Friday, December 19, 2014

8 traditions i don't have for the holidays

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{sorry for the sub-par, iPhone photos of our Christmas decorations}

As you can see, Shawn and my Christmas decorations are anything but Pinterest-worthy. And I'm OK with that. We have a hodgepodge of stockings. Our tree doesn't have a theme - though I did only put red bulbs on it this year, as opposed to the multicolored ones. Shawn's mom gave us the little boxes by the fireplace because she didn't want them, and that's where they ended up. Not pictured, there are various holiday/winter figurines and candles around the house, but that's about it. It's not that Shawn and I don't love the holiday season, we absolutely do. We just don't go all Pottery Barn in our house - not that that is a bad thing. In fact, I'm quite jealous of people who can make their holiday decor come together so beautifully and coordinated.

Our decor just tends to be a mix of years worth of random stuff we've picked up on sale after the holidays, or hand-me-downs, or gifts from family and friends. We don't have a designated day that we put our tree and decorations up each year. It just goes up when we both have time on a weekend. This year it happened to be the weekend before Thanksgiving, which I don't condone, but hey, the time was right.

To be honest, Shawn and I lack holiday traditions. We're not very sentimental people, so maybe that's why. Here are eight - fairly common, I'd say - traditions that we don't have for the holidays:

// Elf on the Shelf. I had honestly never even heard of this until last year via blogs I read.

// A real Christmas tree. Faux fir, pre-lit all the way! Never in my life has my family, or Shawn and I, had a real tree. I used to work with this girl who's family owns a Christmas tree farm, so the last two years I've bought real, pine-branch swags for our front door. That's as close to a real tree as I'll probably ever get.

// Fancy present wrapping. I would love to wrap Pinterest-worthy presents, but I just don't have it in me. What's the point? People are just going to rip it open anyway. And in my family, we're simple creatures, so no one would probably even notice the fancy wrap job anyway. This year, I used whatever wrapping paper was left over from Christmas last year and birthdays throughout the year, and when I ran out, I bought rolls of clearance wrapping paper at Target. The beauty is within.

// Christmas cards. I think prior to Shawn and I getting married more than five years ago, I maybe sent Christmas cards once. It was probably right after college when I hadn't seen some friends since graduating that summer, and it seemed like the right thing to do to stay in touch. But that's what Facebook is for, right? Since Shawn and I got hitched, we've never sent them out.

// Christmas movies. I'm just going to put this out there - I strongly dislike A Christmas Story. I know, call me crazy, but I cannot stand that movie. Maybe I watched it too much growing up, but whenever it comes on TV during the holidays, I change the channel. Immediately. Home Alone and Home Alone 2 are where it's at. Oh, and Elf. Who doesn't like Elf? Shoot, this year I attended an Elf party at an old theater my co-worker rented out. There was a sock snowball fight {all brand new socks and all donated to charity after the movie} during the scene in the movie and singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" at the end of the movie. It was magical. I will watch Christmas movies if they are on and nothing else is on TV that I want to watch, but I don't make it a point to watch them.

// Holiday baking. My mom bakes sugar cookies every year, which Shawn and I, as well as my sisters and their significant others, help decorate when we're home for Christmas. But as for me whipping up something festive in the kitchen, hasn't happened. I would like to try my hand at being somewhat domestic, but I just haven't had the desire yet.

// Christmas music. Growing up my mom would put on Christmas music when we decorated our tree. N*SYNC's Christmas album was the bee knees, and I think mom had Amy Grant, too. There is a local radio station that plays Christmas music around the clock, beginning right after Thanksgiving, but I don't find myself drawn to holiday tunes much except on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I would, however, love to go see Trans-Siberian Orchestra some year!

// Black Friday shopping/holiday shopping spree. There is something about holiday shopping that makes people crazy. The holidays should be joyous and happy, but instead, people fight over meaningless items in toy aisles across the country. For shame, holiday shoppers, for shame. This year, I bought nearly everything from the comfort of my home - usually in sweatpants- and it was glorious! The way Christmas should be.

Please do not get me wrong, Shawn and I love the holidays. We enjoy putting up our decorations, whenever that may be and whatever the decor may be. We love getting gifts for our family and friends, no matter how they end up wrapped. And most of all, we just love spending time together and with our family and friends during the holiday season, no matter where or when.

Merry Christmas, friends! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!


emily said...

my mom has an elf on the shelf at their house. her kids are 29, 26, and 24. why she got it, i have no idea.

i also HATE "a christmas story." stupidest movie ever.

and N*syn's "merry christmas, happy holidays" just played on my grooveshark station. love it still!

and cards are probably my most loved thing about the holidays - besides time with family, of course - how do you not send out a picture of those pups and grady? :)

Kay R. said...

I think your decorations are very cute. You dont have to follow every tradition to be in the Christmas spirit and to celebrate. Loved this post btw :)

Micah said...

Yes to so much of this.

I have a fake tree too and I don't think I ever want a real one. They're a lot more work. I think your decorations are beautiful and if they suit your personality, that's all that matters.

I also really dislike "A Christmas Story" and don't get me started on "It's a Wonderful Life." I'm all about "Elf," "Love Actually," "Home Alone," and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

hunterhd said...

Amen to the fake trees! I upgraded last year to a pre-lit and it's a-stinking-mazing. The only way it could be better is if there was a way that tree instantly "fluffed" itself. Mine lies flat in a box all year and I spend weeks spreading the "branches" to be perfect.

I totally agree with the entire post - I would love to have a fancy pants Christmas but I always can justify why it's just not necessary!

The only tradition I hope we both have, is that it's a happy one!

Brita Long said...

This was our first married Christmas, so while we started a few traditions this year, we have more to start in the future.

I feel like Elf on the Shelf is for people with kids, right? I mean, why would you do that just for yourself or your spouse?

We have a real tree, but it's only about three feet tall. I love it! I call it my Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

I want to buy nice stockings for next year with our names on them. I've been sick this year, so it just didn't happen.

I have been listening to Christmas music nonstop since the day after Thanksgiving. It makes me so happy! But I'm ready to switch back to my traditional Taylor Swift.

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