Our First Christmas: Gifts, Recipes, and Traditions

New York took it all out of me. I am not completely sure if it was the daily walking, the food, or the over stimulating sights in general but I came home completely spent. In all fairness, the past few months have been pretty exhausting themselves. Wedding, work, my own wellness. It was just 6 months ago we said “I Do!” To put all the blame on the Big Apple isn’t exactly accurate. For you runners out there, you will get this analogy. You never really allow yourself to feel tired during a race like a half marathon ( or a full I am told). But as soon as you cross that finish line, it’s like “Whoa! Ok. I am done!”

That is how I felt Monday. As soon as my body realized we were on break, it broke. Ok maybe not broke, but it certainly went into a screeching halt. I am so glad I knew enough to clear my schedule this week. I needed it more than I even realized. I have been sleeping in, wrapping gifts, running last minute errands and reflecting on this past season of life. There has been a lot.

Our first Christmas…

Being single for so long, I always was piggy backing on everyone else’s holiday. Everyone else’s traditions and schedules. My family did it well. Always fabulous food and a festive attitude. I feel so much excitement and pride to do this myself for my own little family. Just the two of us. I am so glad I decided to honor our first married Christmas by sending out cards seen here.

Cooking up our favorite food’s is something we love too. Jason helps and even sits in the kitchen and tests out my work, as we let new traditions unfold. It has become a place to discuss our prayers, wishes, and dreams with each other for the next year. That may be the most important part of the holiday.

I am spending time at home today working on my recipe list for the holiday. It is evenly dispersed with a good mix of nourishing elements as well as the truly glutenous. Inspired by some great NYC restaurants, I am adding in a few favorites from my recent trip as well.

Plenty of vegetables, high quality meats, cheeses, and some seafood are making appearances. Oh…and one signature vodka cocktail I will be sharing with my extended family this Sunday.


Another thing we decided to do was invest in our health. You could call it a gifting tradition. Last year was filled with exercise gear. This year, it was equipment. We love to exercise, often together. We are the couple who didn’t get the hype over the controversial Peloton ad. We jointly gifted ourselves a rowing machine. Both of us have enjoyed the convenience of having it. An experiential gift is the way to go!

That leads me to the restful part of the program. Christmas Eve will be spent flipping between National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and It’s A Wonderful Life. And as I have come to find out…Die Hard is in fact a Christmas movie.

What I will say about traditions, now that we are making our own is that they will reveal themselves naturally. Fill your home with cozy kitchen favorites. Have plenty of comfy blankets and candles. And most importantly, leave your schedule free. Make time for nothing! Rest can be a tradition on it’s own. I think that is what was intended in this verse. “All is CALM. All is bright.”

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