Monday, December 9, 2013

List of Three: Christmas Tradition

Hello, Readers!!

We hope you haven't forgotten about us, even though it may seem like we've forgotten about you.  As we mentioned several months ago, our real lives were keeping us increasingly busy.  Just what was keeping us busy, you ask?  Well, for starters, we both had babies!  Michelle added a new little guy to her family in August, and I welcomed a little girl in October.  As if that weren't enough, Michelle and her family recently moved several hundred miles.  On top of that, we had our regular family responsibilities, jobs, church stuff, and everything else that goes along with living.

Celebrating Christmas with new family members has given us both a chance to reflect a little bit on family traditions, which are part of what make the holiday season so magical.  We thought we'd take this chance to share with you some of our personal favorite traditions.

1 - Advent Calendar.  Mr. W and I both had Advent calendars like this growing up, and we decided to make our own a few years ago (long before our daughter made her appearance).  As children, we looked forward to adding a new piece to the nativity scene each day; as adults, we still enjoy it!  It took us close to two years to make this calendar — not because it's particularly hard, but because we were inconsistent in spending the time to do it — and we are so glad to have it completed now.  We have it hanging in a place of honor on the inside of our front door.

2 - Petal Roll for Christmas Breakfast.  This is a tradition from Mr. W's family.  A petal roll is a Danish pastry that is basically a gigantic cinnamon roll.  We put it together on Christmas Eve and then bake it up Christmas morning after opening our stockings.  It's simple, delicious, and a great way to spend time together on Christmas Eve — we have contests to see who can roll the longest "snake" of dough.  Food is such an integral part of Christmas, and I have been happy to adopt this tradition from my husband's family!

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3 - Andy Griffith Christmas Episode.  I grew up watching The Andy Griffith Show, and my family always watches the Christmas episode at least once during the Christmas season; sometimes we'd put it on while decorating the tree, sometimes we'd watch it on Christmas Eve, and sometimes we'd just watch it on a random night.  Although our little girls is still too tiny to appreciate it, I look forward to sharing this holiday gem with her as she gets older.  If you haven't seen it, it's well worth the time to find and watch with your family!

1. Christmas stories. I remember fondly unpacking the Christmas decorations and finding the "Christmas Books" at my Mom's house. These books were so special because they were only brought out during Christmas time. I've started my own Christmas Book library for our kids and I just recently found the box {it was one of the two out of five Christmas boxes that we actually have with us - the rest of the boxes are in storage at Ryan's parents} The Christmas book library favorites, so far, "The Polar Express", "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" & "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer".

2. Advent. I've done a few different Advents through my childhood and Mr. S & I are still trying different ones to see which one fits. One that my father has always done and keeps doing for the grandkids is the chocolate advent. You can't go wrong with a little bit of chocolate every night. One that Mr. S & I have been trying out this year is one that I found on Pinterest. Sadly the original pin is just the picture so I don't know where it originates from, but I LOVE it!!
Click here for the Pinterest link

As you read each scripture {that has a matching picture to go with it in the Gospel Art Kit} you color in an ornament on the tree. What I love the most about this advent is it's not just the nativity story it's the story of Christ. His birth, life, miracles, death & resurrection. It's wonderful. It is LDS based and uses Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon & Doctrine & Covenants.
  3. Holiday Baking. I'm not a big winter-season lover. Everyone who knows me well knows that I'm not too thrilled with the first snow fall, but I do love that I can turn my oven on without a second thought. I love the smell of homemade bread, sugar cookies, gingerbread, etc. Every year we make our neighbors edible gifts. We make something very similar to this. It's buttery, sugary and you can eat the entire table full that it makes! Besides the sweet smells that fill your house while you bake I also enjoy the time you can take with your loved ones while you do it. It's something that both my oldest baby S and I enjoy doing together.
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?

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