Thursday, December 18, 2008

My True Love Gave to Me ....

Our First Christmas - Christmas 2001

When 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 :

the Mailhot 12 Days of Christmas Love Calendar !

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 that is perfect.

Merry, merry Christmas to the man
who makes me laugh each and every day,
the man I love more than any one else in the world,
my Husband
and my best friend forever,


Melissa said...

What a LOVE-ly idea! You're both very lucky to have each other. Maybe I'll try this some year. It looks fun. Plus it's a 'free' gift and increases appreciation for each other, hence more intimacy and better relationship. Can't beat that!

My hubby is a Christmas baby, so it's double trouble for me. ;)

~YAY for The Queen and Her King~

Commuter's Journal said...

What a beautiful tribute to your sweet husband, Kim, and such inspiring holiday ideas! Your Jewish readers could easily turn this into gifts for the eight nights of Chanukah. Fantastic! You are always a fount of inspiration and generosity.

By the way, I have an idea for writing on surfaces where you have used pastels. A homemade folding pen might be just the thing. Let me know if you'd like a tutorial.

-- JeriAnn

Genie Sea said...

How absolutely touching and romantic. I love the photo. You both look absolutely together. Thank you for sharing this! :)

May your traditions last and bring you romantic joy for a lifetime :)

Anonymous said...

aaawwww that's so very fabulously sweet!!! great idea kim!!!

i've passed along a blog award to you, come over and check it out!!!

peace out

Anonymous said...

Oh, Kim, how abosolutely perfect! You two are amazing and both so blessed to have each other.

Karin Bartimole said...

That is such an amazingly wonderful testament to the pair of you as a couple, to your creative soul, and to what a blessed love of a woman you are! Everything all the other folks that have said is so true - great idea, no cost in money out, but whoa - the interest gained is tenfold for the two of you! He's one lucky guy to have you creating these new traditions, and you are one lucky gal for having an open hearted man to join in on the traditions - I wish you guys lived closer to we cold share some of the holiday cheer together!
much love, Karin

FAQ said...

ya'll are so cute and loving to each other. Merry Christmas to you and your honey.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome post, Kim! That photo of you and Dave is wonderful... and I LOVE the altered advent calendar idea! I didn't know you liked Jim Dale's reading of books... isn't he amazing?!?!? I would listen to pretty much anything he reads, too!!! Love you, girlfriend! xoxo, K.

Jennifer said...

What an awesome idea! My computer is being weird so I can only see the picture of you guys...which is lovely!

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Anonymous said...

This is so darn beautiful!! Oh my gosh, it IS perfect! And you two really look so lovely AND HAPPY together. It shines through! God bless you, both! xoxo Serena Pia