Our First Christmas - Christmas 2001When David and I got married, it was time to start new traditions as a couple. This was and still is important to me. I come from a family that had some wonderful if not weird traditions that somehow marked us as uniquely "deBroin", like the fact that we had to tape the plastic doll head of our hideously ugly tree topper angel on each year but kept on using her anyway. (My sister, Kristina, just finally retired her this year !) Or the fact that my dad would shine up his mother's silver nut bowls (we were so not a shiny silver family the rest of the year !!!) and fill them with almonds, walnuts and filberts. We had lots of ups and downs growing up but Christmas was sacred somehow and all other crap was shelved in favor of the de Broin Christmas.
This added some pressure when it came to creating new traditions just for the two of us. David's family is a lot less focused on traditions and I think he was open to anything that would make his new bride happy.
One of the things I wanted to include was an advent calendar. We used to have the cheap paper ones with the few chocolate pieces taped inside when we were kids. I remember being so excited about the marking off the days until the 25th by opening up those little doors! I also thought about the song the Twelve Days of Christmas and the gifts given from one's true love. Put all of this together and you get :
Okay, I just named it today so it isn't perfect but the tradition has become so !
We have one of those 25 pocket felt advent calendars. As December starts, I cut up some cardstock into little cards that fit the pockets and make a pile of 12 cards for each of us. We take time to write some Christmas Love notes on the cards and fill the pockets of the calendar up, the 13th through 25th. Some years we set a theme of sorts, like "What I love about you is.." or last year's "If there were no money, time, location, etc constraints, I would give you ...". We read the notes with each other each morning for 12 days, our special moment together as each wintery day begins.
Here's a sample of some of what we wrote last year :(you can click to enlarge it)
We are just two in our family (I know, plus the furry kids), and David and I will be celebrating our 8th Christmas together as a married couple. We have built our own special Christmas traditions, wonderful and weird, that I treasure each year. Christmas is never really perfect all around - it wasn't when I was a kid either. But finding ways to make the love light gleam...now that is perfect.