It’s hard to believe that Christmas is a mere ten days away. I am so excited to be flying home for my first Christmas in America in four years. After spending some time away from home, I’ve really grown to appreciate the holiday traditions that my family did together every year.
In my house, the Christmas celebrations begin the day after Thanksgiving. I grew up in Northern California near Lake Tahoe so every year we would drive up to the tree farms in Apple Hill. We would search high and low for our very own Christmas tree and then cut it down ourselves. The bonus was that on those days we got to eat leftover turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing sandwiches for lunch. When my brother and I were little, we would play games running around the tree farms.
After we found the perfect tree, we would stop at the markets and pick up spiced apple cider, a variety of pies, and a few of the famous apple donuts. They taste even better than they look, trust me.
A few weeks later, we would decorate the tree together as a family with our favorite ornaments while blasting classic holiday songs. I have so many memories of sliding around the hardwood floor in Christmas socks to Dolly Parton’s or Frank Sinatra’s Christmas albums. Around this time of year we would go on nighttime drives around our neighborhood and admire the lights and decorations on the houses and pick our favorite.
But out of all of the above, my favorite Christmas tradition began when I was born. My mom bought me a “First Christmas” ornament and from then on we started the tradition of getting one new ornament each year that described a significant part of our year. This year for my parents I ordered customized Etsy ornaments with photos and quotes on from our last holiday. You can find something similar here.