over the weekend my husband and I decorated our first gingerbread house together for an at-home Christmas date. Somehow we managed to get icing all over ourselves (completely unintentionally). It was fun to work together on a creative project and afterwards we had a glass of wine and danced to Christmas music. Here’s the gingerbread house we used.
Favorite Classic Christmas Movies– Christmas is the perfect time for a marathon or feature presentation of your favorite Christmas flicks. Last year we discovered that the other hadn’t watched one of our favorite classic Christmas movies. So my husband introduced me to Elf and I introduced him to It’s a Wonderful Life. I already shared White Christmas (Miracle on 34th Street is next) with him, so we’ll have to see what he decides on, although I will hold onto my belief that Die Hard is not a Christmas movie.
Christmas Lights- Living in the suburbs growing up made a drive to see Christmas lights before Christmas a piece of cake. Now that we live together in the city, the offerings of Christmas cheer are a little less beautiful and more tacky. But even though there is less of a driving experience, we still have access to beautiful displays of lights in Center City Philly. Last year we took in the light displays at Franklin Square Holiday Light Show and the riverfront Winterfest. This year I hope we can catch the lights show at Macy’s near City Hall.
Christmas Countdown- My mom is the queen of all things advent calendars. So this year we have a Christmas countdown in the form of 24 wrapped gifts from my parents, one for every day of December leading up to Christmas. I don’t think I will ever be able to match her skill in this area, but I love the idea of a Christmas countdown even if you aren’t a kid any longer. I mean, who says you have to be under 12 to get a kick out of a Lego Advent Calendar? A wooden gingerbread house or fabric advent calendar can also become a keepsake piece that you use together year after year.
What are your favorite Christmas traditions to share as a couple?