Christmas 2019 – Starting New Holiday Traditions

This year we celebrated our first Christmas as a family of three. While it was different in so many ways, our beloved traditions lived on. Through the allergies, the nap schedule, the foiled plans because of contagious family members, and the food-poisoning (happy holidays to me!), we made it work!

Christmas 2019

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. When it comes to Christmas, I have a boatload of traditions that I want to keep going, but this year was our first as a family of three with our baby girl, and some things fell to the back-burner and helped us discover new ideas. Don’t worry, our little ornament tradition lives on!

As much as I would love to let on that all of this happened on Christmas, I’d be lying. We actually celebrated all of our holiday traditions the next day because I spent the 25th in bed recovering from food poisoning. Ugh. That’s what I get for cancelling our Christmas Eve plans because someone was knowingly showing up sick, apparently. BUT they got the other attendees sick, namely the ones who were supposed to host dinner on Boxing Day and have now cancelled, so it all worked out for us (minus my day of suffering, but better me than baby!). So here is it, our Christmas “day”, one day behind. Better late than never!

Oven Pancake for Two (+ one tiny human)

This is Christmas breakfast, and has been for as long as I can remember (aka sometime in the 90’s). My mother would wake up every morning and make us breakfast, and most years we weren’t even mad that gift-opening came AFTER breakfast (and turkey prep, ugh!). Heck, in our teen years, it was no longer big enough for the four of us and we made her make two (but at that age we helped). Seriously though, this thing is delicious! So much so that I now make it every year since I’ve moved out. Yummmmm!! Now we needed to accommodate this thing for little miss… With her known allergies and unconfirmed results of her recent testing, we wanted to make sure this tradition was suitable for her so that we could enjoy it as a family. So, in true dairy-free & nut-free fashion, we substituted the butter for margarine, the milk for oat milk, and made sure to bake it a little longer so that it hit the minimum 25 minutes mark for her supposed egg allergy (apparently long-baked is completely different than fried or boiled, go figure!). I am super thrilled to say that I did not even notice the changes to my longed-for Christmas oven pancake.

As much as “we don’t do gifts”, it was very fun to watch her unwrap all of the presents from friends and family. Instead, we have been gifting each other unique and bespoke ornaments to decorate our tree together. That way we can keep our funds for experiences and spontaneous gifting throughout the year. That being said, it was one of those things that fell to the side this year and I was so upset. We did however buy a custom family ornament for this year, so it wasn’t a complete loss–we just know that we need to be a little more on the ball next year (can’t blame baby forever!).

She was very meticulous about unwrapping things, pulling out one piece of tissue at a time and playing with it (and then destroying it!), before moving on to the next one. She insisted on reading each book before moving onto the next one, and loved feeling all the different textures of clothing. Those legs of hers are getting so strong, she stood up (assisted) almost the whole time! 

Little Miss on actual Christmas morning, unwrapping a few pieces of tissue before mama ended up abandoning ship for the day. So thankful I took photos so I could look through them later!  We resumed the unwrapping the next day (thankfully as a baby she didn’t really notice or care!).

Since we no longer had anywhere to be on the 26th, we were able to cook our miniature Christmas Feast and enjoy it as if it were truly Christmas Day. Our delicious bits of turkey cooked with our package of butterball frozen stuffing (not sponsored, just the best!), homemade cranberry sauce, and mincemeat pie. All the makings for a fresh diner, and the perfect amount of leftovers!

This portrait truly does speak one thousand words. It might just be another adorable family photo to you, but to us it speaks that neither of us had showered in days (he was watching baby the entire time I slept off the yuck; soooo thankful it happened on his day off!), that we had just gotten over a huuuuge bump in the road of our marriage, that we got to enjoy TWO entire days together with our beautiful little girl, and that we are happy because we choose to be. There is so much about how this holiday season went that could be complained about, but after an initial vent (because mama is human!), we moved on and persevered towards a joyful one. Heck, keeping it small is actually what made me so happy. It let us rekindle our little family and enjoy my well-rested daughter’s blooming personality. So with that, I leave you with all the well-wishes in the world to share with your own friends and family. Even the ones who love to share illnesses too 😉

And yes, that IS a beanie baby Rudolf as our tree-topper. We ARE that awesome! From our little (feeling much better) family to yours, Merry Christmas!  

stephanie de montigny SdeM handrawn initials ottawa blogger