This holiday was special for so many reasons.  Violet, our self-proclaimed big girl - each day, three times at least, she goes up to the Papa and I and asks "you know what? I two now." - was genuinely excited for the first time that Santa was coming.  There was excitement leading up to the morning of Christmas as always.  The babes count down from the morning advent begins (a tradition which we totally dropped the ball on this year).  The night before cookies are made, carrots and milk are put out and last thank you notes to Santa placed by the fire.  So magical to see the little eyes light up with excitement because their hearts are about to burst in anticipation.

Our Christmas traditions are simple and not related to the birth of Christ.  We are not religious, so I wish as a family we could call it something else that reflects our tradition of observing Santa's visit.  But we choose to call it Christmas to make our lives easier - I honestly get a little tired of explaining all our "alternative" choices all the time.


1.  OUR ADVENT:  For weeks before December, I searched Pinterest in hopes of finding a cool advent calendar.  I found some really neat ones.  There were a lot of envelopes and hanging art pieces.  This year I was so not in the organized mode having been 38 weeks pregnant and about to deliver a baby.  I couldn't commit to putting together 24 days of activities and gifts.  So I purchased a silver box from the dollar store and superglued a circular piece of wood to the top.  Each night the Papa and I would write a countdown number on the wood and inside would place an activity (write letters to Santa, make cookies, sing carols).  We dropped the ball at 8 days in.  Next year I'll give it a better try.

2.  SANTA LETTERS:  Each year since Charlotte was a baby "we" have written a letter to Santa.  I have saved each response from the busy overweight jolly man.  My mama always did this with us when we were children and I always remembered the joy I felt in receiving one.

3.  TREE DECORATING:  We don't have an artificial one, although I had one as a child and white ones get me all giddy inside.  The first snowfall in December usually means tree getting day.  This year we stalled because we had little funds and went hunting in the forest for one.  We failed.  (The Papa ended up hauling 3 babes to the grocery store in the wagon and hauling a grocery store tree back).  Each year the girls decorate the tree.  Charlotte, our eldest, finger knit colourful yarn one year and that serves as our colourful wrapping.  The Papa is obsessed with tall trees and usually gets an 8 footer.  Regular Griswald Family Christmas.  Each year we also cut the bottom of the trunk and turn it into an ornament.

4.  CHRISTMAS EVE:  Music is played (usually Raffi and She & Him).  We eat a delicious vegan dinner consisting of faux tourtiere, stuffing, vegetables, homemade cranberry sauce and gravy.  Christmas stories are read, hot chocolate sipped by the fire and kisses.  Notes to Santa are put out with cookies and milk.  We never forget the reindeer.

5.  CHRISTMAS PRESENTS:  Something you want, Something you need, Something to wear, Something to read.  Santa is also good about bringing the item each girl wants and a sharing gift.  Our babes are working really hard on their sharing.  That is it.  Well and stockings full of candy and fun.  

6.  CHRISTMAS MORNING:  The babes wake us up early morning.  Gifts are usually sorted and then ripped open feverishly.  The Mama takes photos.  The Papa puts on the Coffee and music.  We are full of joy and happiness.  

7.  CHRISTMAS DAY:  Spent eating, making food, lazing around.  There is copious amounts of candy and watching of "Home Alone".

I'd love to hear your traditions.  I love Christmas and the bringing together of family.  I always dreamed of having Babes to pass on the Santa tradition.  I hope you all had an amazing Christmas regardless of what you celebrate.


  1. I loved reading this and discovering many of the same traditions..
    1) Advent calendar - I have plans to do a random act of kindness one to really help cement the goodwill vs presents side of the holidays, but did not get around to making one this year...so we had chocolate instead.
    2) Letter to Santa - This year I tried something new which I really liked. Instead of just asking for gifts it was a time to thank Santa for last years gifts, tell him (and reflect) on what nice things you did this year (loved the boys thoughts on this) and then ask for 3 gifts - which they know Santa chooses from.
    2) Christmas tree cutting - we ALWAYS have a real tree and cut our own out on a lot. We do this with my mom and brother and always have an adventure - for better or worse! This year we founda place that had a bonfire going and gave us marshmallows.
    3) Decorating the tree - Growing up this was almost as big and important as Christmas itself, with my mom taking each ornament out and tell the 'story' behind each one. This year it was much later (due to our tree falling over a few times) then normal - okay the 23rd, with more StarTrek decorations that I would like (due to husbands collection) and uneven distribution of decorations (due to kiddos doing more this year then in past) but it was a perfect tree at the end.
    4) Christmas Eve - we get in jammies, read Twas the Night Before Christmas, put Cookies n Milk out for Santa and get them in bed
    5) Christmas Morning - the magic begins! They check out what Santa brought (stockings and 1 ind present (or one big one to share) then under the tree for the family presents...all while the adults enjoy champagne and OJ
    6) Christmas Day - we have a new tradition of not going anywhere on Christmas day, yet keeping our house open for visitors. We spent the whole day in our PJs and I loved the relaxed style of our day this year - time to eat, time to play, time to be merry.
    I'm glad you had such a warm family focused Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  2. Thanks for commenting Terri! I love comments and knowing that we share similar traditions. So neat to think our kids may do them with theirs. Xoxo

  3. Love these photos! Esp YOUR PJS :D Also love that idea of something you want,need,wear, read - brilliant! Also TERRI's idea of acknowledging presents from last year is awesome :)

    ADVENT: This was our second year doing a homemade advent filled with "reasons why I love you"
    this year we threw in some of our fave 2014 memories :)

    Presents: always just stockings filled with fun tiny things we'd never buy ourselves
    Xmas Day : We spend the morning together and head to Kanata for Landry Xmas/Potluck (nieces & nephew!)

    Your post has me wanting to blog again! xo I always blog more in winter months ;)

  4. I'm hopefully going to doing a lot more posting Christine. I wasn't so into posting while pregnant because I was so sick. Now I feel rejuvenated! I hope to see you soon in the New Year so you can finally meet Ivy


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