Christmas starts the moment I pull out the box in our basement marked Christmas Tree. It’s an old tree that goes together branch by branch. I bought it for $4 at a garage sale when I owned my first house and it is seven feet tall. It takes an hour to get up, but I don’t mind.
I put on holiday music, get a cup of eggnog, some snacks and mandarin oranges, then I get started. It’s peaceful and nostalgic: the music reminds me of holidays gone by, and the smell of mandarin oranges takes me right back to my own childhood. Scent is such a powerful trigger of memories, and for me, there’s nothing like the smell of mandarin oranges to make me say, “it smells like Christmas.” That’s why I was excited to hear about Pine-Sol’s new mandarin orange scent; and I put it on my holiday shopping list. Imagine the whole house smelling like mandarin oranges – what a great way to set the holiday mood.
Last year I thought about picking up a new, easier to assemble tree and that is when it occurred to me that I like that hour. That hour when I am putting up each branch has become one of my own traditions. I look forward to that hour. Holiday music, eggnog, snacks, me and a tree.
Christmas is filled with many traditions. Some are our own, and are not shared with anyone else. Others are shared with family, friends, children, and neighbours. Traditions are things we do, things we eat, scents, sights, music and more.
Back to my first tradition of the season. Once the tree is up, then the Ornament box is pulled out. This is a family favourite because it is filled with old and new treasures that we haven’t seen in a year. I have ornaments that are over 30 years old from Russia. I lived there as a child for a few years with my parents and they brought them back. I have those gold-wire ornaments that have been handed down from my parents. They collected them for awhile in the 90’s.
Then come all of the memories of decorating the tree with my family growing up. With each ornament I pull out, I remember past holidays. Our girls join in and help out because they love hearing the stories behind each little treasure that is pulled out of the box.
It is a great start to our season and it sets the tone around the rest of our house.
I recently asked you, our community what holiday traditions you like the most and I received over 50 responses. I have to say that I loved hearing about the traditions that are most important to you and I’m sharing some of them here.
“Baking Christmas cookies with my daughter, and this year, my little granddaughter will join us, too!” – Piroska B
“No matter how old we all still put stockings out on Christmas eve including one for each animal in our family. Our dog actually knows which stocking is his and he puts his out all by himself.” – Pamela M
“I love our Christmas Eve get together – we have appies and drinks with immediate family and let the kids open one gift (usually pajamas and a book, movie or game – something to keep them busy while the adults visit).” – Jennifer P
“My dad handing out the Christmas gifts on Christmas Morning.” – Angela M
“After dinner, we play board games together :)” – Suzie B
“Making the eggnog.” – Patrick S
“A tradition on my dad’s side of the family is to divide everyone into 12 groups and sing the 12 Days of Christmas. We’ve done this for years and it has become a tradition.” – Amy M
“Bringing my boys to visit Santa!” – Cheryl M
“Baking all the treats together as a family along with meat pies. Love that tradition and have very fond memories.” – Tanya B
“For my kids, it’s opening their Lego Avent calendars every morning. For me, it’s having eggnog by the tree Christmas Eve when their in bed and everything is set up.” – Melanie B
“Going to a carol service on Christmas Eve, and coming home to a house full of family, food and noise.” – Nicole G
“Listening to Bing Crosby Xmas records.” – Mary G
Thank you for sharing all of these with us whether I was able to include them here or not. I loved reading through your submissions and I bet you can’t wait to experience those traditions again this year.
This post on Holiday Traditions is sponsored by Pine-Sol. With a strong heritage and long legacy, Pine-Sol is a long-standing tradition in many Canadian homes. Apart from the classic pine scent, Pine-Sol is also available in variety of long-lasting scents – mandarin sunrise, lavender, lemon and sparkling wave. You can use different scents throughout your home to change the mood.
Sheri publishes, and writes at This Bird’s Day where she shares all of the thoughts in her head without the voices. Sticking mainly with content for Canadians, Sheri shares family stories, product information and anything that fits into her (and her family’s) daily activities.