23 December 2016, by Camilla Harrison
This Christmas season is exciting for a new reason: this is the first year that Siena is really getting into the Christmas spirit. She understands what Santa Claus “does” and has already done many things to anticipate his arrival. From writing a letter to the North Pole (well, more like dictating) to getting a photo with him at the local mall, to reassuring me that it has to be both cookies and carrots set out on Christmas Eve (the carrots being for Rudolph of course)! I’m finding joy in all these moments with her.
I thought I would use this post to pen down my favorite Christmas tradition as a little memory bank for me and also to inspire you if you are thinking of ways to make Christmas more personal 😉
Getting a Christmas tree is an obvious one but I realised that truly making it your own is where it gets really special.
We got a 4-foot Christmas tree and I just love it (nothing reminds me more of Canada than the scent of a Christmas tree!). It is just petite enough that it doesn’t take up too much room and just tall enough that Siena can decorate it herself.
Every year, I would buy a new ornament for the tree that means something to us as a family. The year Siena was born, I had one personalised with her year of birth. I got a video game controller ornament for my video game producer husband and even some ceramic macaroons dotted around the tree (to celebrate his culture of France). The tree has become a growing reflection of our life and family and I can’t wait to see how it will turn out in a few years! I wouldn’t be surprised if I have to upgrade the tree in a few years, solely to fit all the ornaments! LOL.
Spirit of Giving
While it is super fun to get into the spirit of Christmas, it is the spirit of giving and love that is most important to me at this time of year. Now that Siena is 4, I wanted to start a tradition by involving Siena in doing an act of kindness for others, take a picture of it and turn that memory into an ornament. That way, our tree would become a kindness memory tree in the years to come.
This year, I am going to get Siena to gather some toys she no longer uses and we will donate them to the little boys and girls in need.
I find it too easy to concentrate on “things” this time of year – especially here in Singapore where shopping is so easy. So what my husband and I do is to give each other an “experience” as a gift rather than a physical present.
This year, it was an “us only” trip to Universal Studios which was an absolute blast! I love this tradition as it’s a way to get some husband-wife time.
This could also be a family – wide present. Perhaps next year, we could get a Family Zoo membership, that would bring in some awesome experiences.
Music and Food
Personally, it isn’t the holidays without Christmas carols and a lot of amazing food. From festive drinks to log cake to the cranberry sauce on the turkey, enjoying many family meals is one of my highlights of the season. And while I do miss the cold of a Canadian Christmas, I love turning on a non-stop Christmas carol playlist from YouTube that has an image of a crackling fire on it.
I would lower the temperature of the air conditioning, turn to YouTube’s Christmas songs with a fire place video and voila… instant Christmas coziness!
So there you have it, my essential and classic Christmas traditions and my personalised ones. If you are celebrating Christmas this year, I wish you and your family a wonderful one!