Now that October is coming to an end and we will be enjoying November in just a few short days, I have really started to get excited about the holidays.
I absolutely love the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas- the decorating, the gift shopping, the food, the cookie swaps, the fun family activities...
We have established several traditions for our family. Some are extension of traditions Tyler and I experienced as kids, and some are new. I thought I'd share a few with you all, and I would love for you to comment about some of your family traditions! Maybe we can add a few more this season!
Every year, we make a big event out of putting up and decorating our Christmas tree. We build a fire in the fireplace, usually get into our pj's, play Christmas music, and take the time to slowly unwrap each ornament and tell the story about how we acquired it, what makes it special, and reminisce about that year. You'd be amazed how solid these stories become in your ind when you revisit them every year- I still remember the details about ornaments I received or made as a child.
After the decorating, we all enjoy Scottish shortbread, plum dumplings, and chamomile tea together before reading a Christmas story. I can't wait to do this soon!
To go along with the concept of our decorating night, Tyler and I purchase an ornament or two for each girl each year. We don't just buy any ornament, though. We try to choose something that relates to each girl for the year. This aids in the reminiscing/story-telling part of our decorating tradition. For example, when Sassy was 2, she was obsessed with dinosaurs, so I searched high and low until I found the perfect girlie dinosaur ornament for her. This year, I will try to find a nice ballet ornament, since she started dance this year... You get the idea.
Another tradition we try to maintain each year is to get dressed up and go out for a nice dinner on Christmas Eve. We used to spend Christmas Eve at my paternal grandmother's house, and once she passed away, we began this tradition. After dinner, we would return home and open one gift apiece, which always happened to be new pajamas. Then, we would get into our new pj's and watch a Christmas movie before bed!
Finally, Tyler and I began a new tradition last season that I read about in an issue of Wondertime magazine (which I am SO sad to report is longer in publication. I loved that magazine)! To prevent going overboard with the holiday shopping, we decided to stick to this little motto (outside of Santa gifts and gifts from family, of course)- each member of the family receives something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. We had such a great time adhering to this last year, and there is even a little bending room. For instance, Sassy was really into Tinkerbell last year, so her something you want was a package of Tinkerbell things- a doll, a movie, and pajamas.
So, there are some of our favorite holiday traditions. What are some of yours?