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23 December 2011

Traditions + Holiday Decor

Ooooh la la!  It's Christmas EVE!!  And, what better time than now to talk about some of our Christmas traditions.  I love having our own little family to begin new traditions with and to continue some of our old ones.  

In addition to making Olivia cry at Santa, here are some of our other holiday traditions:

+ Each year I've purchased Olivia a new set of pajamas as her first present to open up.  And so far, they've been footed pajamas.  I continued that this year and even got Olivia and Sydney matching outfits.  So excited for them to open them up and wear them together.  Since we'll be going to church on Sunday before opening our stockings, I'm not sure if I'll put them back in the pajamas for opening the stockings or not.  {I think I will though...}

+ I have also ordered Olivia a pewter ornament each year from Shutterfly with her picture on it.  I ordered one for her again and one for Sydney and they both turned out SO cute!  I hope Shutterfly continues to make these ornaments because I plan on getting the same style every year.  I can just imagine a small tree when they get older with only these ornaments on them.  My goal is to get them engraved with their names and the year as well.

(Excuse the crappy phone picture of these two)

+ Growing up, my parents gave my brother and I our own ornaments and now I have my own collection that I put on our tree.  In addition to the picture ornaments, I've gotten the girls their own ornaments this year (and Olivia in years past).  This year I went with two different Elf on the Shelf ornaments to signify the first year that we brought him into our home.  

+ And, speaking of the Elf on the Shelf, obviously he's a new tradition for us.  I'm so excited to bring him out again next year - he's been so much fun.  I'd love to continue the Elf on the Shelf breakfast like I did this year and plan on having the girls write letters to Santa Claus each year.

I framed Olivia's letter this year.  It says, "Dear Santa, We listen to Christmas music in the car.  Thank you Santa for getting me Bunky the Elf!  I want a pink dinosaur, please.  Are you going to bring Mrs. Claus?  Please tell Mrs. Claus that I am going to be a good girl.  Love, Olivia"

+ I'm really loving doing the advent with the Christmas books and will continue to do that each year, but will more than likely change out some of the books as the girls get older.

+ I don't know that this is necessarily a tradition, but we've all got matching stockings from Pottery Barn Kids.  We all have our names embroidered on them except for Sydney.  I figured it was more important to have it hung than have it away for a week or so to get her name on it.  I'll have hers embroidered after Christmas.

+ For as long as I can remember, we have watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation in the days leading up to Christmas.  I actually have it on right now as I finish up this post.  

Favorite line:  If I woke up with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now.
Second favorite line:  Shitter's full!

+ I know some people do this, but we always open our Christmas presents on Christmas Eve.  All the presents that are from our family get opened after we go to Christmas Eve service and our gifts from Santa and our stockings are opened on Christmas morning.  I should note that it's also tradition for my mom to to suggest we wait until Christmas day to open up all of the presents, but it always gets vetoed!

+ Like I mentioned above, we go to Christmas Eve service every year.  The last two years have been the only exception with us being in Hawaii last year and having a new baby the year before.  But, that's not stopping us this year and we are going to take the whole family to the clubhouse to watch my uncle lead the service and my aunt sing a solo.

+ We may be starting a new tradition this year - we'll see if it sticks - but we will be having my mom's chili for supper after Christmas Eve service {and my dad's amazing toasted cheese sandwiches}.  When I was in high school and college, we would pick up take-out from Mark Pi's and take it back to our house after church and hang out with our good friends the Caldwells before opening our gifts.  {That gives me warm fuzzies thinking about that...}  My mom always makes a different punch for us to drik while we eat cookies and open presents.  So excited for that this year as I've made some yummy Oreo cookie truffles.

+ Growing up, my grandparents would always get a Bartles & Jaymes wine cooler in their stockings.  They weren't drinkers at all, but I think they would sometimes partake in these drinks just once a year.  A couple of years ago, I started the tradition for my parents and have a 4 pack in the fridge just waiting to be stuffed in their stockings.  {Hope this doesn't spoil the "surprise."}

+ David and I have sent out picture Christmas cards since our first Christmas together as a couple. Each year I keep a copy of the cards and have kept the ones with Olivia in them in a special box for her full of her keepsakes.  I'll do the same for Sydney this year as well.  I've also decided to hang onto all of the Christmas cards we've received from year to year and pull them out at Christmas.  It will be neat to see how the families have changed over the years!

We have some beautiful friends and family!

I'm sure I'm missing some, but I'm glad to have these down for us.  What are some of your holiday traditions?  Anybody bake Jesus a birthday cake?  I was thinking we may do that too.  (As if we need more sweets in the house!)

Merry Christmas, Everyone!


Poppy said...

Thats neat Sis that you continue to cary on our traditions. And start your own new traditions as well.
Love you all so much.


Mom Cooper said...

I too like the fact that you are keeping some of our Christmas traditions and at the same time starting new ones of your own for your family. Bunky was a good tradition for you to start. You have a whole year to think up new things for that little Elf to do.

I'm glad that Olivia realizes (somewhat) that Christmas is Jesus birthday and that we even sang happy birthday to Him.

So glad we are around to share old traditions with the new ones.

Irma said...

Traditions binds us to the past and the future. Great to keep old ones going and create new ones too. We had a birthday cake for Jesus too. Missed you all for the holidays.