Christmas 2017 – Favourite Holiday Traditions

Holiday traditions are always a fun thing to hear what other families do differently than yours, to hear about similarities, and to get great inspiration from completely out-of-the box ideas. This year was the first my partner and I spent together as husband and wife, and in our new home. When it comes to Christmas, I have got a boatload of traditions that I want to keep going, but this year felt like the perfect year to just do ‘us’, before the family and children come into play. And of course, we kept our little ornament tradition alive!

Christmas 2017

My parents came to visit us a few weeks ago for a weekend, and while it was technically just another December day, there was an inkling of holiday spirit, and we made plans for early in the new year for another get-together since we knew we would not see each other during the Christmas and New Year’s season. Compared to every year of my life before now where I spent it with them, it was quite the change. But change can be good. It meant my husband and I could spend it alone together.

On his side, there was a celebration for his dad’s family, and another one for his mom’s. This is definitely something else I will have to get used to, since in my family everyone is still together and we only got one Christmas. But I do remember spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s to wake up to Santa having found us so far away from home was always a nice treat (Grandma always spoiled us!). It is still fun to see all of the different traditions, and try to get inspiration on how to incorporate some into our lives once we decide to have children.

This year was our third Christmas together, and even though it was very uneventful and no-fuss, it was totally a perfect reflection of us; simple yet perfect. We set up the tree together on Christmas Eve (special thanks to my uncle for the upgrade–check out last year’s for comparison!) and enjoyed a sit-down dinner together.

On Christmas morning, we slept in by a lot, and enjoyed a simple breakfast. We sipped our tea as we set up for our gift exchange, and brought out our ornaments. There is still quite the anticipation even though you know what you’re getting! After the gifting hustle, we had a video chat with my parents, brother, and grandparents, and then the food festivities began. We had tuna niçoise for lunch (which is something of a sentimental meal around here), beef tenderloin with the hubby’s favourite wine for dinner, and rang in the night with a Christmas movie marathon.

Boxing Day for the time being is a day to relax, get back into routine, and make sure the decorations aren’t taking over the entire living space. It might turn into a shopping day in the future, but I like to stick to the F’s for my holidays: Food, Family & Fun.

Now, for the ornament tradition, in case you missed last year’s holiday post


  • the ornament has to be something that goes on the tree
  • it must be a piece that supports local businesses, hopefully handcrafted
  • there should be some sort of meaning behind it rather than just a generic or ‘pretty’ ornament
  • it doesn’t have to be super christmassy, and can be a memento of sorts
  • if you choose to make it yourself (DIY) it has to be effortful, not thrown together at the last minute
  • if you find the ‘perfect’ ornament at a big box store, a one-time exception is granted

This year, I knew I wouldn’t have time to go out shopping at all the craft shows since the timing of our honeymoon meant we missed both weekends (Heck, I even dragged us to a local show whilst on our vacation to find something but no such luck), so I set out to find someone to make my vision come to life. And I did!

I present to you, the 2017 additions to our Christmas tree:

And throwback to last year’s forgotten sea glass ornaments that I made for us–they finally made it onto the tree!

I wonder what next year will bring!

stephanie de montigny SdeM handrawn initials ottawa blogger