Christmas is such a magical time of the year… and definitely my favourite.
We do things a little differently in our home… Cole (my husband) and I don’t believe in religion. Cole is an Atheist and I am what I like to call “Spiritual“. I believe in a greater power – my personal belief is that this greater power is nature and energy, but before we get off topic, let’s leave that as a post for another time. All you need to know is that I respect everyone’s different religions and beliefs, and that I am raising my kids to learn about all of them in order for them to be open minded and to make their own choices. So, we do things differently because we don’t do the religious part, for us it is family time, a time to reflect, a time to be grateful, a time to be together and a time to give. Santa Clause is a big fat man in a red suit with a long white beard who delivers presents on his sleigh to the kids who’ve been good throughout the year and we have our own little family traditions. Also, Cole never had the joy of Christmas growing up – his parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses and do not believe in celebrating Christmas, so it is extra special as it is something he’s always wanted when he was little. Christmas is a big deal in our home and it’s all about making memories with each other and the kids.
One of my best Christmas memories from growing up was spending time in the kitchen with my sisters and mom baking and cooking up a storm. Cut-out sugar cookies from my mom’s Huisgenoot cookbook and Peppermint Crisp Tart were our specialties. For a solid two days our kitchen counter would be covered in flour dust, frosting drippings and chocolate shavings as we made every shape cookie imaginable and carefully decorated each one with an variety of colored frostings and sprinkles. As my sisters and I got older, my mom let us have free reign of the kitchen and it was so much fun getting to do the planning and baking by ourselves. My mom always had a entire menu planned out and we each had our own contributions.
Now that I have a little girl of my own, we’ve been busy creating our own Christmas baking traditions. We started our Christmas baking together early – when Mikayla was only 11 months old she was an integral part of the baking process! It’s no wonder that now at almost 4-years old she is constantly joining me at the kitchen counter asking if she can help mommy! We have our own tradition, baking a big chocolate cake that we all decorate together. Cole is lactose intolerant and allergic to diary and Mikayla is asthmatic – this is the only dessert that everyone loves and that I have perfected a diary-free recipe to. When we have guests I whip out my mom’s Peppermint Crsip Tart recipe and it is always a hit. For Christmas Eve we all team up and cook an amazing dinner which consists out of pork roast with pineapple rings and cherries, beef roast with roast veggies and potatoes, rice, gravy, apple sauce and either sticky lemon chicken or mango chicken while listening to old Christmas classics by Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and of course we have to mix it up with Micheal Bublè’s Christmas album. My husband is the roast king by the way.
This year was extra special as we were joined by little Knox who will be 3 weeks old on Friday – our family felt whole. It’s a wonderful feeling to be this content and happy.
Some of our other traditions leading up to Christmas day includes Mikayla writing a letter to Santa (she tells me what to write and I actually write it down at this point) that I keep in my memory box and then she makes some lovely ornaments for our Christmas tree that we all help put up on the 1st of December – Mikayla usually gets to put the star on top, but as Knox gets older they will have to take turns. The night before the presents ‘appear’ under the tree, Cole and I make footprint stencils and use fake Snow Spray to create Santa’s footprints leading to the tree (if you live in a country where it snows you can use actual snow). Mikayla always leaves a ‘gift‘ out for him that we have to remember to take – this also goes straight into the memory box.
Presents are opened on Christmas day and the rest of the day is spent watching Christmas/Classic movies (this year we have Deck The Halls, Home Alone, Father of the Bride and Elf). After opening all her presents Mikayla has to fill a box with some of her old toys that we donate to a childrens’ home – the same will apply to Knox when he is older.
I also have a stunning recipe that will infuse your home with the fragrance of Christmas!
I will be posting my Christmas recipes for you to enjoy… let me know what you think!
What are some of your Christmas Traditions?