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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Winter Traditions...

Our Christmas photo from 2008
I have to say that I love the winter holidays. The decorations, the aromas of pine and gingerbread, the fact that people smile more this time of year, and of course, my little family's traditions! We seem to add something new every year or two, which is fun as well.

Our holidays officially start with the Winter Solstice. I love being aware of the change of seasons, and so we celebrate this change with a nice dinner, family games in front of the fireplace, and either a family gift, or a simple gift for the kids - last year it was a book for The Boy, and Matryoshka dolls for The Girl.



Food Traditions
We love baking, both The Girl and I, The Boy somewhat though not quite as much. We make gingerbread cookies every year, which have evolved a bit over the years, from cookies so crunchy with sugar sprinkles they'd hurt your teeth, to more artistic, and less sugar-sprinkle-heavy creations from both kids. We have made fudge the last couple of years too - packaged in spiffy boxes, it makes nice gifts for extended family. Sometimes we make other cookies too, like sugar cookies, and pepparkakor (Swedish spice cookies).

Christmas Eve is our big family celebration, which we host. We bake a large ham, add in lots of appetizer-style side dishes (these have been on the menu for the last three years and are always a HUGE hit), and I make a Bûche de Noël complete with meringue mushrooms...


Christmas Day is our quiet day at home, just us. We start the day with panettone and a simple omelet for breakfast, then for a late lunch we have ham leftovers and potato-leek soup.

Our Other Traditions
We go on a crazy over-the-tops lights tour every year. We love decorating the Christmas tree while listening to Christmas music - we generally do this sometime in mid-December, then the tree comes down on the twelfth day of Christmas. We read a lot of Christmas/winter themed books, returning to some every year, and adding in some new ones as we go. The Christmas wreath goes on the door December first, and that's when we start turning on outdoor Christmas lights as well. We always watch at least one version of A Christmas Carol (the kids like the Jim Carrey version, I like the Patrick Stewart one, and we all like the classic with Alistair Sim), and we always watch A Christmas Story. We choose a special event for the month too - we've seen The Nutcracker Ballet, gone to the Dickens Faire, and so forth. This year, we're lucky that we have two special outings planned--one to see a local production of The Nutcracker, with The Girl's friend dancing two roles, and we're going to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey!

I'll say it again, I love this time of year! And thanks Marbel, for the inspiration to share some of our traditions! So what are some of your family's winter holiday traditions?

2 comments :

  1. Your holiday season sounds almost identical to ours. We also celebrate the Solstice with a dinner, a small gift for my daughter, and candles. And we do similar things all month, like always going to the Nutcracker, and watch the same movies, etc. We also eat a Buche de Noel but I am not brave enough to make it myself, we order one from the Fred Meyer bakery and they make them fabulously!

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  2. Sounds wonderful. One of my regrets in life is that I never made it to the Dickens Faire when I lived in that area. (I was a regular visitor to the Black Pointe Ren Faire in its day.) Enjoy your holidays!

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