Thursday, December 15, 2011

Making Christmas Memories!

I am so excited to see that lots of bloggers are blogging on Christmas memories. What a wonderful topic! I had planned to do this for documentation since I cannot remember things on a daily basis so maybe this post will help me prepare for Christmas in the future as I reflect on Christmas past.

Carl and I have a fair amount of traditions and are still trying to figure out what works best for us. I think it's better to do a few traditions really well than to half participate in a plethora.

Christmas expectations have to remain in check because life with a toddler and baby is slightly unpredicatable. I have to leave room for all those unanticipated things that crop up and sometimes are even better than my plan. This will be our second year staying home for Christmas which we could not do without our sweet parents coming to visit us for Christmas. It means so much to us to enjoy Christmas in our own home while making special Christmas memories with our families.

So, this is what we do now:

Japanese Steakhouse: This will be our 10th year for this tradition so it's our most deeply rooted and just would not feel like Christmas without our annual dinner. Carl and I started this when we were dating. We have been to Japanese steakhouses in Raleigh, Columbia, Charlotte and now Nashville as we have moved all over the place.  It's always so much fun and it's something we have incorporated our kids into as well. Saturday night is our Hibachi night and we are super excited to share our tradition with our favorite neighbors!

Christmas Cards: I LOVE Christmas cards. It's so fun for me to select my card, plan our outfits, and then work on the cards for all of our family and friends. I use labels which makes it extra easy although I prefer the handwritten look. Maybe that will happen again one day. We LOVE Sweet Birdie's Nest and get all of our cards, invitations etc. from them. They do a fantastic job! Here's our card for this year:

My favorite way to store our cards is in a beautiful red photo album. Each year, I place the card in the album and it's so amazing to see how we have changed over the last six years from newlyweds to parents with two kids! Evie enjoys showing Carl the new cards each night. We pray for the families that send us the cards and think of them during the Christmas season.

Twenty Five Books: Every blogger seems to be doing this but so I will remember to do it next year. Let's review - I took 25 Christmas books from my bins of books that were stored in the attic from teaching - wrapped them up and Evie opens one book each night after she opens her Advent calendar. It's our first year with this but it's been a hit. We will do this again for sure!

Christmas Eve Service: I really enjoy the Christmas Eve service at church. It usually makes me teary to sing those beautiful hymns that I have sung for so many years. My favorite Christmas hymns are What Child is This and Joy to the World. Evie's favorite is "Wingle Bells" and it thrills my heart to hear her sweet voice singing it. Carl and I loved attending the late service but that's something that will have to wait a few years.

Nativitiy: We have two nativity sets that are an important part of Christmas. It's wonderful to see Evie playing with it and learning about the real reason that we celebrate Christmas. I have been working with her on identifying the different parts but clearly we need more practice. She identified a wiseman as a cowboy and a shepherd as the grandfather. That makes me laugh especially when Evie dresses in her princess dress while working on her nativity identification.

Santa: Evie can tell you exactly what Santa is going to bring her - " a pink bike, a pink easel with art stuff and a super prize." That's how she says surprise so fingers crossed that Santa can deliver all of these gifts. Evie knows that Santa can only bring her three gifts and she has stuck with these three gifts since before Thanksgiving. She is not really a fan of Santa and told me that I could just buy her toys at the store because Santa is scary. She's slowly warming up to the old man! Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care and it's always fun to see what Santa puts in our beautiful stockings made my mom.

Ornaments: I have a HUGE collection of beautiful ornamanets collected over the years. My mom bought me an ornament every Christmas, that is a gift that I will always treasure. I want to do the same for my children but am about a year behind on this. It's so nostalgic to unpack the bins of Christmas decorations and see my moms' handwriting on a tattered piece of yellow legal paper listing out each ornament and the year it was given to me.  It was getting a bit chaotic putting our tree up with Evie as our little helper. I reminded Carl that one day way sooner than we'd like, it will just be us putting up our tree. We will miss our little helper!

Christmas China: Carl and I registered for Spode Christmas China when we were married. We have quite the collection. My Aunt Libby has helped me complete my collection and we eat off those dishes every night for the entire month of December. It makes even ordinary meals more special.

Christmas is such a joyful time! We love celebrating the birth of Jesus and making memories with our family. I have a feeling this is going to be an extra special year with Evie being awed by the magic of Christmas. Merry Christmas, Y'all!


  1. I loved reading about your traditions. I have been planning to do a post like this for weeks. I guess our traditions have gotten in the way. I have the Spode china too and plan to use it daily next year when I finally unpack it. I like the three gift idea. Is that what she really gets, or is it just to limit the asking?


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