Aren’t the holidays the most magical time of the year?
To be fair, Halloween is my favorite holiday. Even if I don’t dress up, I love the weather that time of year and handing out candy. Plus I’m a huge fan of horror films and all things scary. In fact, I think one of the things I’m looking forward to most about motherhood is dressing up my child and doing a family themed Halloween costume (until he finds us un-cool and wants to do his own thing, at least). And I may or may not already have our first one planned in my head… so cheesy, I know.
But Christmas time was always so special to me, especially growing up. From hanging up our stockings every year, to picking out our Christmas tree together, to decorating the tree with our favorite ornaments, the time leading up to Christmas was almost as special as Christmas morning itself. I hope to create that same magic with my son next year when he’s here and start some traditions with him that he will always remember.
Celebrating both holidays: Although I was baptized, confirmed, and got married in a Catholic church, I did not grow up in a very religious household, which is how we plan to raise our son. My husband identifies as Jewish so it’s important for us to incorporate both holidays in his life. We received this menorah when we got engaged from close friends, so we plan to light the candles each night of Hanukkah and get better at celebrating the holiday. We also will put up a Christmas tree and pick it out together, which I always loved as a kid. This fall we went apple picking at Kuipers Family Farm and had so much fun, so we will probably go there to get a tree as well!
Advent calendars: As a child once December 1st hit I could NOT wait to start our advent calendar! The anticipation of counting down until Christmas and seeing what was behind each day was so much fun. I plan to get one every year for our son from Etsy – there are so many adorable ones!
Christmas Eve night and Christmas morning: When we were kids we would spend Christmas at my Grandmother’s house. Since we would leave Christmas Eve night to make the drive from Brooklyn to New Jersey, we would open our gifts Christmas Eve morning at home. When we moved to Florida we kept the tradition of opening one gift Christmas Eve night, which just adds to the excitement of the night. The next morning we open the rest of our gifts and then make homemade waffles for breakfast – while also eating the candy that Santa gave us from our stocking. 😉
Baking… yes, me baking: Admittedly I’m not the best in the kitchen – in fact, I’m pretty much the worst. Every year my father makes these amazing cookies from my Great Grandmother’s recipes and I’d like to continue the tradition with him. Luckily my husband loves to bake, so it’s something we can all do together with my dad.
Giving back: It’s so cliche but it’s so important to give back during this time of year. In my best efforts to raise a compassionate and kind human, I want him to not only be grateful for what he has but also want to give back to those in need. When he’s a little older, I’d like to volunteer with him especially around the holidays. Whether that’s donating food or helping out at a local shelter, instilling these types of values early on is very important to me as a mother. (PS if you’re looking to give back this holiday season, the Greater Chicago Food Depository is where I donate!)
I’m sure as the years go on we will create more traditions that fit with our family, but I can’t wait to start these with our son. I can’t believe this will be the last year that we celebrate without a baby, and that next year there will be another stocking added with his name!
Photos by Heidy of BECLOTHESMINDED