Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Show Me Christmas Traditions; Link Up

Welcome back for the third week of Show Me Christmas hosted by Aly @ Analyze This and myself. This weeks theme is Traditions. This includes past, present, and future. Traditions that you have done for years, traditions that you plan on doing this year, and traditions that you would like to start in the future. This includes activities, games, recipes, crafts, etc. Next Tuesday is the last Link-Up for this series and it's Show Me Christmas {show us your gifts, tells us what you did, what you ate, favorite memories, etc}. Last weeks link up Decorations, and the first weeks link-up Christmas list.

Here at the S household there are certain Christmas traditions that we have continued as kids, ones that we just started this year, and others that we hope to begin as our family grows and our children get older. I would love to continue to build on the traditions as I think this time of the year is truly so special and remarkable. To me, the holidays is all about family and making memories {and Jesus of course}. And I am looking forward to capturing these moments year by year.

The traditions begin around Thanksgiving time. A few days before Thanksgiving we begin to decorate the house. From top to bottom. I hope that Elliana will be able to help us next year {although I know she will still be pretty young}. But as she grows {and our future children grow}, I will definitely make this a family event. Get everyone involved. We turn on the Christmas music and decorate away. For now, we only decorate the inside of the house, however, I know that as our children get older, we will have to start decorating the outside.
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Then, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we decorate the actual tree. I am really looking forward to next year when Elliana will be able to help hang the ornaments. She already gets so excited about the tree, so I have a feeling she will love participating in hanging the "balls." Stockings won't go up until December 5th and that night St. Nicholas will come to fill the stockings. Naughty or nice? Coal or gifts. {I have a feeling I may have fun with this little tradition}.
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I also love the tradition of putting shoes out on December 5th and filling it with candy {also a St. Nicholas tradition}. We used to do this in German class, and I think we are going to start this tradition next year when Elliana will understand more. I plan on doing it with husband too. Again, if you are naughty, you get coal in your shoe. So my goal this year is to be out on a hunt for some cute St. Nicholas shoes for next year.
The remaining of the days after December 5th to Christmas Eve consist of multiple family activities including family crafts, santa pictures, family "tree" pictures, baking Christmas cookies, reading Christmas books and watching Christmas movies. Also, as a tradition, the we will buy Elliana {and future children} PJs to wear Christmas Morning {and stay in the pjs all day}.
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Every year, I will have the kids write out a "wish list" to Santa. And then, we will have a "package" sent to the kids from "Santa." Elliana's package actually came yesterday, and I am in love with it. It came with with a letter addressed to her from Santa. A post card from Rudolph. A "tree light." A little door knob sign that she puts out the night before Christmas and there's a checklist of stuff she has to do, including putting out cookies and milk for Santa, taking a bath, wearing her xmas jammies, etc. And to top it off, she got a "certificate" that said she made it on the nice list. I LOVE it. Here is a glimpse of just some of the stuff.
Christmas Eve, we will head over to my parent's house {as we do every year}, and the kids {my brother and I} will bring dishes, my mom cooks a whole feast {enough to feed a whole army} and the night consists of lots of eating, drinking, and laughs. We then begin to open presents around 9-10, and continue for hours. This year though, I think we may open some gifts, eat, then open more, and so forth. My dad always wears a little Christmas hat, and he is the Santa that passes out the gifts. Whatever gift gets picked up, is the gift that must be opened by that person. This is my favorite tradition, as we all have so much fun seeing what everyone gets. Often times, my mom gets us some "embarrassing" gifts, and my brother, sister, and I always have a good laugh about it. Something that I would like to incorporate next year is the white elephant tradition and the gifts from the heart tradition.  So I am planning on having everyone draw a name from hat this year, and they have that person for next year and they must make that person something {from the heart}. And you would gift that person the following year.

Now, this year {as we do every year} we will spend the night at my parent's house, and we probably will continues this tradition for years down the road. So Elliana and I {and our future kids} will make cookies the night before for Santa, and instead of "milk" we will set out some water for him. Because, well, stinky milk would be no good.
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Christmas day will consist of "Santa" gifts and spending time with the other side of the family, Andrew's parents and sister. Now with his parents having moved to Texas and his sister living out of state, I can't say for certain that this little tradition will always be on Christmas day, but regardless, we will make it work!

And of course, the rest of the day will consist of bumming around, playing with our "toys" and spending time together as a family. I hope that our kids will want to spend this time with us. Eat lots of yummy food Christmas day, and play "board games."

And as an added bonus, this year {and hopefully every year} the day after Christmas, we are going to go to Christmas at the Zoo. They have a huge show, lots of crafts, and a Santa! I can't wait!

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Here is my Family Traditions Check off list. I plan on adding on/tweaking it every year.


 Favorite Recipe
 Cran-Horseradish Suace {served over cream cheese and crackers}
  • YIELD: 8 servings
  • COURSE: Appetizers

Ingredients

  • 1 (16-ounce) can whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • Garnishes: fresh rosemary sprigs, fresh cranberries

Preparation

Stir together first 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Remove from heat. Cover and chill 1 hour or up to 3 days.
When ready to serve, spoon Cran-Horseradish Sauce over cream cheese on a plate. Garnish, if desired. Serve with assorted crackers.

 

Thank you again for linking up and sharing the holiday spirit with us all. I can't wait to hear what kind of traditions you guys participate in during the holiday season. With our growing little family, I am always looking for new ideas and activities that we can do together.

13 comments:

  1. Love your traditions! Did you make your package from Santa or order it? I've never seen anything like that and it is so precious!

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  2. Awesome traditions! Here are mine:
    http://notesoflifeandlove.blogspot.com/2011/12/show-me-traditions.html

    :)

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  3. UMMM your list is exactly like mine in my head haha! LOVE IT!!! If I have time I will link it up sista!! We are off for the day to a little slice of heaven called Frankenmuth!:)

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  4. Your traditions are great! Sorry I linked so many times, having computer problems this morning!!!!

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  5. Hey Becky! Love your Christmas tradition list! Can you please share where you got the Santa package from?! I LOVE it!

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  6. Yes I love that Santa package!!

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  7. You have so many great traditions! I'm bookmarking this so I can remember these for next year when E is a little big bigger. I love the Santa package too and would love to know where you got it. :)

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  8. These are great!! Where did you order the Santa package from? That is too cute girl! I will link up later today!!

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  9. THanks for following my blog, I am following back! This is a great link up, I just shared mine!

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  10. you have some really great traditions. I'm gonna ask the same question everyone else is about the Christmas package, where did you get it from? My 2.5 year old would love this

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  11. I love all of your traditions. The package from Santa is so neat!

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  12. love your stockings. our zoo has a similar thing called zoo lights, so much fun! can't wait to take my little girl:)

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  13. Sorry for the duplicate entry, my computer was having issues!

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