As we come into this last week or so before Christmas, I wanted to share a few of the traditions that have become important to Michael and I over the last seven years. The first is our annual small group Christmas party. All 20+ members of the group gather for dinner, laughter, and just to hang out together before the holidays. It's our last meeting of the year and it has become a 'don't miss' event!
Cookie making is another tradition that we couldn't skip. One day in December we go over to my mom's house (she has double ovens) and we bake cookies all day long. Of course the most important cookie is the sugar cookie, which we carefully cut out and then meticulously ice. This year is the 30th year of this tradition since my mom started doing it when I was 6 months old!
Most Decembers we find an evening to do a mini tacky lights tour around the west end. There are a few houses that we return to every year, but we really enjoy just driving in and out of neighborhoods to see all the light displays. There is one over-the-top display within walking distance of our house so sometimes we bundle up and go. There's always hot chocolate to make when we get back!
On Christmas Eve Day we celebrate Christmas with Michael's dad and step-mom. We get a bit dressed up and have what I call 'a fancy dinner'. Afterwards we gather around their Christmas tree and exchange gifts. Grandma Pemmy even has a special rocking chair for Brenna to sit in while she opens her gifts. Then it's time for dessert, which is always delicious.
At our house, we have a few traditions for Christmas too. Like many families, we leave cookies and milk for Santa. Santa leaves each child a gift under the tree along with the gifts from mom, dad, and family from Ohio. At some point Christmas Eve or Christmas morning we read the Christmas story to remind us of why we are celebrating. After the kids are in bed on Christmas Eve we hide one gift under their bed. This is a gift they can open as soon as they wake up in the morning. We always open the gifts under the tree first and then go to the stockings.
I guess that's about it for our traditions. I love Christmas time and this year we get to add two new family members to the mix: Chris and Daniel.
What are some of your Christmas traditions?