Christmas is one of our family’s favorite seasons of the year – and we’re not alone in this. Have you ever wondered why? Is it the lights? Is it the carols? Is it the gifts? The sales? Well, while I can’t speak for everyone else out there, Christmas for me is magical because of the memories. It’s nostalgia. It’s traditions.
As a kid Christmas was a time of anticipation, yes because of presents, but also because it was one of the few times a year my entire family gathered together and celebrated. Cousins, food, Christmas program, it was all there. The Christmas of my childhood seems so picturesque. As I got older though, Christmas lost some magic. Rather than see the wonder of the season it became about checklists and deadlines. Was Christmas really just a holiday for children!?!
That changed though in 2010. That’s the Christmas I proposed to my then girlfriend (she said yes). When Christmas rolled around the next year there was more than checklists and deadlines, though they hadn’t gone anywhere. It was about our little couple – our family. It reminded me that it wasn’t about me that made Christmas magic, but it was caring for others that made it special. I wanted our first Christmas to be special, so we talked about what it should look like. What traditions did we want to continue and what did we want to create?
We came up with things like buying ornaments every year, making special foods for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, and watching lots of Christmas movies.
One tradition we hadn’t planned on making, was visiting Christmas markets. While living in Scotland, we had the opportunity to experience the Christmas Market in Edinburgh. It was so wonderful! There was ice-skating, hot and delicious food, Cadbury hot chocolate, German Christmas cake, and lots of little shops. It was like a postcard!
Well, as luck would have it, the following Christmas there was a Christmas Market in downtown Provo! We were so excited to visit it. Admittedly, it wasn’t nearly as big or magical, but that didn’t matter so much. We were at a Christmas market, reminiscing about our time in Scotland, smelling the warm food, and perusing the wares of local craftsman. It made Christmas all the brighter for us and our little family, which had grown to three by this time. Since then we’ve been to the Provo Christmas Market every year, and every year it gets a little better. It’s a tradition that I hope our kids begin to look forward to as long as we’re able to do it.