(Closed) My very first Christmas – Suggestions for new traditions to make it special?

posted 4 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 16
1054 posts
Bumble bee

There are so many different ways! For my key I’m gonna cover it in glitter and add a ribbon. You can easily make salt dough or cornstarch dough (lots of recipes online) and use cookie cutters and craft paint to decorate. Also perfect for a puppy paw print ornament! I’ve also used cinnamon and apple sauce to make a delicious smelling dough for ornaments. You can buy clear plastic ornaments at any craft store and fill them. One year I inserted photos and filled it with curled ribbon, they turned out super cute. Look for inspiration on Pinterest! 

Cinnamon ornaments my cousins made me: 

the clear bulb/ ribbons ornaments I made: 

a salt dough ornament- image via Google: 

Post # 17
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

BiancaBee33:  I love that you are doing this! So cute!

I have got a few new ornaments every year since I was a baby, so I have a ton of them now. It would be anice tradition for you and your husband to buy each other one every year starting now! And you can start your kids collections right when they are born.

Every christmas eve we open one present, and its always PJs.

If you are feeling crafty, you can make a wreath. There are so many things on pintrest if you search. Same with homemade decorations. If you dont want to make a lot of stuff, Ikea has lots of cute holiday stuff. Lights, decorations, wrapping stuff, garlands etc. 

We watch Elf every year, I love that movie so much.

Music: I love christmas jazz music. Diana Krall, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, The Nylons, Michael Buble. My favourite christmas album is the Manhattan Transfer. 

Christmas morning we eat Panettone (lightly toasted with butter and cheddar.. so good im drooling thinking about it) and drink mimosas and baileys and coffee. You can buy panettone at any grocery store, its a cakey italian bread. YUM! 

My mom puts a new board game under the treee for our family, and its a fun thing to do during the lull in christmas day after presents are opened and before dinner. 

Dinner is always a classic turkey dinner, which is a lot of work for two but you can pare it down. My friends and I made thanksgiving dinner for 3 this year. We made a roast chicken, stuffing, roasted carrots and mashed root veggies and tarts for dessert. It was very fun and it sounds like you and your hubby like to cook! 

I make a big batch of Jamie Olivers mulled wine.

Make a few different kinds of cookies, and keep them in the freezer. Take a plate out every few days for a treat! I love russian tea cakes, also known as mexican wedding cakes. The americas test kitchen holiday cookie magazine has a ton of winners.

Advent calendars are fun too! You can get ones from the liquor store that have a new kind of craft beer for every day. Or the classic chocolate ones are great too.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Post # 18
3903 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

Every Christmas season I HAVE to see Home alone and Home Alone 2. Fave christmass movies from childhood. 

Post # 19
3382 posts
Sugar bee

Growing up my mom, sister and I (what were my brothers and dad doing?  I just realized this, lol) would decorate the tree whlie listening to Barbra Streisand’s Christmas Album.  The Best. Christmas. Album. Ever.  

Post # 20
3223 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

BiancaBee33:  there is just so much going on during the holiday season! 

First off, most of the best Christmas carols were actually written by Jewish composers in the 30’s to 50’s, so if you listen to  songs like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, you’re on a good track.

We always went toboganning when I was a kid (traditionally ended off with hot chocolate that MUST contain mini marshmallows). 

my mom always made a gingerbread train or gingerbread house, she often got together with friends to make it. 

We had a great record called “Santa Jaws” which is actually on youtube now that we always listened to. 

we always baked TONS of Christmas goodies – shortbread cookies, rum balls, mince meat tarts, sausage rolls, gingerbread men… Yum! My Future Mother-In-Law makes the BEST fruit cake, too. Mom also does Nanaimo bars this time of year – not because they have to be christmas time foods, but because the recipe she uses is so awesome if we made it more we would all be fat.

Post # 21
3223 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

OH! And it really isn’t christmas until we listen to that story about how Dave cooked the turkey! (Canadian bees, know what I’m saying??)

Post # 22
222 posts
Helper bee

We did the new Pj’s on Christmas eve as well so we had something new to wake up in on Christmas morning. This was often paired with one small gift being opened at midnight. Maybe you two can surprise each other with PJ’s.

Cookie baking for family, friends and neighbours the weeks before Christmas.

First weekend of December the Christmas tree and decorations go up.

Christmas morning we had hot chocolate, a really awesome breakfast, usually the “full Canadian” – bacon, breakfast sausage, eggs, pancakes, maple syrup and a platter of fruit.

My boyfriend and I make a point to visit as many Winter/Holiday themed events that occur throughout the week in our city and within neighbouring ones. I especially love the craft markets!

Some of my friends have gingerbread house building competitions. Some were pretty awesome! – you can go to a store that sells items loosely (like bulk barn) to buy all the odds and ends and it is very easy to bake your own custom house, instead of buying the premade stuff.

My friend has a large property and they would often build a big fire in the backyard on Christmas Eve and sit around the fire, making cider or hot cocoa in a pot.

Post # 23
3126 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

BiancaBee33:  when I was little we couldn’t afford store bought ornaments. So we would go pinecone hunting aka go to the local park and collect pinecones. we would use cheap paint and glitter to decorate the pincones. Even though my family is well off now we still do it. We also only open one gift on Christmas eve.

Here is a similar pic to the pinecones to what we did when I was younger.

Post # 24
477 posts
Helper bee

Read “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Clause”!!



Post # 25
2169 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception/The Gallery

There are SO many great Christmas movies! 

We always watch Miracle on 34th Street on Thanksgiving (or very soon after). Then: 

  • Elf
  • Home Alone (1 & 2 only.)
  • The Holiday (Jude Law, hello!)
  • Love Actually (Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, etc. So great.) 
  • A Christmas Story
  • The Family Stone (Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson, Diane Keaton. Perfection.)
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (Jimmy Stewart for the win.)

And definitely listen to the soundtrack from Charlie Brown; jazzy holiday perfection. A preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPG3zSgm_Qo 

Post # 26
1579 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

BiancaBee33:  This honestly is the cutest/sweetest post I have ever read! EVER! 

I grew up with somewhat-religious holiday traditions and hubs had absoultely none, so we kind of made our own, non-religious ones. 

Here’s what we do:

We put up the tree either the day after thanksgiving or that Saturday or Sunday. We usually make a run to Michaels or another craft store and decide what kind of tree we want.  This year, we want a Mardi Gras tree, so we’ll stick with a theme and shop for super discounted stuff. 

We go Black Friday shopping, even if we don’t need anything. Its just fun to spend time together during the hustle and bustle and we usually score some awesome Christmas deals 

During Black Friday shopping, we choose a store (preferably one that’s not insanely packed or huge), set a dollar amount (usually $10) and time limit (20 minutes), and find the worst gift item possible.  Once we meet back up with our gifts, we randomly choose some shoppers and present our gifts to them for their judging.  They pick the gift they would hate to receive and the person who’s gift gets picked the most, wins.  Then, you buy it! I won last year and we have this terrible 12×12 “picture” from Kohls that has things ripped off from it and is super scratched and dirty.  It was $1.25!! 

We watch The Christmas Story for 24 hours on Christmas eve.  ABC family plays it on a loop and we keep it on (this was a tradition I did with my sisters)

We make a gingerbread house together (the real kind – I suggest buying this book if you want to do it too – its got the best recipe and tips http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385472676?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00 )

We do a big Christmas eve dinner with crab legs, lobster, and steak.

Open one gift on Christmas Eve (while watching The Christmas Story of course!)


I saw another poster said they drink champagne and do the tree – I def think we’ll be doing that this year!


  • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by  .
Post # 27
459 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

BiancaBee33:  I figured I would add since I was raised Catholic but my husband is Jewish. Neither of us are very religious, however we both sort of celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas in that I decorate the house and he lights the menorah.

I have an artificial tree that I always put up, and lots of Christmas lights. My parents didn’t put out lights outside much but our inside looked like Chrismas threw up! I jokingly refer to our tree as our Chrismukkah bush. I have some lights with star of davids on them, and a light up menorah, a hanging star of david (that I call our Jewish-toe) and some other random things. I sort of just mix the two together just because I love the decorations and the lights make me happy.

I always decorate to Elvis Christmas music, because that’s how we did it growing up. I like it because it’s usually upbeat and doesn’t make it seem so “traditionally” Christmas since it’s sort of rock and roll. I also recommend Trans-Siberian Orchestra as well.

We do have an annual dinner that is mostly Jewish “Hanukkah” food, with brisket, latkes (homemade courtesy of DH), tzimmes, and noddle kugl, and we invite some friends over. It’s nice because usually we pick a Saturday a few weeks before actual Christmas, so that we’re not taking time away from family or anything. You could always do some variation of that, like an ugly sweater party or something with Jewish and non-Jewish foods, etc.

Last, as far as ornaments, I have to say that our tree is a bit of everything-we have ornaments I made in school as a kid, ornaments that were family heirlooms, and our newer tradition-which is buying an ornament from places we travel to. I like that because as you decorate the tree, you pull out these ornaments from far off places and remember your time there every year. I know that doesn’t help much for this year, but going forward it’s something to consider. I try to find non-glass ornaments-they travel and store better for the years to come!

Post # 28
740 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

There are so many awesome traditions you can pick up and the bees have definitely posted a lot of awesome ideas, haha.

One thing I did with our very first tree – we had to saw off a bit of the bottom at some point to fit it into its stand and I kept that piece. I later smoothed it out a little and painted on it “Our first Christmas tree” – everyone loved the idea at our Christmas party. Simple and oh so sweet 😊

Post # 29
1179 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

BiancaBee33:  I love that my Darling Husband and I get to start our own family traditions this year!! The only 1 we can think of is that we make it a point to watch White Christmas every year. I cry at the end every time because I’m a baby. We talked about picking a specific day we watch it or making more of a night out of it. Build a bed of pillows and blankets in the living room, have a drink, cuddle and watch white christmas and another movie we’ve yet to decide on. When we have kids we’ll do this one night after they go to bed.. it’ll be time just for us to enjoy the season.

Some of the things we want to do will involve kids when we have them. We drive around and look at Christmas lights sometimes. Decorating the tree/house together. Making little christmas treats and candies. 

We are buying a house next year and don’t have many decorations right now. And we’re trying to save everything we can right now to help so this christmas will sadly be a little lackluster, but he promised we’ll go all out next year. 

Post # 30
1300 posts
Bumble bee

emmmmru:  that’s a great idea! I wish I had done it.

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