Holiday Traditions

Morning friends! I hope you had a merry little Christmas (or a lovely Thursday) yesterday. Isaac and I have been celebrating with our families over the past few days. We both have family traditions that we’ve combined since being together as a couple, but we’ve created a few of our own holiday traditions as well.

Here’s a little recap (which consists mostly of food photos, of course).

Christmas Day

Hanukkah Celebrations

We go over to Isaac’s parents’ house at least one night of Hanukkah for candle lighting, latkes, dreidel playing and exchanging gifts. This year we went over on the last night, which was Wednesday.


Isaac’s mom is the best latke maker I know. 🙂


I like my latkes with apple sauce… and my salad with kabocha squash. 🙂

We hung out at Isaac’s parents’s house chatting, laughing and playing wii bowling until late in the evening. As you can tell, it was waaaay past Olive’s bedtime. She never sleeps in your nap unless she’s absolutely exhausted.

Sleepy Olive

Christmas Eve

The next day was Christmas Eve. Since I knew I was taking Christmas Day as a rest day from working out I decided to double the fun and take a Pure Barre class and then a cycle class at Tidal Wheel.

I had fun jingle bell tucking with these ladies.

Christmas eve Pure Barre

Going for Indian food for dinner on Christmas Eve is a tradition Isaac and I have been doing for about four years now. I have to say, it’s quite the delicious holiday tradition. This year we went to Lehja, one of my favorite restaurants in Richmond, and it was delish, as usual.


I got things started with a salad. Isaac had the soup of the day and we shared the chaat du jour. <— I can’t even begin to tell you what was in the chaat, but I do know that the base was crispy spinach (almost like spinach chips) and there were tomatoes, pomegranate arils, chopped red onion and a creamy sauce. It was amazing! And for entrees, seafood kerala curry for me and goan lamb vin d’ alho for Isaac. Everything was fresh, flavorful and filling. I left feeling like Santa —except instead of a belly full of jelly, my belly was full of Indian food.

That evening we came home and each picked one gift from under the tree to open. This is something my mom always let me do and I like continuing the tradition. Olive got a monkey elf from Alyssa. She started playing with it right away and within 10 minutes she had the squeaker out and stuffing everywhere. After cleaning up the mess, I put the toy up on the coffee table to keep her from demolishing it and we went upstairs for a minute.

Olive on the coffee table

We came back down and look who had jumped over to the coffee table to get her toy?!?! Naughty girl. That guilty look on her face proves that she knows better. It’s really not that far for her to jump from the couch to the coffee table but she’s never done it before. We were cracking up. Apparently she really likes her new toy.

That night we watched a little Home Alone and then the The Interview (you can rent/buy it on YouTube now). I ended up falling asleep on the couch, which tends to happen when I try to watch movies at night. 🙂

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning I woke up early to get started making a batch of pumpkin bread for brunch at my Dad’s house. While it was baking I had a quick snack to hold me over.

Christmas  Breakfast

Reginald’s Chocolate Pepperment Pistachio Peanut Butter seemed like just what I needed for Christmas morning. On a slice of Food for Life gluten-free toast. Yum!

Pumpkin Bread

And look how pretty the pumpkin bread turned out. I followed this recipe for 1 bowl vegan gluten-free pumpkin bread from Minimalist Baker. I had been craving pumpkin bread and hadn’t made any since going gluten-free. I followed the recipe exactly but added crystallized ginger pieces to the top instead of pumpkin seeds. It was delicious and definitely satisfied my craving for pumpkin bread. I loved the crispy edge pieces!

Dad Olive Christmas

Christmas Morning

Christmas Nanny

After a little brunch and a little family time, Isaac and I headed back to Richmond. It was the first sunny day we’ve had in a while so we met a friend for a quick game of frisbee golf. I don’t play, but it was fun to get outside and stretch my legs after the long drive. Once home we ate our leftover food from Lehja for dinner and then played two rounds of Ticket to Ride, a new board game Isaac got from his mom for Hannukah. Our friend, Morgan, won both times but it was really fun. I think playing board games on Christmas night should become a new tradition.

Christmas  1 of 1

And last by not least, here’s a fun Christmas family photo with my sister, her family, my dad and nanny. <3

Do you have any holiday traditions? I’d love to hear about them. 

PS — During all of our long-ish drives to visit my family and friends, Isaac and I started listening to the Serial Podcast and got hooked. We finished the twelfth episode last night. I’m not going to say anything about it because I don’t want to be a spoiler, but if you haven’t listened to the podcast I highly recommend it. It was really engaging and suspenseful. 

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  1. That looks like such a nice holiday! I love low-key traditions. My favourite traditions of ours are sushi and a movie (out) on Christmas Eve, stockings Christmas morning (even though we’re all adults), ginger scones for breakfast, and playing board games all day on Boxing Day. Games on Christmas are the best!

  2. Love the Indian food tradition! My favorite is one that my husband and I started: we’ll put together a sausage and leek breakfast casserole the night before to throw in the oven as soon as we wake up. After coffee and presents, we have a tasty casserole ready to munch!

    Happy Holidays and Best Wishes in the New Year, Brittany!

  3. I love it! My parents have a yorkie that looks so similar to Olive- adorable! Looks like you guys had a wonderful holiday season- I love that you are incorporating family traditions from both sides. My husband and I are trying to figure out how to juggle all of our traditions (and families!) as well!

    Also, I’ve heard such good things about that Serial podcast that I NEED to listen to it soon! I think this is the only time I wish my commute wasn’t a whopping 10 minutes long…. 🙂

  4. Sounds like a great bunch of holidays! My boyfriend and I had a 4 hour drive to and from my parents house for Christmas celebrations, and we also got hooked on Serial! We are leaving for vacation on New Year’s Day and are going to pick up where we left off with Episode 9, but can hardly wait to finish to see how it wraps up! Also that nut butter looks equally addicting 🙂

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