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New England is for Christmas: My Favorite Traditions

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I celebrate as long as I can possibly get away with and look forward to it for the rest of the year. Since we moved into our new home just a few weeks before Christmas, and it would be many weeks after that before we had furniture and paint on the walls, I had to keep my Christmas decorating to a minimum this year. Nevertheless, my Christmas cheer came in full capacity!

I was so excited to experience my first holiday as a New England Belle, but I was most excited that for the first time in our entire relationship, Shane and I would be waking up in our own home on Christmas morning. There really was nothing like it.

Because of this, Shane and I vowed to have a quiet Christmas morning together with no alarm clock. We soaked it all in by stayed in our pajamas, opening our stockings, and enjoying an easy breakfast.

We spent the rest of the day opening gifts, spending time with family, and staying true to a few of our favorite Christmas traditions. There is nothing like the entire Christmas holiday, and I try to celebrate each and every day of December. December 25th is just the delicious icing on top.

Shane surprised me big time with this amazing gift!

The first picture taken on my new camera; it's easy when you have such a handsome subject!

Our wonderful MA family

A Few of My Favorite Christmas Traditions

1. Ice Skating on Christmas Day
     The first Christmas Shane and I spent together while we were dating, we went ice skating on Christmas Day. Five years later, it's one of my favorite things to look forward to, mostly because it is a tradition we created just for us. 

2. Watching Christmas Movies (both nostalgic and cheesy) 

     When mid-November comes around, you can bet that I am already tuning into the Hallmark channel for Christmas movie marathons. It doesn't matter that they all basically have the exact same story line- I love them all equally. I also look forward to watching a few of my favorites every year- Little Women and Four Christmases (and of course A Christmas Story on TBS on Christmas Eve!).

3. Candlelight Christmas Eve
     There is nothing that ushers you into Christmas Day better than a candlelight Christmas Eve service.  Singing some of the best carols by candlelight while reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas, a savior being born, is what it's all about. 

4. Giving Back 

     It always looks different, but I love the spirit of charity and giving that radiates during the Christmas season. There are a plethora of ways for everyone to play a small part, but I love finding ways that mean something to me or are a way to use my gifts to serve others. Of course, this tradition can last all year long, but there are special opportunities at the holidays (like serving holiday meals to the less fortunate, ringing the Salvation Army bell, and sending boxes through organizations like Operation Christmas Child.).

5. A New Ornament

    Every year, we add an ornament to our tree that means something to that year. 2014 we had wedding ornaments, 2015 I added a southern ornament because I knew it was likely we would move in the coming months, and this year, Shane gave me one for the first Christmas in our new home. I appreciate a nostalgic tree over a glamorous one, and I look forward to adding sentimental memories to our tree over the coming decades- and being able to look over the blessings of years past! 

While so many things about the holidays are changing and unpredictable, there are a few small things to anchor the real meaning of Christmas: celebrating the birth of a savior and surrounding yourself with those you love. 

With a new year coming shortly, I will welcome it graciously, knowing that 2016 was wrapped up like a gift under the tree.  


  1. I agree December is beautiful time of the year. Love your decoration and congrats for moving in a new house! Wish you all the best!


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