Monday, December 5, 2011

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas Everyone!
     This time of the year is definitely one of my favorites!  I love the smell of fresh Christmas trees, the sound of Christmas carols, the taste of my mom's famous Ohio Buckeyes, driving around to look at all the twinkling Christmas lights, building gingerbread houses with my little boy, creating homemade Christmas ornaments for family members and wrapping presents for love ones.
     Since living in Colorado, it is a MUST we have a real tree now.  Growing up my family always had fake tree.  Of course nothing is wrong with those, but something about having the fresh pine filling the house is just amazing!  I always look forward to the day we go pick it out.  We've gone to nurseries and chopped one down, we've been to tree lots, but just going to Walmart actually has worked out the best for us.  It's getting it down from the car and into the house which is the toughest part, but well worth it.  I can't wait to get this year's!
     I don't know about you, but I can totally listen to Christmas music all year.  I think it is a combination of warm memories from childhood and recent ones I have shared since being married and having my son that I relate to those songs.  Plus they are just fun to sing to.
     Ohio Buckeyes are one of those treats that mom makes the best and you have to wait all year till Christmas time to get them.  If you have ever tasted them, you know they are well worth the wait.  All you need is one and you will be hooked.  I've tried to make them on my own, but they never taste as good as momma's.  Maybe I will attempt it again one day, till then I'll wait for my package with the delicious chocolate peanut buttery goodness to arrive.
     Last year was the second year in all the year's I've been alive that I have not been home to celebrate the holiday with my family.  We decided since our son is getting older, it was time for us to start some of our own holiday traditions.  So for Christmas Eve we all opened a present that had our new Christmas Pj's.  We changed into them, made some hot cocoa, and drove around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights.  When we got home, we let little man open another gift, which was a board game we could play together.  After the game, we set out Santa's cookies and milk and a carrot for Rudolph.  Then off to bed he goes, so we can wait up for Santa.
     Another fun activity I do with my son is building gingerbread houses.  We have so much decorating the pre-made gingerbread.  I totally cheat and buy one of those gingerbread house kits.  When we finish it makes a beautiful centerpiece on our dining table.
     One of my family's Christmas traditions is making an ornament for each extended family.  We used to draw names and send a gift to that person, but with the family growing larger and larger the idea of doing an ornament exchange popped up.  So since then, every year each family will make a personal ornament and send it to the others.  We look forward to receiving the packages excited to see what kind of ornament awaits us.  As for my ornaments, I usually theme them to fit the area we live in.  Since my hubby is military we move every four years, giving me new ideas for my ornament.  It's a lot of fun, and now that my son is a little older, he likes to help me create it too.  I hope one day when he has a family he will continue this family tradition.  I can't wait to start on this year's ornament.  I found the idea of making it out of old wine corks on Pinterest (one of my favorite sites EVER!)  Since we live in Wine Country I thought this would be a perfect!
     And of course wrapping presents is always fun, especially when we get a family assembly line going.  But I have to admit,  my sister is amazing at wrapping gifts.  Her birthday, anniversary, and Christmas presents are always the best looking ones.  I try, but they never turn out as beautiful as hers.
     As of today, there is ONLY twenty one days left till Santa arrives!  We are definitely counting down the days and look forward to our family holiday traditions.

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