Growing up, our family has a lot of traditions during Christmas. I could still recall the times where we put up the Christmas tree as a family right after the souls' day. Then, it would be followed by a series of shopping for Christmas gifts and outfits. My sister, cousins and I used to have matching outfits, way before the #twinning trend in social media. The day of the Christmas eve would be the busiest time in my Lola's (grandmother's) kitchen as she prepares for our Noche Buena. The staples would be the fiesta ham, kare-kare, biko, leche flan, fruit salad, pasta and hot chocolate. I also did some caroling few nights before Christmas, it was a pretty good business as a kid. At Christmas eve, we would attend the Misa de Gallo and would be so excited to be back home to open our gifts. During Christmas day, friends and relatives would visit us to eat some home-cooked meals and dessert of my Lola; and the kids will have their aguinaldos.
This year I celebrated Christmas with my own family, my husband and our not-so-little baby Niklaus. It's a first for all of us, and as early as now, I want to set some traditions. Since Niklaus is not fully aware of all things around him, for now, what he knows about Christmas is that there are blinking colorful lights at home, a decorated tree, a lot of unwrapping gifts and more time with his parents; I set a few and simple traditions:
1. Annual Christmas photo with (pretend) Santa Claus
- Thankfully the malls are hosting a meet and greet with Santa Claus, schedule found in this website. Funny story, we we're rushing to find Santa as there is limited time left for the event, I was looking for a really extravagant area or some long line. It turned out Santa is just sitting at one of the entrance malls, all by himself. Haha!
Look at Niklaus, getting excited and happy with Santa. He really liked Santa, he actually lie down comfortably on Santa and stare at him or his fake beard for a couple of minutes.
Family photo with Santa Claus, yay!
Side note: I have shared in the blog how I support baby wearing, but my husband is not very comfortable with using the Saya, but now that we have a carrier (a gift), he is always offering to carry N. Because of this, our stroller is taking a vacay.
2. Personalized Family Gift Cards
- I have always wanted one ever since but could not make it because of my usual excuses of time and money; but now with cellphone apps and good camera phone I created one. I am very happy on the result. The photo is the Holy Family (also a gift) decor on our tree, edited by Photogrid and I have it printed as a photo. Hooray! Looking forward to upgrading this personal touch to our gifts.
3. Annual Family Christmas Photo with a Christmas Tree
- This photo has a lot of stories to tell, and every year, I would want my family to have one. It's documenting the fact that we celebrated Christmas together and so many memories behind it.
4. Unwrapping of gifts on Christmas eve
- Not in the photos but as early as now I would want Niklaus to experience him receiving and uwrapping all the gifts of love to him. I am still looking for ways to improve it especially next year that he will be more appreciative of it. I actually found one here, would definitely try it next year!
5. Attending a misa de gallo
- Wherever or whoever extended family we share Christmas eve with, I will always make sure that my family will attend the Christmas eve mass, it is letting Niklaus know the true spirit of Christmas.
There goes our Christmas tradition. I know next year the list would be longer and I'm still looking for ideas as early as now. I want Niklaus to enjoy this season more than I did.
Hope you all had a blast this Christmas! Share in the comments section your family's traditions, I would love to know so we can copy them.
Looking forward to 2017!!!