One of my favorite things since having Caroline is the new holiday traditions that we have started as a family as well as carrying on some of my favorite traditions by introducing them to our next generation. We don't really have anything over the top that we do as far as our yearly Christmas traditions, but there are still things we make a point to do that I just enjoy so much and each year that passes, Caroline seems to enjoy more and more as well which makes it all even better.
Trimming the Tree
Thanksgiving evening, or the morning after we always put up our Christmas tree. I really love Thanksgiving, but for all the time and effort that goes into Christmas decorating, I want to enjoy it for as long as I can without taking away from Thanksgiving. Last year, Caroline helped put up a few ornaments and was over it, but this year, she helped me almost the entire time. The tree is a bit lopsided and bottom heavy as far as ornaments are concerned and it's just too cute to change. She worked so hard hanging everything that I just don't have the heart to move them.
This was last year's tree. I haven't had the chance to snap a good one of it decorated this year.
Festive Holiday Breakfast
The week of Christmas, I make a point to do something festive and fun for Caroline's breakfast one morning. Last year I did these reindeer pancakes and I think I'm going to try for a snowman pancake spread this year since it will obviously not be a white Christmas. It was 65 degrees today and supposed to be nearly 70 on Christmas Day. I basically love it.
Decorating Cookies at Mamaw's
My Aunt and Uncle who own a local bakery here in town, always bring Caroline and her cousins some cookies from the bakery, big tubs of icing, piping bags and food coloring to decorate the cookies. Each grandchild sets up their station at Mamaw and Papa's table and makes a big ole mess icing the cookies and also piping icing straight into their mouths most of the time.
Baking and Delivering Treats around the Neighborhood
A few days before Christmas, my baking assistant and I take to the kitchen to whip up some homemade sweet treats, then we box them up and deliver one to all of the neighbors to spread some Christmas cheer and calories. We have this on our agenda to complete today, but how cute was my delivery girl last Christmas?!
Finch the Elf
I have to say, I have mixed feelings about our elf Finch. I love how excited Caroline is to pop out of bed every morning and find where he is, but Finch is not a very creative elf and he can be forgetful when it comes to finding a new spot to hang out for the day around our house if you catch my drift. It takes teamwork from Juston and I to keep Finch doing his job.
Every year since my sister's first child was born, we have loaded up the whole family and headed to the Horse Park in Lexington to catch the Southern Lights. It's basically just a tour of lights around the Horse Park, then when you park after the lights, you can meet Santa, do a petting zoo, ride horses or camels, see real reindeer, tour a carriage and horse museum, see really neat train displays and do lots of other fun activities. The kids always have a great time and I think the adults look forward to it just as much every year.
Sending out Christmas Cards
I love to send and receive snail mail and I like taking my time and putting a little something extra into our cards every year. That little extra usually ends up meaning I don't get the last of my cards out until the day before Christmas, sometimes after, but I still really enjoy the process of wax sealing each card. I wanted to dust off my calligraphy kit to address them this year, but I've just run out of time. I'm hoping to get my last round of cards dropped in the mail today. The funny part is I always have my cards ordered and in hand early in December and somehow, they still always get sent out late. What can I say, I'm a procrastinator.
So there you have it...a few of my favorite things to see and do around the holidays. What are some of your favorites to do that I've missed out on? I'm always looking for things to add into our holiday list. Hope everyone is enjoying the last few days before Christmas.