She’s Makin’ a List …

By Megan

December’s upon us, and I’ve got my iCalendar open tonight so I can plan out the month and pack it full of some of our favorite holiday traditions. I wanted to list some of my family’s favorite things to look forward to this month (and to remember/anticipate all year long) and invite you to share some of the things that make your family’s holiday season bright.

1. On one evening the first week in December, Al and I have a special date each year. I make a heaping plate of little snacks and appetizers, we pour ourselves a couple glasses of wine, and we curl up on the sofa in the glow of the pretty lights on the Christmas tree and have a little light dinner while we listen to and read all the words to Handel’s Messiah. The first time we did this, I surprised Al with his wedding ring, so he could try it on and make sure it fit before our wedding a few days later. I love having traditions that bring back such wonderful, sweet memories.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Al and me attempting an artsy shot our first married Christmas. Turned out more like the cover to Christmas Love Songs of the 80s. CHEESY! But still, it makes me get a little melty inside.

2. Bean has loved candy canes since almost the very beginning of her little life. So starting her second Christmas, in addition to delivering the Big Present and stuffing the stocking and leaving a heartfelt note of gratitude, wisdom, and reflection, Santa also hangs plentitudenous big candy canes all over our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve night.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Bean’s third Christmas morning, right after discovering all the candy canes on the tree

3. On that same night, Bean puts out the traditional cookies and milk for Santa, along with carrots and water for his reindeer, all in a special multi-sectioned Christmas tray. With the help of a small drop of red food coloring, the water turns pink when Rudolph accidentally dips his nose in it while he’s drinking. Our kids love this little magical tradition – it makes them giggle every Christmas morning!

4. Every year, as he did at my house growing up, Santa leaves a letter wedged into the branches of the tree. In it, Santa responds to the letters written and left for him Christmas Eve by the family-members-in-residence. He also recaps the past year’s highlights, lauds the accomplishments and special events in our lives, and reminds us that although we love and enjoy the tradition of Santa, it’s the birth of Christ we celebrate most at this time of year. My Dad always wrote the funniest, smartest, most moving Santa letters when I was a kid. I’m sure mine pale in comparison, but I am doing everything I can to maintain this aged and important tradition for our kids.

5. A few of my favorite holiday treats to make and enjoy around this time of year are spicy roasted pecans, whose recipe comes from an old dog-eared, red-and-white-checked Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook I use just about every day, hot mulled wine with cranberry juice, my Mom’s recipe for pomanders (a chocolate and orange flavored rolled cookie, easy as can be, but unfortunately, as my sister very aptly pointed out a year or two ago, the lowliest of the Christmas cookies, because they just aren’t all that pretty), jam thumbprints with currant jelly and Emeril’s baked ham, which goes into the special ham biscuits I make and deliver to the local friends and neighbors on Christmas Eve.

That’s just a few favorites off the top of my head! Are you ready to share a few of your family’s favorite seasonal must-dos? I’d love to hear them!

Megan also blogs at FriedOkra.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

10 Responses to She’s Makin’ a List …
  1. Stephanie
    December 1, 2009 | 1:14 am

    Can I come to your house on Christmas morning? This sounds so wonderful. Your family is just gorgeous. And I’m laughing out loud at your first photo. Such a great album cover!


  2. Jen
    December 1, 2009 | 12:01 pm

    I have an old, dog-eared, red and white checked Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that I use every day too. It’s the best.

    Also–wow, your daughter is just beautiful!

  3. Melissa
    December 1, 2009 | 12:23 pm

    Our only real, and unchangeable, tradition is what we call our “Christmas Boots.” The tradition started the first year we lived in England, and I discovered that all of our Christmas decorations had been accidentally packed in storage in the States. So…on Christmas Eve, rather than have Santa put our stocking stuffers into Dave’s tube socks, we covered our “wellies” (rain boots) with wrapping paper and left them for Santa to stuff. :o)
    It’s a fun tradition that we’ve had our friends and family do when they stay for Christmas, and we even started a boot for Mookie last year.
    It’s odd, but I love it. :o)

  4. Kelly
    December 1, 2009 | 7:52 pm

    I love hearing about other families holiday traditions, whatever they may be.

    When I was a teenager, my Mom started to make a Hanukkah meal on Christmas Eve. We aren’t Jewish, but the story behind Hanukkah is rich with meaning, and the food is divine. So I’ve carried on that tradition with my own family.

    (P.S. How close does one need to live to get some ham biscuits?)

  5. T with Honey
    December 2, 2009 | 3:20 pm

    Great way to prepare for Christmas, Megan!

    Back in college I started a new family tradition for Black Friday. We sleep in, have a big breakfast at home then start prepping the free turkey my mom got from the local grocery store – she was lamenting how she missed being able to eat Thanksgiving leftovers since we never cook that meal. Since I was only home for a brief time before heading back to college I’d do all the Christmas decorating that day.
    We’ve done the same every year since. It is a day of being home with family and trying to avoid the Black Friday shopping madness and crowds.

  6. Kellyn
    December 2, 2009 | 4:25 pm

    Look how little Bean looks!!

    We do the tree the first weekend that Hunter is with us after Thanksgiving. Sometimes the weekend right after, sometimes a week later. I let the kids decorate the tree, and don’t fix (almost) anything they do.

  7. Beck
    December 3, 2009 | 12:03 pm

    I love seeing your family photos – and I have a houseful of candy cane lovers, too! I think Santa might need to borrow your idea for our house, too.

    We do St. Nicholas Day! It’s this Sunday – he leaves candy and oranges and coins in the kids boots, and we have mulled cider and cookies and sing carols and it’s OUR special thing in the middle of the business of the holidays.

  8. προωθηση ιστοσελιδων
    March 26, 2012 | 1:07 pm

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Informations on that Topic: […]…

  9. side effects of Seroquel
    March 31, 2012 | 9:59 pm

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Informations on that Topic: […]…

  10. high definition wallpapers
    April 5, 2012 | 2:07 pm

    … [Trackback]…

    […] There you will find 72970 more Infos: […]…

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL