I am just loving Christmas right now. I just wanted to write down a few of my favorite Christmas traditions; some old, some new. I want to hear about your favorite traditions too.
1. Gingerbread houses - We make gingerbread houses every year. Tom and I started the tradition to make them as well. We plan out the landscaping for them though. That is the main focus. Gumdrop trees, smartie paving patterns, jello ponds with swedish fish, and land contouring with lots of frosting.
2. Bells - This is Tom's and I's tradition. We thought it would be so cool to have a Christmas tree full of bells when we got older, so every year we give each other a bell. When we have kids they will join in the fun and pretty soon, our tree will be ringing. Last year I gave Tom a pretty cool old bell, he of course MADE his out of copper and it is so awesome. I have to figure out how to do something cool this year.
3. 21 Advent Christmas drawers - This is another (hopefully) new tradition. We have old card catalogs (which I've posted pictures of before), they are our prize possession (from the DI). There are 21 drawers and Tom has been putting one different little gift in them every day until Christmas. So far I've gotten suet and a bird feeder that attracts my favorite bird (Ruby crowned Kinglet), a nut roll (so delicious), caffeine free Dr. Pepper, nylon rope for our emergency kit, beef jerky (my favorite), and I need to go see what today's holds...hold on a sec...SWEET...a whole bag of those pink wintergreen lozenges, you know the ones that taste like Pepto? I love them. Tom is so great.
4. Listening to the Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve - This has been one of Tom's traditions and we've included it in ours. The story is read by Patrick Stewart (or for the trekkies...Jean Luc Picard). It is a great version and very fun to listen too.
5. We also read The Best Christmas Pageant ever - This was a tradition in my family. It is the best story ever. I love the Herdmans and it makes me cry every year.
6. We have just started something new in my family this year. Every year we draw names for presents among my siblings. This year instead of buying them a gift we get to do a service for them. It has been so fun thinking of things to do for another person. My sister E has already done hers for A...she set up their favorite restaurant in her home and served them dinner. Really cute. Tom's family does a service project every other year. One year we draw names for gifts and the next is all service. This year we get to go to a home for Down Syndrome people. We are bringing gifts and singing songs. It will be great.
7. Listening to my Jewel Christmas CD - I seriously have to force myself not to listen to this CD all year round. I think it is so beautiful. You should check it out. My friend J is going to laugh at this one because her old roommate and I used to sing to this non-stop in her bedroom...trying to figure out the harmonies and sing them accapella. Non-stop fun.
8. Christmas tree - I love picking out a tree. Tom and I just get little short 4' tall ones. It smells so great and it is so fun to bring home.
9. Hanging up ornaments - I love to hang up the ornaments with my Mom and Lex. We have so much fun. Every ornament has its own story and we usually end up crying about one or all of them. There is this one ornament that gets me every year. When I was in 5th grade, we had a secret santa thing going on. Everyone wrapped their present and then hung them on the wall under the receiving person's name. I remember looking at mine and written on it was the word "suprize" (surprise). I remember making a mean comment to my friends about how the person couldn't spell. Then I remember opening up the present and it was from one of my friends who I had made the coment to. She had made this beautiful handmade ornament all by herself. I felt so bad and ashamed. Every time I look at that ornament, I remember how important it is to be kind. That is why I love Christmas most of all. It makes you want to be a better person and teaches you how to do it.
10. I want to hear what makes you happy at Christmas. Leave a comment. :)