I’ll admit that it’s weird not having any of the things that once defined Christmas for me–chocolate chip pancakes on Christmas Eve, my Santa stocking that was mine since I was born, the way my mom would write hints on the gift tags so we could guess what it was, and big fat cinnamon rolls during the present-opening “intermission” on Christmas morning.
Now here we are, in our little home, trying not to miss our families too much and trying to create our own traditions. We decorated our tree with ornaments that we bought at Christmas markets, along with ornaments that were given to us by family members in celebration of our wedding and first anniversary.
I got Lee a giant canvas map that we can hang on our wall and pin where we’ve been and where we want to travel. We spent a good portion of the morning hovering over it, reminiscing over the places we’ve travelled and discussing where we want to go next.
While chocolate chip pancakes were my family’s Christmas Eve tradition, I thought it would be fun to start our own tradition of eating them on Christmas morning. I know it’s not much variation, but since when do you need variation from chocolate anything? Lee also made his special recipe for Irish coffee, complete with a splash of Jameson.
I had to wait all day for my family to open their Christmas gifts, since they are 8 hours behind us. This was hard for me. It’s frustrating enough being at home and having to wait 20 minutes for my mom to put some clothes and makeup on! Finally, at 10 pm, I talked to everyone over speakerphone. It’s sad not to be able to watch people open gifts that you picked out so carefully for them, but at the same time, it was so exciting when my mom sent pictures of everyone’s reactions. Had I been there in person, I might not have even taken photos.
This was the first Christmas where I didn’t see any family at all. It’s sad, but it’s okay. I got to make new memories with my husband, and everything about the day was wonderful–from morning coffee, to mapping our adventures, to watching the Polar Express (and Die Hard), to laughing until our sides from “Sexual Innuendo” and “Urban Lumberjack” magnetic poetry.
Cadence also kept us company.
We’ll be home for Christmas. It’ll just be a couple years.