Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tradition: The 12 Days of Christmas

Hi, there.
Has really just a week gone by since we've been home from Thanksgiving?
It seems like the land of fall and pie and turkey is over a few distant mountains, 
and we're living in the land of snow and lights and Christmas planning.
And, the land of wearing my Christmas flannel PJ pants every second that I'm home and staying ever close to the bowl of red and green M+Ms.  Oops. 

But, I'm not all bad.  This year, I've already finished all my Christmas shopping and have dropped all of my Christmas cards into the mail!  
It feels fantastic, and I love that the last thing on my mind is online shopping and rushing out to stores.  
 I think I've started a new tradition for myself with the early shopping and card sending, at least I hope. 

Traditions, even at the age of 26, are something I'm always scheming up.
There's a sense of security with traditions, of belonging, and of really owning the holidays, instead of letting them own you.
I imagine most of the traditions our little Anderson family will have over the years are yet to be; I imagine some of the ones we have now in our 20's city life will morph into different versions, as life does the same.
Even so, Neal & I have a tradition that we started our very first Christmas that I think we're holding onto for good.

This will be our 5th Christmas of doing the 12 Days of Christmas for each other.
You know, "On the __th day of Christmas my true love gave to me..."
For 12 days in December leading up to Christmas, we give the other person a card with a surprise date, activity, gift, or otherwise on the card for us to share that day.
And, it's usually something more relevant than a partridge in a pear tree.

I found these really cute 12 days of Christmas cards this year from Elle's Studio, which I can't wait to use, starting tomorrow!

Buy here from Elle's Studio 
My favorite thing about our 12 days of Christmas tradition is not the coffee dates, the dance under the Christmas tree, or some really sweet surprise I didn't see coming, no not those things in and of themselves.
It's the tradition of choosing to spend time with Neal every day for almost two weeks- time that would otherwise be frazzled over with wrapping, rushed errands, baking messes in the kitchen, and spending time at Christmas parties with every other person we know except each other.

Sometimes, like this year, I don't know how we'll find the time to pull off the 12 days of Christmas.  
But, we're choosing to (we'd both be way too sad not to!), and I know everything else will fall into place around those 12 surprise dates, that we'll make special holiday memories between the two of us, and that I'll go to bed happy every night because my Christmas truly will be about spending special time with the ones I love, and the one I love the most.

Hopefully, I'll post a few of our surprises here.
I have no doubt you could find your own little 12 days of Christmas to give to someone you love most.
Sure, it takes a little work and a little time, but trust me, it doesn't have to be perfect, and the memories last a lot longer than whatever you'll give and get for Christmas this year. 
Better go make sure I'm ready for day 1 tomorrow.
Stay warm this week!


Dana A. Stuber said...

Love it Ashley :) thanks for sharing

Kirra Sue said...

Ok that seriously sounds amazing! I hope you guys are having fun!!!