As the years press on, our traditions change. Where we once spent every holiday with my parents in Philadelphia… for the first time in 32 years, that is changing.
Dave and I have decided that we want the girls to feel the same way I do about going home, so we need to start creating those moments and memories in New England. For that reason, we will be creating new traditions in our home this year- some of which will come from our past.
The Christmas Eve Box
For the past few years, we’ve made a Christmas Eve Box. I started this for Addie’s first Christmas, and have continued each year. I love choosing each item for our box, but more than that, I love planning how we will unwind.
The holidays are a stressful time, and a lot of that stress comes to a head on Christmas Eve and Day. With gatherings and gifts and the anticipation of Santa’s arrival, I wanted to provide my family with comfort, in clothing, food, and activity.
- Pajamas As in years passed, I chose pajamas for our Christmas Eve Box. Old Navy has the best plaids- so I scooped up pants for Dave and a shirt for me. Dave will wear a black hoodie (I swear he lives in them!) and I’ll wear my uniform of black leggings. For the girls, I bought them matching fleece nightgowns from Target. They’re so soft, and made by Carter’s (my fave), so I know they’ll be perfect to keep the girls warm and adorable on Christmas morning.
- Movie Addie and Millie have been on a Charlie Brown kick, so A Charlie Brown Christmas was a natural choice for the season. It wouldn’t be Christmas without this classic holiday delight. Christmas lights may be twinkling red and green, but Charlie Brown has the Yuletide blues. To get in the holiday spirit, he takes Lucy’s advice and directs the Christmas play. And what’s a Christmas play without a Christmas tree? But everyone makes fun of the short, spindly nevergreen Charlie Brown brings back – until the real meaning of Christmas works its magic.
- Hot Chocolate A warm treat as we curl up by the fire to watch the movie is a MUST! This year we chose Swiss Miss for the girls, a classic choice, and Sea Salt Caramel from Archer Farms for the mama and the papa. These delicious treats are made with almond milk, for creamy goodness.
- Shari’s Berries When you’re waiting for Santa, snuggled up on the couch, there is nothing better than a delicious special treat. Shari’s Berries are an absolutely beautiful [and delicious] way to celebrate the jolly man’s arrival! Dave and I gave them test run with the girls with Champagne Strawberries and Cake Truffles, and can’t wait to have some more on Christmas Eve! When it comes to special, I try to touch on all areas… the gold accents and decadent cake was absolutely amazing, and the girls loved the juicy strawberries! The Christmas Chocolates collection is to-die-for and will make the perfect addition to your own Christmas Eve Box, or the perfect gift!
- The Book At the end of our night, before the stockings are stuffed and the lights go out, we bring the girls to bed and read them a new Christmas book. Throughout December we share all the books we have with them already (we used to do 25 Books of Christmas to lead up to the holiday… but we have about 35 holiday books now!), but this night is special because this is the last sleep before the big morning! Bellani stocked their shelves with “Santa’s Sleigh is on its way to Massachusetts”, and I can’t wait to read it to the girls! I know they will love that it is specific to their state.
We open the box Christmas Eve after church as a way to wind the kids down and get them ready to sleep. I know they are both SO excited this year for Christmas morning and I am thrilled we are able to provide them with a wonderful holiday season! This tradition is one that I am so glad we started. Though my $7 box may need to be replaced in a year or so, this is one holiday custom the Matinkas are sure to continue year after year.