There is a lot of pressure around the Christmas season to host the perfect party, purchase the perfect gift, cook the perfect meal, and post the perfect Instagram photo while doing all of the above. This need for perfection has also seeped its way into family traditions. Acquiring a Christmas tree is now an expensive endeavour and preparing a Christmas feast is often an exhausting all day task. Steph and I have been reflecting on our families’ traditions, and if they fit with our slow and thoughtful ideals.
A tradition is something with special significance typically passed down from a previous generation. Christmas trees, stockings, cards, miseltoe, and fruitcake are some of the earliest Christmas traditions that we incorporate without even thinking about when or why they started. For example, fruitcake became a thing in Roman times as a way to preserve fruit and then the British grabbed hold of it and voila, the perfect Christmas dessert.
My husband and I carry on the Christmas morning tradition of eating breakfast before opening gifts. As children we were both outraged by this, but now we find great joy in this tradition. As a kid, my family went to a local tree farm to chop down our Christmas tree, but we go to Home Depot and choose the best tree we can find. This tradition developed because of my husband’s work schedule and frugalness. It’s not as picturesque as a tree farm, but it works for our family. I’m not a fan of cooking so giving up a giant turkey dinner with all the fixings was one of the easiest decisions ever. Our new tradition is beef bourguignon which I make two days ahead to deepen the flavors. This also allows me a chance to relax, nap, and spend time with family on Christmas day.
It’s okay to hang onto family traditions that work and to let go of the ones that don’t. It’s okay to create new traditions that are uniquely yours. One of our new traditions is giving our daughter’s pajamas on Christmas eve, which began because I wanted them to have matching pjs when they were babies. It is so simple, yet something they look forward to every year.
Steph and I hope your Christmas is filled with hope, faith, joy, and peace. We encourage you to think about your family traditions and if they are filling you up or leaving you empty. Be creative and thoughtful about the season ahead. For the month of December we have decided to share a photograph on the blog each week instead of a written piece. Take a moment to pause and reflect on hope, faith, joy, and peace as you enjoy Steph’s beautiful photography.