Ever since I started hosting my parents on Christmas, for 7 years now, I've been figuring out what traditions I want to keep from my childhood (lasagna for Christmas eve dinner and cinnamon buns on christmas day) and what traditions I want to create (decorating a gingerbread house... then it was cookies... this year sugar cookies but the idea is still evolving). After marrying Dave I got to choose what traditions we borrowed from his family (Carrot Chowder/Tomato soup and their method of stocking gifting- though that will have to change next year since Santa fills stockings, not family.
I just love our mantle. I love the way our stockings and the wreath really make the fireplace look especially festive. I love that Santa will fill these stockings! SO FUN!
Now some of these traditions are 'in the works' but I love them even more. For example, the first year we decorated a gingerbread house the roof slid off, the cookies were rock solid because I bought the kit and there was probably as much saliva on the house as frosting but we didn't care. My parents and Grampa groaned when I told them this was a new tradition (and they had to do it, damn it) but by the end of the day we laughed so much about that darn gingerbread house it was the perfect memory to a newly created tradition. Last year, the cookies were decorated in interesting fashion- some headless, some with babies in their belly and we had so much fun doing it. (some were even decorated in naughty fashion, an homage to Grampa). I was thrilled at the enthusiasm and just love love love this every changing tradition- and we get to do it TWO times, once with each family- SO FUN!
And then there is our very crooked tree. No, we didn't put it up crooked. When we got it home we realized the trunk makes an S type curve in the middle. It looks like it's falling over but it's actually quite secure (and we tied it up to the stair railing). Since it is long and lean it took only minutes to decorate (which made Dave very happy) and only 1/2 of our ornaments- since we avoided the bottom part and our breakable ornaments. Nolan loves looking at the outdoor lights and our neighbor's lighted reindeer but he hasn't really been as amazed by the tree in our living room as much as I thought he would be. However it's only been up and lighted for about 8 hours so we still have time. :)