It’s certainly true that the holidays come around faster when you become a parent, and I can’t believe that time of year is already approaching (though I’m not complaining!). Christmas in Canada is idyllic – it’s the type of atmosphere that’s proudly displayed on holiday cards around the world. While Christmas is not celebrated by everyone, our country’s wintry landscape can be appreciated by all who live here. At the Baeumler household, we have a series of festive traditions that make the holidays such an amazing time for our family.
As you may already know from my surname, I have a German background. It is a German tradition to open one present on Christmas Eve. I have continued this tradition with my four children: we open a single gift on Christmas Eve while we set up a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa. We also light the tree and play holiday music. This helps us spread out the festivities a little instead of just tearing into the entire pile of gifts come Christmas morning!
Another tradition Sarah and I do every year is buy a gift the whole family can enjoy. A few years ago while our home was still under construction, we bought a karaoke machine for the kids. Shortly after Christmas, there was a massive ice storm and we lost power for six days. We had that thing plugged into the generator and sang songs around the wood stove in the candlelight… it was a pretty fun and musical holiday to say the least! Gifts like these help bring the family together and encourage our kids to appreciate each other. It also gives Sarah and I the chance to be kids again.
Every year, I’m gifted something that reminds me of one of the best presents I’ve ever received: About 15 years ago when I first went out on my own and started my construction company, my family got together and bought me a table saw and mitre saw. As you can probably imagine, both items went to good use. Since then, Sarah or another family member will give me a present that has a construction theme. It reminds me of that Christmas when my career started to take off, and I will forever be grateful to my family for getting me those saws.
Although our family is a big fan of the typical Canadian Christmas, it has become a more recent tradition to travel somewhere tropical during the holidays. We don’t do this every year, but now that the kids are a little older, it’s a great opportunity to spend quality time together in a warmer climate. Even though it doesn’t feel like the quintessential Christmas, we make time to enjoy the winter season when we’re home – from going sledding with the kids to taking the ski-doo for a spin!
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy your own family traditions just the same. Merry Christmas from the Baeumler clan.
Images courtesy of Bryan and Sarah Baeumler