12 Days of Christmas DIY: Make Your Own Holiday Traditions

And on the eighth day of Christmas I'm giving you ideas on how to make your own traditions. This is technically my third Christmas with Mr. T. But our first of marriage and only the second where we really celebrate together (we hadn't been dating that long with the first). And, since we leave town to be with our families on Christmas/ right around Christmas that means we usually have to do some different planning to make sure that Christmas is as special for just the two of us as it is with our families. So we've made some of our own traditions. Whoever said you have to do things buy the book anyway? So here are some ideas to make your own traditions. I call it a DIY since it's all your own.

Stocking gifts before Christmas

Last year instead of exchanging actual gifts, Mr. T and I decided to do stockings. We kicked things off December 1 and it went until we left to see our families. Basically we just gave each other a small little gift each day in our stockings. It was really fun and gave us both something to be excited about each day. The only problem was staying within budget each day.

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Christmas market

We actually started this our first year together. It started because we hadn't been together that long and we both felt it was silly to spend hundreds of dollars on each other. So Mr. T suggested we go to the Union Square Market in NYC. We walked around for a while together and then split up to buy each other little gifts there. We set a budget for each other so no one went crazy and then we exchanged at a bar nearby. We did this last year and this year as well and it's always a blast.

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Celebrate before hand

Instead of stockings this year, we decided to have a Christmas celebration beforehand. We bought presents and wrapped them and put them under the tree. We also decided to get some fancy cheeses rather than having a traditional meal. It gave us an excuse to spend excessive amounts on cheese (which is something I will always be on board with). It was fun because it made it special since it's not something we would normally do, but it felt very much like Jess and Mr. T. It also meant we were able to open presents early. We are terrible at waiting to give each other things.