Christmas is such a special time of year. I love the anticipation and collectively shared holiday spirits. I try my best to soak it all up as much as I can cause it always goes so fast. And before we know it, it's December 26th, and the countdown, till we can do it all over again, begins again.
There's just so much to do during the short weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years'. But this is what I look forward to the most:
Cutting down our Christmas tree. Karl and I both grew up having fake trees. But our first Christmas together married we decided we wanted to try doing a real tree. And we've loved it! I scour the farm till I find the very perfect one. Full branches and soft needles. Not too tall so it fits in our little home, but as tall and BIG as I can go. I really do like to push the limits here cause the first tree we brought home ended up being huge!! And it barely fit in our living room. You could only see the tv if you sat on the one cushion at the far end of the couch. I sort of kind of learned my lesson.
PS. Peep over at my IG reel picking out our tree this year. She's a beauty!
Slowing Down. I go into a bit of hibernation come winter. And while that might go against the typical 'hustle-and-bustle' of the season. There's just something about this time of year that prompts a pull for much inward time. I love cozying up in my thick wool socks and sherpa blanket, journaling by the Christmas lights. Reflecting on the last year and preparing for the New Year. With the snow lightly falling outside. It's my absolute favorite.
Putting up our ornaments. Growing up my mom gave me a Precious Moments ornament every year from when I was about 8 or 9 till my early 20's. And I love that when I got married and had my own tree, I had a box full of ornaments with sweet, sweet memories that I could decorate with. Karl's got his own box of childhood ornaments including clay ones his grandma made that have since been passed to us. And I just love our eclectic lil Christmas Tree and all the special memories it holds.
Participating in Advent. The reason for the season. What a gift of love the world received that first Christmas Day. And dwelling each day on the marvel and miracle it all is in my advent devotions is such a highlight for me.
Watching Hallmark Christmas movies. I honestly can't believe how obsessed I am with Hallmark Christmas movies. But I am.
I love watching them. I record a bunch and just play them throughout the days. Some I sit down and pay attention to, some it's just background entertainment. I just love the endless supply of cheesy Christmas stories.
Wrapping gifts. I love making all the presents look oh-so-pretty. I reuse our paper bags from grocery trips throughout the year for our wrapping paper. And with a bit of twine and a cut off sprig from our tree, it all ties together so lovely. I love seeing all the gifts nestled under the glistening tree. Awaiting the day to be opened.
Going ice skating. There's something about ice skating around Christmas time that feels a bit extra special to me. My dad used to always take me skating growing up. It's one of my favorite outdoor activities. And over the years, Karl's gotten the hang of it himself. We've loved going to Titletown. We always have so much fun at their rink!
Listening to Christmas records and lighting candles. The darkness coming so soon in the day instigates cozy vibes that I settle real nicely into. As I shut work down, I put on a Christmas record and light a few candles. And transition into a relaxing little evening. My favorite candles are the wood wick kinds that snap, crack, pop. I imagine I have a fireplace and all of it together becomes the most magical thing ever.
Looking at the lights. We take a night to drive around the neighborhoods looking at all the lit-up and decorated houses. We put on our comfy clothes, make some hot cocoa to-go and just drive around. Oohing and Aaahhhing at everyone's talent and hard work. It's quite amazing what some people do!
Going on our Christmas day hike. Somehow over the years, my family has made it a tradition to take a hike on Christmas day. We put on all the layers, get some fresh air, and follow the trails into the woods. It's been my new favorite tradition.