Inspired by this post about holiday traditions written by our friend, Emily, I thought it might be fun to share some of our favorite time-honored traditions that we look forward to each December. Over the last several years of living together in Maine, we’ve come up with a number of new holiday traditions, unique to us as a couple, but we still have a handful of memorable holiday rituals from our childhood that we like to incorporate into our Christmas celebration.
Cutting Our Christmas Tree & Decorating – for us, the holiday season doesn’t really begin until we’ve gone to The Old Farm Christmas Place in Cape Elizabeth to cut down our tree for the season. Once we’ve found the perfect tree and we’re back at home, we pour ourselves a glass of eggnog, turn on the holiday tunes, and spend the evening hanging the ornaments we’ve collected over the years.
Hanging our Weston Farms Magnolia Wreath – we’ve found that hanging this classic magnolia wreath on our front door each winter is the perfect (and most beautiful) nod to our Southern upbringings.
Baking Cookies – A lot of my happiest holiday memories took place in my grandmother’s kitchen, as the three of us girls would help her with baking all kinds of cookies, and even pies, coffee cake, and peanut brittle. My favorite cookies have always been cream cheese spritz cookies, but we’ve also had fun replicating her Vanilla Sticks and Mexican Wedding cookies (pictured below).
Christmas Eve Lunch in the Old Port – Grabbing lunch together in the Old Port on Christmas Eve happened pretty organically at first, but now we cannot imagine a Christmas Eve day without a tasty meal in town before some (very) last minute Christmas shopping. We’ve gone to the Honey Paw for the past couple of years and I’d imagine we might try our luck at snagging a table again there this year.
Christmas Morning Breakfast – With Michael’s family’s ham & cheese sliders and my grandmother’s coffee cake on the table for our holiday breakfast, we’re able to honor both of our childhoods in the tastiest of ways.
Movie Nights – Although Michael reaches his limit of watching holiday-inspired movies a lot quicker than I do, there’s nothing quite like watching your favorite holiday movies during the month of December. Both Home Alone movies top each of our lists and Love Actually holds a special place on my personal list. We also love Holiday Inn, White Christmas, A Christmas Story, and Christmas Vacation.
Finally, my favorite childhood holiday tradition is one that Michael and I don’t exactly continue ourselves, mainly because we do not have kids of our own. Each year my two older sisters and I would fill out a list of our “favorites” (colors, songs, movies, celebrities, sports teams, vacations, careers, etc.) and my parents would file them away in a big Christmas coffee table book that was brought out of storage with the Christmas decorations. To this day when that book gets unpacked, we tease each other and laugh (or cringe) about some of our embarrassing/angsty/silly lists of our youth.
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? And any suggestions for holiday movies we need to watch this week – we’d love to hear your go-to recommendations. Cheers to you all and this very happy season!
Photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.