Monday, December 12, 2016

Home for the Holidays!

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays.  I love the decorations, the gift giving and most importantly the annual traditions that have become family favorites over the years and that truly make the holiday season special for us.

We have brunch with our high school friends and their families who have now become our Nashoba cousins.  It is so fun that our children are not only growing up knowing each other but are truly friends themselves.  We take annual pictures with Santa (much to my teenage daughter's chagrin- I remind them that someday they will be happy that I made them, and that some traditions are for their mother's happiness!) 

We go to my dad and step mom's and make sandbalkeser cookies and peppermint bark to give away to family and friends.

We gather at our house with my mom and step dad with three kitchenmaids and our double ovens to make loaves and loaves of our favorite challah bread.

We also try so hard to teach our children the reason for the season.  We give presents to a shelter in town where women and children are not living in their own homes for the holiday, we have our children pick their own causes to give to with their own money on Giving Tuesday, we randomly treat the people behind us in line at Starbucks to their afternoon coffee and we have been known to litter parking lot windows with lottery tickets, just because.  We enjoy shopping for family and friends and finding the perfect gift and then wrapping it with our favorite three elves!

We bake and craft and make things that take time and thought for our family and friends.  I love being crafty and the holidays give me an excuse to get creative and take time out of our busy lives to fit crafting and creating into our routine.  

We encourage the girls to spend time with their friends doing things they love.  We focus on spending time with the people we love and not just on gift giving.  This year the girls had a gingerbread house party and each could invite three friends.  The girls helped us clean, bake and get the house ready for our festive night with friends.  

Each year we add to our family Christmas card display.  I love capturing my children just where they are and having this collection of Christmas cards to look back at over the years.  I love taking family pictures for others and designing their Christmas cards.  I joke that I could be a professional Christmas card maker because I derive such pleasure out of creating cards for others.  Getting the mail in December is so much more fun when the mailbox is filled with Christmas cards and holiday letters from friends and family!  We love displaying the cards of our loved ones in a prominent place!

I especially love how cozy our home feels around the holidays.  Candles and lights in every room.  A touch of Santa or a Christmas tree in every corner.  A fire in the fireplace and writing Christmas cards by the light of the Christmas tree.  The girls and their friends filling every room with their laughter as they make gingerbread houses.  Having family here to bake and celebrate the season.   Over the years I have amassed quite a few ornaments, decorations, and collectibles that we bring out each Christmas season to decorate our house.  Come on in and look around.  Welcome to our home all dressed up for the holidays!

I hope you are carving out time in this busy holiday season for the traditions that make your heart and home happy.  Don't feel like you have to do it all.  Know when to say enough.  Take time to breath in the scents, the sounds, the warmth and the feeling of the holiday season.  This time of year with our children is a gift.  I'm planning to enjoy every minute of the season leading up to fancy Christmas Eve dinner with extended family and our matching pajama, cocoa & love filled Christmas morning!  

Cozy up and enjoy all that the season has to offer!

Wishing you all the joys of this holiday season from our home to yours!