I know it is a bit early for talking about Christmas, but I was asked by Paperless Post (I wasn't paid) to share some of the traditions we have for the holidays. I love Christmas and have Christmas on my brain anyways, since I'm helping to plan a huge party for my husband's work (75 tables!).
With the recent moves, some of our traditions have changed, but most remain. For example, while living in Idaho, I loved going into the forest soon after Thanksgiving to find our Christmas tree and then decorate it while listening to music and drinking hot cocoa. Now that the forest has been replaced with onion fields and vineyards, we got an artificial tree, which Michael loves, because it is prelit. So we now we do the same thing just with a different tree. Though we don't use Santa (except dressing up Vanilla as Santa), we put up stockings and put in small fun surprises and treats for the girls.
Something else we try to do each year is to make cookies and chocolates. Growing up, my Grandma did this every year and since she passed, I have been trying some of her recipes. One of my favorites of hers are Peanut Butter Balls, which I have blogged about here. Someday when I'm brave enough, I will try making her Almond Roca. In addition to those, we usually make Oreo Truffles. For the cookies, we often make gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies. One year, we make some Perky Penquins and Candy Cane cookies that we a huge hit.
Another tradition we have been starting for the girls have been Advent Calenders. In the past we have read different parts of the Nativity Story each day. This year I got a Meri Meri one, that I think the girls will love, since they will be building the Nativity Scene and can play with the little pieces. A plus for me is that we can reuse it.
Some years we send out Christmas cards. The year that sticks out in my mind the most is one where our Christmas cards were also an announcment that we were going to have baby Eleanor! Looking through Paperless Post, there are a ton of amazing options (including a bunch of free ones) and they will even email or mail them for you. I could spend hours pouring over them trying to decide which one I want to use. You should check out their Christmas Collection here.
What are some of your favorite traditions?