I come from a family pretty big on traditions, especially around the holidays. Up until this point, everything leading up to the holidays, from the cookie-baking extravaganza in the Saylor kitchen to decorating while watching White Christmas (read about how this usually goes here), to the classy Christmas party held by me and my best girlfriends every year, has been an integral part of the holidays.
Then there are the things that have happened that are memorable, although not necessarily traditions: the fun (trekking out for some last-minute Christmas shopping with mom during a snow storm), the illegal (chopping down a Christmas tree from the forest with Ian), and the not-so-fun (such as the Christmas stomach bug that hit our family last year....ugh.) While they might not happen every year, memories of family and loved ones are also a huge part of the holiday season.
Christmas Day, although a little different each year, almost always contains the same basic elements: a sleepover with my sister in my room, opening our stockings way before anyone else is awake, breakfast casseroles and poppyseed roll for breakfast, and the yule log on the TV even though we have a perfectly working gas fireplace. Calling all my friends afterwards to see what everyone got. Crab cakes for Christmas dinner, and then passing out on the couch with A Christmas Story on TBS playing on repeat for the third or fourth time that day.
Obviously, the holidays have been a little different this year. No more month-long break from school and work. I'm too far away from my mom and sister to help with the Christmas cookies, and shopping in Northern Virginia is more than just a ten-minute drive to the mall. When thinking about all the traditions my family has had in place over the years, I asked Ian what our new traditions were going to be, to which he replied "You don't make up traditions...they just happen!"
What have we done this Christmas that could potentially turn into a tradition?
We made Christmas crafts together...
...found cute ways to decorate our first home together on a budget...
...and made a lot of food and had some friends over for what you might call our first little party.
There's no doubt that Christmas is different this year, and it will be weird not waking up in my bed with my sister on the floor next to me, excited to get up and rip open our presents. But this year, I get to spend Christmas with an amazing husband, a new wonderful family, and even my own family--the joy of both parents living in the same town--making new traditions.