Why one family put up their Christmas tree early this year: 'It's 2020'

·3 min read
To get their home in the holiday spirit, Julianelle says it’s all about focusing on the décor. (Photo courtesy of Mike Julianelle)
To get their home in the holiday spirit, Julianelle says it’s all about focusing on the décor. (Photo courtesy of Mike Julianelle)

When it comes to holiday traditions, Mike Julianelle, who writes the popular parenting blog “Dad and Buried,” and his family like to celebrate the season in their own unique ways. “My wife thinks her commitment to watching every single Christmas movie ever made — including the Hallmark and Lifetime ones – is a tradition,” Julianelle tells Yahoo Life, “but I refuse to acknowledge it — except for Die Hard. Have to watch that!”

But Julianelle and his wife, who have two kids, do have one “primary tradition” — namely, “trying to hit the star on top of our Christmas tree with the champagne cork,” says Julianelle, who has more than 170k followers on Instagram, as well as a podcast. “My wife loves champagne, so we get lots of chances to aim and pop!”

Favorite holiday libations and decorations

Julianelle and his wife (who has her own parenting blog, “Mom and Buried”) enjoy a good cocktail, and the holidays are no exception. Julianelle shares that he’s a fan of egg nog with a little bourbon. But he says he typically prefers beer, particularly if it’s something seasonal. “My wife is all sparkling all the time, except when she’s having a vodka martini instead,” he says.

To get their home in the holiday spirit, Julianelle says it’s all about focusing on the décor. “My wife and kids love some Christmas ambience, and enjoy spending as much time ‘hanging out with the tree’ as possible,” he says. This year, the family decided to have “some extra time” with their Christmas tree “because we’re putting our tree up a few weeks early — we need all the cheer we can get!”

Along with creating some holiday cheer in their home, the family is all about being comfortable in the Julianelle household. “It’s 2020,” he says. “No dressing up allowed!” Julianelle adds: “Unless my wife makes me, which she will. Unfortunately for her, after nine months of binging my way through the pandemic, nothing fits but sweatpants and hoodies!”

"We need all the cheer we can get!" dad blogger Mike Julianelle tells Yahoo Life about getting their home in the holiday spirit. (Photo courtesy of Mike Julianelle)
"We need all the cheer we can get!" dad blogger Mike Julianelle tells Yahoo Life about getting their home in the holiday spirit. (Photo courtesy of Mike Julianelle)

How they’re celebrating this year

Like many families, the pandemic has upended the Julianelles’ plans for the holidays. The family normally travels to Connecticut to visit their children’s grandparents, but this year they’ve decided to stay home in Brooklyn. Although they’ll miss seeing their relatives, Julianelle says it’s worth missing their usual holiday visits “if it means we’ll get to see them all in 2021 and beyond.”

So how do they plan to stay in touch with out-of-town family members over the holidays? Julianelle admits that, like many of us, he’s “all Zoomed out.” But Julianelle says he and his family want to stay connected to relatives, so they’re planning to do “a little FaceTime and some phone calls with our North Carolina family.”

In the meantime, Julianelle and his wife try to find ways to recharge their batteries during the holiday season. To relax, they watch shows or scroll through Instagram “when we're not repeatedly escorting our kids back to their bedroom.”

Julianelle says, “Thanks to the pandemic, we've been doing a lot of streaming. And once we finally get our kids to bed, that's usually what we do — whether it's a new show or a favorite movie.”

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