This being our first year together in our own place, Tobias and I are able to create some special Christmas traditions together. Or at least do Christmas activities that will likely become traditions in years to come.

For example, having the tree up so early (for the whole month of December) is something that’s very foreign to Tobias. Most Germans put up the tree on the 24th (or sometimes a day before). But he said he liked having the tree around, even though we got very shocked reactions from friends who visited our apartment in early December!

As I mentioned previously, I really like having both electric lights and candles on the tree. (I may have to see if I can convince him to do colored lights one year. That might take a lot of convincing!) And having a real tree is quite a nice thing, as well. We invested in a really nice (read: expensive) Krinner Christmas tree stand that hopefully will last us for years to come. One thing that’s so great about that is that we don’t need a tree skirt – it looks really good and is not ugly like a lot of other stands (especially the ones for artificial trees).

Last year, My mom bought new stockings for the whole family for Christmas, and I was overjoyed to see that she bought me AND Tobias stockings to match with the rest of the family. That was really touching and it made me feel very connected. This year they sent over a Christmas package full of small gifts and stocking stuffers. I suggested to Tobias that, since we will celebrate Christmas on the evening of the 24th with the rest of the Germans, we should also do a little something on Christmas morning. Last year we didn’t and it felt a little strange. So I suggested that we fill our stockings with the presents from my parents and bring them with us to his parents’ house and just open them alone together on Christmas morning. He agreed with that idea and said it sounded nice.

Speaking of stockings, another tradition I’d like to start is something that I read about on another blog (Smile and Wave). Each year, when you take down your Christmas decorations, you write a few wishes for the next year on a piece of paper and stuff it in your stocking. Then, when you unpack everything the next Christmas season, you can read what you wrote the previous year and take a look back over the year. That sounds like a special thing to do…like a little time capsule that renews every year.

One thing I’m looking forward to is taking part in a long-standing tradition with Tobi’s extended family. On the 25th or the 26th, his aunts and uncles and cousins (so many of them!) always get together for a big, joyful celebration of food and singing. They’re a very musical family, and they have this song book that has at least 100 songs in it. They start at the beginning and sing their way all the way through the songbook. It’s a LOT of fun! I really enjoyed that last year and am excited for that this year too.

Do you have any special holiday traditions?  Are you creating any new traditions this year?  Please share!


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