Maternity Sewing Podcast Episode 12: Holiday Traditions

Holiday Traditions with Erin & Lisa: Podcast Episode 12

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Erin & Lisa talk about holiday traditions – how their traditions differ since Lisa lives is Dutch and Erin is American, how their families celebrated when they were kids, and what they’re doing now that they have their own families.

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[0:10] Welcome to episode 12 of the maternity sewing podcast. Maternity is your source for maternity, nursing and postpartum friendly sewing patterns. Maternity sewing podcast is why we have frank conversations share stories and offer help and inspiration on things like sewing pregnancy.

[0:27] postpartum life and body positivity. I’m Lisa Kievits and I’m Erin Weisbart and we’re the owners of maternity Since Lisa is Dutch and Erin is American we thought it would be fun to chat about our holiday traditions that we had growing up and the ones that were trying to maintain and start anew with our new families now.

[1:01] Hey Lisa, how’s it going? Hi Erin. I’m okay. It’s almost Christmas. Yeah. I thought it would be fun to talk a little bit about holiday traditions our families have since you know it is holiday time. Yeah. Yeah, I bet we have a pretty different traditions since I am from a different country than you are so I’m curious about yours. Totally. I agree. So in our family we actually celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas because the more holidays the merrier. But I grew up celebrating just in my nuclear family I just celebrated Christmas and it was always like my mom’s favorite time of year. She would always go absolutely crazy with decorating so it’s always felt super special family time to me.

[1:52] Yeah that’s nice. And so I actually don’t know much about Hanukkah. Is that the same is that the same date? No. So well it’s the 25th of Kislev which is based on the Jewish calendar is on a lunar calendar so it actually like moves around. It was early this year in the beginning of December. It can move as early as in November and as late as like late December going over Christmas itself too. And actually in the Jewish tradition it’s not that important of holiday but it has ended up becoming especially in the US where Christmas is such a big important National nationally celebrated holiday, Hanukkah has taken on a bunch more importance because it is celebrated at the same time. Okay right.So you celebrate celebrate both of those?
Growing up in my just my me and my mom and my dad, my nuclear family, we only celebrated Christmas. But I grew up with my God family, we’re kind of, my godparents and their four kids are my best friends, and so they’re Jewish and celebrated Hanukkah growing up so we celebrated with him.

[3:11] And my husband his family is Jewish so we wanted to combine and celebrate both of our backgrounds for you know our new nuclear family, me and Adam and Evelyn. We celebrate both. Okay. It’s always nice to to kind of look at your holiday traditions and to see like which ones you want to take into your own family and would like if you want to make new ones. It’s kind of funny with a kid I think that you’re

[3:47] like reevaluating these things and then making your own like traditions. Like before I had a kid I was I was like “yeah it’s Christmas”. You know I didn’t even have a tree. And now that Frida is here it takes on a different meaning again. Yeah definitely. You know to be able to be thoughtful about it and pick what about your childhood or your heritage or you know your new life with a new family like what continuity do you want and what new traditions do you want to create. I think for us there has never been a religious aspect to it. I didn’t grow up with any religion, no religion at all really so for me it’s really it’s really easy to just pick and choose kind of you know. It’s like I don’t have to, there’s no beliefs attached.

[4:50] I do remember that we did when we did go to church with my grandfather and my grandmother there was like a special children’s Mass at night that was also always very special. Lights everywhere. I mean the church has never had a real meaning for me in that way but you know that the whole special feeling of going to church at night was really really always like a special tradition that we had with my grandparents. Nice and so you said mass. Does that mean Catholic?

[5:23] I guess so. So you’re originally from the Netherlands even though you live in France now. Are Dutch people typically Catholic? Is it a more catholic country? No not really it depends. There are areas that are specifically Catholic and there are areas that are specifically Protestant. I think there’s more Protestants than Catholics. My husband is from a Catholic area basically. So he he has a lot more tradition and a lot more influence in that sense. But I do remember that my grandfather was Catholic and my grandmother was Protestant and that when they married my grandmother became Catholic for him so they could marry. So that was still a thing you know back then. Now it is not at all. But I think that’s where it came from this tradition. Interesting. I didn’t really grow up very religious either. I can remember going to

[6:32] you know moving around a Protestant church, a Methodist Church, a Unitarian Church, just kinda all over the place. And mostly just for holidays. So it was a fun thing to do but not really again with a religious sense behind it. More of a just a spiritual and celebratory sense for my family personally. Yeah yeah I think that for us as well that Christmas was it was a time to be together. We always we always had a tree and it was a special time and we had dinner with the whole family but that was basically it. Because we in the Netherlands we don’t we don’t do presents with Christmas. We have a different holiday for that. It’s like the beginning of December. And that was for us kids it was the big holiday because it meant presents. Interesting. So what is this holiday that I haven’t heard of? Well I’m kind of hesitant to talk about it because it’s it’s been in in like a kind of uproar in the last few years because there’s, like for us kids it was always just about presents and about being together and it was a really fun evening with family.

[7:46] But there’s also kind of racist like how do you call that, it’s kind of racist associations with it. So I’d rather not go too deeply in that because it’s all changing in the Netherlands now fortunately so this whole concept. But it’s basically also a man who comes to bring your present. He also has a white beard, he’s also dressed in red. So his name is Sinterklaas which almost sounds like Santa Claus but it’s not
quite the same.

[8:20] But the holiday for us was always about we got together with the whole family and we had dinner and then there were lots of presents for everyone basically. So what we always did was, which is a normal thing to do as well,

[8:36] everybody has like draws the name of somebody else. I think it’s the same as secret Santa. And then you buy presents for that person and then the kids they don’t really participate, they just get presents from everyone. But it’s pretty nice because you also get to write poems with every gift that you give so everybody would write poems for about the gift and about the person they they had for secret Santa.

[9:11] Oh that’s so cool. I’ve never heard of that. Yeah yeah it’s it’s really it was really fun tradition. Everybody always really worked kind of to make like a good poem. It should be kind of personal and it might have some some jests so you know or some some jokes about someone or

[9:32] things that happened to them in the last year. You know stuff like that. One of my fondest memories about these evenings was that my grandfather he always did this joke with his gifts that he would wrap it several times and then he would write the name of a different person on every new rap of paper. He was always like it was always very clear that it was him who did that. You know and it was always very very obvious when you got a gift and you could already feel like multiple wrappings around it and then you were excited about your gift and then you have to pass along because it was a new name on them.The whole time this was happening he was chuckling in his chair. It was so funny. He did this for our whole childhood every year.

[10:36] Oh that’s funny. Yeah it was really pretty funny like a fun part of the evening to have his see so much pleasure like in this simple thing.
Yeah so that was really for a kid’s it was the more special holiday I think. But Christmas is always special because it’s more of the whole decoration of the tree and it’s more about being cozy at home and being with your family.

[11:06] We do celebrate Christmas but not with presents.So we for us Christmas is definitely present time. Even in our family now, Adam’s parents often come up to visit or we go down to visit them for Hanukkah. So we do kind of small gifts with his family for Hanukkah. But then you know the gifts that we do for Evelyn and each other we do for Christmas. But growing up we had two traditions around that that I’m trying to keep going in my own family now. One of them was that Christmas Eve I was always allowed to open one present and.

[11:50] Here’s the funny thing. It took me like 16 years to figure out that one present was one that my mom had always already picked out and it was always pajamas. Like I’m a fairly intelligent person but I just totally missed that every year I got pajamas on Christmas Eve. And I would wear those
pajamas to bed and those would be my Christmas pajamas that I would wear all day the next day. Anyway I want to see that continue that tradition for my family now. The other thing is Christmas stockings. I some I know lots of people do them but for my family they were always really important, my mom’s favorite favorite thing to do.

[12:37] And so when I was little, you know you I would wake up so early and I would be given a time, you’re not allowed to wake up your parents before 7 am. So I would wake up really early and just go sit in front of the Christmas tree and stare at it until it was I was allowed to wake up my parents and then I would grab Christmas stockings and go open them in bed with my parents. My mom just loved stuffing the stocking so they were full of gifts.
Just fun weird personal little things. Stuffed with toys and gifts and everything. Even through iterations of family.

[13:22] You know there were years that we growing up that we would go be all of my mom’s family together and then when my mom remarried and I had step-siblings we would make sure that whoever could be home together for Christmas, stockings was the first thing that happens and then you get to go have breakfast and then you get to open presents during the day. But stocking were a really important thing.

[13:52] Yeah. That’s very nice. The stockings it’s just something that happens once? Yeah. With Sinterklaas we have this thing where you put down your shoe and then like it happens a couple of times and sing a song with the shoe and then maybe there’s present you know you hanging up on.
You hanging them up on the mantle which we never had a fireplace growing up so it’s like you set them on the kitchen table and then when you wake up in the morning after Santa Claus has come he’d typically bring, we would have one gift that would be from Santa that would appear under the Christmas tree and our stockings would be full. To this day we still maintain the illusion, we open up the stockings like “Oh, thank you to whatever Santa Claus put this in my Christmas stocking I appreciate the gift Santa.” We did the same. All the adults were It doesn’t drop, not even when you’re older.
thank you whatever Santa Claus put this in my Christmas stocking I appreciate this.

[14:50] Well thanks for sharing your family traditions. It’s fun to hear.
Yeah yeah you too. Well talk to you later. That’s it for today’s episode of the maternity sewing podcast. That’s it for today’s episode of the maternity sewing podcast. You can find maternity sewing at maternity You’ll find our curated pattern shop with maternity nursing and postpartum friendly sewing patterns, our blog where we have sewing tutorials and inspirations for pregnant nursing and postpartum sewists and the show notes from all about podcasts. I’m Erin Weisbart, your co-host today and co-owner of maternity sewing. You can find me at Tuesday and Instagram as Tuesday stitches. I’m Lisa kievits your house today and co-owner of maternity sewing. yYou can find me at Paprika and on Instagram as @paprikapatterns.

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