9 FAMILY CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

I love traditions. I mean LOVE!!! Holiday traditions have special meaning as I grew up in a household that held them dear. I remember a conversation my husband and I had early on in our courtship about traditions as he grew up with them too.  We knew they would be important to the dynamics of our family and I think our sons really appreciate them and hopefully will continue them on with their own families.

Here are 9 of our family's Christmas Traditions:

1. Day after Thanksgiving Tree Chop
We often discuss getting a pre-lit tree but the boys will have no mention of it. They relish going out to the tree farm, picking out the most perfect Fraser Fir and taking turns with the saw to chop it down. We also get out the tri-pod and do a family photo, more to come on that next week...

Last Year

This Year


2. Breakfast before chopping down the Tree
Before we get the tree, we head to breakfast and fill up with protein for the best day of tree decorating. 
 One of my Favorite Cracker Barrel Pictures a few years back on an exceptionally warn day after Thanksgiving.
And one from a few years before that at Cracker Barrel as it was a picture fail this year at the restaurant "Stacks"


3. Bailey's and Coffee 
As soon as we get home from getting the tree, I'll brew a cup of coffee and add Baileys and whipped cream. Now, most likely I'll get so busy that I'll set it down and forget where it is, but it's tradition so if I have to reheat it 4 times, then so be it or maybe I'll be so tired I'll just swig the Bailey's from the bottle.


4. Christmas Eve Appetizers at Mom's
 Christmas Eve has always been at my moms. Instead of a big meal, we opt for an appetizer feast. Favorites include her cheese ball, sour cream fudge, eggnog truffles, meatballs, fruit dip and pineapple, and all kinds of goodies. Each year she usually tries a new app as well like bacon wrapped bite size filet mignons.
Just a sampling from last year

5. Gifts on Moms Tree
She has the most adorable spinning pencil tree with pink, silver and white ornaments. On it she hides a gift for each of us and it is the last thing we open and search for. It's so fun trying to find them and we always help each other out. Things include pocket knives, gift cards, candy, jewelry, etc.


6. Mistletoe
Years ago my mom got us a mistletoe. When I was a little girl I remember my parents kissing under our mistletoe. The boys get out our tallest ladder and hang it in our entryway. They've kissed a few girls under it but since those girls are not in the picture anymore, I thought I better leave those pictures out, lol
Here they are hanging the mistletoe a couple weeks ago for us.


7. Reading Twas Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve 
Twas Night Before Christmas is the 2nd best Christmas story next to the reason we celebrate this glorious day: The story of the birth of baby Jesus! I have read this to our family on Christmas Eve forever, even when they stopped believing in Santa and plan to read it to by grand kids someday too or make sure their parents do.

2009

8. Leaving all the Lights on Christmas Eve
My parents would always leave every Christmas light on in the house and outside on Christmas Eve. Usually it would still be dark outside when we awoke to Christmas morning so they felt it was magical to have them still be on. And so of course I am all about magical. While I know firefighters will say this is a fire hazard, it is just a tradition I must stick with (making sure there are no frayed cords, of course!!)

We do turn the fire off ;)


9. Christmas Day PJ's and Routine
Christmas morn is spent taking turns unwrapping presents, hanging in our PJ's, looking at our new stuff, having a nice dinner, usually a red velvet cake for dessert, watching movies like A Christmas Story, maybe playing a game and simply relaxing by candlelight.


Christmas funny gift: Silly Straws

Bonus: The SANTA Purse
Years ago Bath and Body had these adorable bags in red and brown with these darling fluffy white balls hanging from them. They were filled with Bath and Body products. The next year I decided to use it as a purse and people went crazy for it. Although the balls are getting a little dingy now, I still pull it out and carry it around while shopping.

What are your cherished Christmas traditions? I'd love to hear about them!!


xoxo














FRIDAY FAVORITES...Black Friday Edition

Is your belly still full? I know mine is. Let the games begin. I mean the festive Holiday season!! This time of year is when we all should reflect on the joy in our hearts and pass it on. Whether it be a smile, a hug, a good deed, helping someone in need, helping a neighbor...doesn't matter what it is as long as it comes from the heart. My heart is not in Black Friday anymore but I am getting my festive and family on big time today!!! Happy Weekending and for those of you to do Black Friday, may you score whatever it is you're looking for and not get trampled!!


1. NOT Shopping Today
NO way, NO How, NOT gonna do it!!! Even if the Target Lady was there in person (because I LOVE her) I am not going!! Did I mention, I'm not going???



2. Chopping Down Our Christmas Tree
Monday I will be discussing all our family traditions and this is one of the biggies. Taking the whole fam to breakfast, chopping down a Fraser Fir and taking a family photo that sometimes makes in on Christmas cards and other times, does not.

Last year tree lot photo

3. Holiday Cocktails
How pretty!!
Recipe HERE


4. Light Food
How full are those bellies today? So I know you all have leftovers but with the season of gorging upon us now, sometimes you need some lighter fair like this perfect salad.
 

5. Black Friday Humor
 Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard at these. So true, so true!!!
These next two are my favorites...probably because I am a Hunger Games and Doggy fan!!

 Linking up with  Amanda // Friday Favorites  // Oh Hey, Friday   // High 5 For Friday // Oh Hey, Friday // Five on Friday
xoxo

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Simple as that. I am blessed by each one of you who stops by this lil ole' blog and my blessings in life abound. May you and your loved ones be surrounded in joy, laughter and a feast so grand!!!
XOXO

RE-CREATION~A THANKSGIVING OUTFIT

It's been awhile since I did an outfit re-creation from a Pinterest outfit Pin, so how bout a comfy wear one for Thanksgiving? While we tend to get a little more dressed up at Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving at my mom's is very laid back and comfy.


This Macy's cowl neck sweater is so comfy. The pants were suppose to be more like joggers but I found these banded ankle leggings at Old Navy and they work best for me. I will probably pair this outfit with boots and actually slip on my Ugg slippers when 
I get there.

I felt like this outfit needed some color so I added a turquoise and antiqued gold
Owl Necklace. White button down is from Kohl's in a size too big for more the slouchy look.

Style and Company Cowl Neck Sweater from Macy's Here

Cute Owl Necklace from Claire's

Have fun prepping those yummy dishes for the feast tomorrow!!! Blessing to you all!!


ANTIPASTO BAKE

If you like Antipasto Platters and all things Italian, then this recipe is for you. My boys were even talking about it the next day: "What was that thing you made last night? It was really good!" It is so easy too so it was a Whammy of a Win Win for us all.

It is also really festive looking and is perfect for this time of year when you want something really yummy but are short on time or you're busy dipping buckeye balls in chocolate and need something to throw in the oven quick while your dipping over the stove.
Yum  

What you'll need

ANTIPASTO BAKE

Ingredients:
1/4 pound salami
1/4 pound ham
1/4 pound pepperoni or one small package
8 sliced Swiss cheese
8 slices Provolone cheese
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
2 cans crescent rolls
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper 


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with one of he cans of crescent rolls. Layer meats, sliced cheeses and red peppers on top of the dough. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs slightly, and stir in the Parmesan cheese and black pepper. Pour 3/4 of this mixture over the peppers. Unroll the 2nd can of crescents and place over the top of the peppers. Brush with the remaining egg mixture. Cove with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes, remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes, or until dough is fluffy and golden brown. Let sit about 10 minutes and then cut into squares. Enjoy!!

Bakes up so very yummy and cuts in great little squares. You could cut these even smaller and use for an appetizer tray.


XOXO
Linking this with Weekend Potluck

DECKING OUR HALLS


Next Monday, I am part of a 2016 Christmas Home Tour Blog Hop but I thought for Show and Tell Tuesday with Momfessionals, I'd link up my decor from 2015. 

I know a lot of people wait till the day after Thanksgiving to do their Christmas decorating. However, I love it so much that I need it in my house as long as possible so the halls have been decked! We do have a tradition of getting our tree the day after Thanksgiving so that will be my last bit. The house currently has 10 lighted trees and the next step will be wrapping what gifts I do have (not many yet) to have some pretty packages under the tree when we bring it home. Last weekend my boys and husband were huge help to me in getting outside decorated and some higher-ups spots in our house. I do respect that not all are ready for Holiday decor this early so we wait to turn the outside lights on until that day after Thanksgiving. 
So Friday, the switch gets flipped!! 

I literally could make about 3 posts from all the holiday decorating in our house but I'll just highlight my favorites.

Target and TJ Maxx have the BEST Holiday Pillows

The mantle is one of my favorite areas to decorate. I usually snip fresh sprigs from the bottom of the tree so in the next week or two I'll put up the stockings but this year I added the double tiered banner and I really like it for now. I'll pull that down and perhaps string from a set of windows once the stockings get hung.





In this picture from last's year's tree you can see the stockings are hung by PEACE letters and are brown and red

The ledge is a focal point and wow does it ever help to have sons who can get up there and hanging those giant balls. I added the set of owls lasy year and just love them.


This old truck picture just makes me smile. It and the swag were 50% at Michael's a couple weeks ago and I just love how this little nook turned out.


I have many so these woodland type pencil trees that I simply dangled some ribbon streamers and made bows for the tops. My awesomely automated husband put them on timers that we have apps for on our phones to turn them on and off!!

This lovely arrangement sits on top our wine console. I don't burn these candles but after 6 years in the arrangement, when you walk by, you still get a light sniff of vanilla.

The front door is such a focal point of a house so I love doing it up classically. Two topiary Christmas tress are a must and I added the mesh to the lighted garland last year and we stored it in a big tub all put together and this year just pulled it out, hung and did a little tweaking. 

Love how this turned out!!



Thanks to my guys for making mama happy and thanks to mother nature that we got a Sunday with a balmy 65 degrees. Had we waited til this past weekend, the high was 35 and it snowed 6 inches!!!


xoxo
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