I am working late and needing some holiday spirit! I would love to know what your holiday traditions are.
Since moving to Arizona 2 years ago, our family has also started a tradition of taking a ride to the North Pole on The Polar Express from Williams, AZ and visiting Santa at his North Pole Experience. ;Before the move, it used to be all about the tree lighting ceremony in Westlake Center in Seattle with a gigantic Starbucks coffee in my hands to keep me warm.
How about you?
I have two little nieces and the older one, who turns 4 in Feb, is just at a lovely age where coming over to her Aunty Yay's house (I'm Aunty J but she couldn't say J so now I'm Aunty Yay - how cute is that?!?) and putting up the Christmas tree together is very exciting. I'm hoping that's going to be a little tradition of ours for a few years to come yet. And her little sister will be old enough to really enjoy it properly next year too.
Other than that, a special guilty pleasure treat of either Froot Loops or Cocoa Pops for breakfast has been a tradition since I was a little girl, but it is now teamed with a breakfast mimosa :)
I didn't have any holiday traditions growing up, but my husband and I started some with our sons. Up until my husband had a complete hip replacement on one leg and a complete knee replacement on the other, we used to go to a place called Apple Hill here in California and we would look for and cut down our own Christmas tree. Then we'd bring it home and decorate it. The boys just loved it and loved helping decorate the tree. We'd have hot chocolate and also purchase some fresh apple juice and apple cider while there.
On Christmas morning, we have a particular breakfast casserole that we've been having for years and then start opening packages. I just love traditions and hope they continue for quite a few years to come.
I started a tradition of getting my cousins all together at my house after Christmas for a potluck, bingo and a gift exchange of stuff from the Dollar Store. Everyone loved the Dollar Store idea! The problem is that once you start something like this it's always your responsibiity.
Gerle - thanks for reminding me of Apple Hill. I haven't been there in at least 30 years but I certainly enjoyed the visits back then!
I guess my favorite part of theChristmas celebration would be singing the lovely Christmas Hymns in church and a colorful Christmas tree. I loath all white trees and houses w/all white light decorations :( Give me COLOR! The other night we drove through a neighborhood that is highly decorated and I enjoyed that a lot. There were about 6 or 8 streets. When my daughter works late on Monday I think I'll take another ride over there and see it again :)
My family consists only of 1 of my 2 daughters so Christmas day will not be special. She wants to make something for her dinner that I can't eat (allergies) so I guess I'll just fix myself a ckn thigh with some veggies & sweet potatoes.
Kakeladi we don't cut our trees any more, we now have an artificial tree, but we still go by Apple Hill a lot. We have a cabin in the mountains off of highway 50 so I drive right by there a lot and when it's apple season, I'm always stopping by there to get apples, apple cider/juice. It's fun to go through the different apple barns and see who has what available. And you just can't pass up their apple pastries! And a lot of them always have crafts if you're there on the weekends, so you can pick up some really good gifts.
Oh I know about crafts! I supplied some to them for a yr or two. I made decopage wall plaques back then. I made some using a printed poem that was about Apple Hill :) Maybe this coming apple season I'll remembver to head up there. Since I'm in central CA it would have to be a week end trip.
hi jackie, i hope you got your inspiration for holiday spirit the other night -- i'm a little late to the party but i too do cookies -- large 3-d gingerbread concoctions made from cutters i make and decorated with white chocolate --
but we have a tradition that has been developing over the past few years actually -- we have no wee ones in our immediate family that we can rain christmas down on -- our kids are in their 30's -- so we started buying gifts from charities to exchange, for example st. jude and thistle farms in nashville --
then we are a cycling family and this year we, actually our son-in-law, found this great idea to jump in on -- it's called "red kite prayer change the world with bikes" -- located here, http://redkiteprayer.com/2016/11/change-the-world-with-bikes-win-mind-blowing-prizes-the-2016-wbr-grand-slam/
it's only $147 to buy a bike for a child in zambia -- then someone matches the donation so your small gift becomes two bikes to a child in zambia --
here's a quote from them "When I gave this bike to this girl, her life was suddenly filled with new possibilities and opportunity. She’d be able to get to school in half an hour, instead of in two hours. She’d be able to bring water to her home quickly, and in one trip. She’d be able to help her neighbors. She’d be able to get to the market faster, carry more, and get home sooner.
Her father cried and shook my hand for at least a minute, saying “Thank you, thank you,” over and over.
I might have cried too.
Five years later, I’m still struck by the sense that World Bicycle Relief is a perfect charity: it addresses a real problem, makes an immediate impact, requires accountability from those who benefit (children who get bikes sign a contract to stay in school and take care of the bike), and it uses the machine I love"
so we have our charities chosen and it is the best feeling ever to be able to give so that someone can have dignity and increase their power to live and help others -- it's the best merry christmas to ourselves --
our all time favorite holiday tradition is being together in the moment, sharing a meal sprinkled with memories and forward glances --
so i hope your family is strong, healthy and happy -- best to you and heath and the munchkins
*actually becomes two bikes for two children
Cookies, decorated sugar cookies and snickerdoodles. My fav snickerdoodle recipe is in my very old Betty Crocker cook book from 34 years ago. I made them for my kids and gave as gifts. I even got get requests year after year for those snickerdoodles. No matter what I gave, I had to include those cookies.
We tossed tradition to the wind. I'm normally a big holiday person. I normally put up two trees, decorated with my beloved 25 year and still growing collection of Christmas ornaments. Normally not even the doorknobs are spared in my Christmas decorating frenzy. It normally takes 4 days to decorate, and 7 to pack it all away after New Years.
But just after Thanksgiving, my sister and I were planning Christmas dinner, I was struck by the fact that all I really wanted to do was my Christmas cookie baking. So I blurted out, "hey how about Mexican food for dinner. I'll make tamales and rice, you make mini tacos and beans." Never mind we are Japanese American and I've never made a tamale in my life.
Hands down, turned out to be the best Christmas dinner...