How to create magical family Christmas traditions
As it is with many young families, establishing holiday traditions is a work in progress for Aron and Ashley Muir Bruhn and their kids, Hudson, 5, and Skyler, 2, of Davis, California. “It’s fun to figure out what our holiday looks like,” says Ashley, author of the blog hitherandthither.net. “We like to bring in old family traditions, but we can also make up our own.”
In the Bruhn household, that mash-up of customs comes together for what’s essentially a monthlong celebration. Much of the holiday season revolves around a wooden Advent calendar. As the kids open each of its drawers, they discover a note from their parents revealing the day’s activity. “It’s our holiday wish list: See Santa, bake cookies, have friends over, watch The Polar Express,” say Ashley.
While the family’s holiday schedule tends to be full, their decor is more subdued. “There’s so much happening this time of year, I think it’s nice to keep things a bit more calm at home,” says Ashley. In their 1960s house, she and Aron decorate in a style that melds his German heritage with natural elements like citrus and eucalyptus. But they’re not strict minimalists. “The kids would choose flashing colored lights and tinsel at every turn,” says Ashley. “So we’re slowly inching our way a little closer to the Griswolds.”