Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Five List: Kicking Off the Holiday Season

On this Black Friday, I won't be out hitting the malls for the best deals.  Aside from a new microwave (which we need after an unfortunate accident in which the rotator plate shattered into a million pieces on my kitchen floor), and groceries, I won't be spending any money today.  Instead, I'm spending the day at home with my two boys, getting ready for tomorrow's family Christmas party. 

Yes, I said Christmas. 

My dad's side of the family is big, and almost all the "children" are married adults, some of us with our own children, so getting everyone together on Christmas day is no longer a simple feat.  Everyone has multiple obligations and extended family to see on Christmas day.  So we moved it up.  Between December birthdays, Christmas parties and parades, December gets busy, so this year my Aunt picked the end of November.  This actually works out well for everyone, and is a great way to officially kick off the holiday season. 

Last year's party

We eat a lot of food (which will all be gluten free this year, due to both my Uncle and my son eating gluten free), exchange Secret Santa gifts, and catch up on each other's lives.  This year there are two new babies, my son and my niece, who are only five weeks apart, so it will be great to welcome them into the tradition.

Here is my list of Five ways I'm kicking off the holiday season:

1- Putting up the Christmas tree:  We generally put up our tree the day of the Toronto Santa Claus parade, but this year we had other things come up, so we're going to put it up this Sunday instead, before the Vaughan Santa Claus parade and the Grey Cup game.  I love watching my little one help with the decorations, and this year we have a new personalized ornament to add for our newest member, Xavier.

A somewhat blurry shot of last year's tree

2- Christmas Cards:  When I was teaching, I always tried to get my cards out by December 1st, because after that things got crazy at school.  Although I'm on maternity leave, old habits die hard, so I'll be trying to get them written and mailed next weekend. 

3- Christmas Baking:  I've already done some of my baking because of our party tomorrow, and I'm spending today decorating Christmas cookies with my son.  I'm going to be doing a week of holiday treat posts in early December, with recipes and how-to photos for some of our go to holiday treats, all gluten free, of course!

My son decorating his sugar cookies

4- Christmas Music and Shows:  I like the old school Christmas specials so much that my husband bought me a DVD set of some of the classics, like the original Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph.  I always looked forward to watching them as a kid, and now I can introduce my kids to them as well.  I also love holiday music.  There's a finite window in which you can listen to Christmas music without being looked at like you're a nut job, and I enjoy every minute of that window while it lasts.

5- Decorating and Gift Wrapping:  I don't have a crazy amount of decorations, but I do have a few that I like to put up around the house and outdoors.  I especially enjoy putting up the decorations that my son has made at daycare or that we've done together.  I also enjoy the gift wrapping process, although I'm not particularly good at it.  We don't go crazy with gifts, but I like giving the people I care about something that I think they will enjoy for Christmas, and the process of wrapping them and writing out a card makes me happy. 

What will you be doing to get into the holiday spirit this year?  Leave a comment or send me an email at to share your traditions!

1 comment :

  1. Have a wonderful early Christmas celebration! Looks like you have all your ducks in a row. I'm baking, haven't put up the tree yet. We do that on Dec. 1st. Still have shopping left to do...then the wrapping and the cards and the visiting!!! I should stop reading blogs and get my act together :)