Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Traditions

Along with getting a real Christmas tree, decorating the house, listening to non-stop Christmas songs, sending and collecting Christmas cards, and seeing a Christmas show, we have a few other traditions we enjoy this time of year. I'm sure they will change over the years, but for now these are a few more of the things we look forward to the most every year at Christmas time.


Christmas Movies
We have quite a large collection of Christmas DVDs. We watch all of them every year, plus a few on the DVR that haven't made their way to our collection just yet (this year: Polar Express and 12 Dates of Christmas...they were good, but not sure that we will be purchasing either of them). Bo's favorite movie is A Christmas Story, and mine is The Grinch. We usually watch those and a few other favorites at least two or three times each year. We especially enjoy watching Christmas movies while wearing our Christmas socks.



Holiday Drinks
Once it starts getting cold outside we make some hot chocolate to sip on while we watch our nightly movies.



Bo loves eggnog, and I have finally acquired the taste after him forcing me to drink it the past few years. With enough liquor, cinnamon, and nutmeg, I hardly even notice the eggnog ;)



We usually like seasonal beers, but we still haven't found a Christmas beer that we love. This year we picked up a six-pack of Abita Christmas Ale...we thought it was just okay. Better luck next year.



This year we also enjoyed a special Christmas red champagne from our most recent Chandon club shipment. It was soo good!



Gingerbread House
I have never built a gingerbread house, and this year we finally did one together. This has been in the works for a few years now. One year I made the horrid mistake of picking up a kit at Target with pre-made gingerbread. Well, according to Bo, that was completely unacceptable. Since his whole purpose in building a gingerbread house was just to tear it down and eat it, he wanted homemade gingerbread from scratch. Which of course meant that he wanted ME to find the right kind of kit and he then wanted ME to bake it. I didn't have time for that so I gave up on the whole idea and had forgotten about it until our Holiday edition of the Food Network magazine came last month, and we saw an ad for a really awesome kit (www.cutterkit.com). The ordering and shipping was kinda sketchy - their email address didn't work, I couldn't contact anyone about my order, I never got a shipping confirmation, and after about 2 weeks I was starting to get nervous that I had been scammed (since I had already been charged for it) when one day it finally showed up on our front porch. All the way from Norway. So yea, good thing I ordered it at the beginning of the month or else we would have had to wait yet another year to do it. We had a lot of fun building and decorating it. And probably even more fun taking it apart and eating it!





We made (and ate) a lot of gingerbread men during the process :)


At Bo's request, the first-ever gingerbread stegosaurus. Such a child.

Molly also apparently likes gingerbread. After I had baked the house and was letting it cool, she somehow, very sneakily, managed to grab the entire front of the house and eat the whole thing before we could even find a crumb. Thankfully I had a lot of extra dough so I could make another one... 


Festive Treats
I really enjoy baking - especially for Christmas. I definitely get that from my mom!  In addition to the gingerbread house and gingerbread men (and the dinosaur...), I made a few other fun treats this year when I got into a Christmas frenzy one weekend in the kitchen.

I saw chocolate covered pretzel sticks on Pinterest, and pinned it as one of those things that are cute and fun but that I never actually planned to do. I've tried and failed miserably using baker's chocolate and was too intimidated to do it again, until Kristin shared her chocolate tip (aka: secret ingredient) here. So I decided to try it with the pretzel sticks, and it really was super easy. And a lot of fun. It made me want to dip everything in chocolate. Luckily I only bought one package of it. (Note #1 to Atlanta shoppers: I could only find the chocolate at Walmart Supercenter. If you know me, you know I looked everywhere else first.)



Katherine hosted our 3rd annual girls night cookie exchange earlier this month (my fav girls night event of the year!). Also found on pinterest, I made these peanut butter reindeer cookies (recipe here). Cute and delicious. I also got some really yummy treats in return!





And of course, it's not Christmas time without decorating sugar cookies. However, since I had a lot of leftover gingerbread dough and since Bo does not like sugar cookies, I made an exception this year and decorated gingerbread cookies instead. I usually make frosting too, but this year I made another exception to try Mindee's glaze, when (in perfect timing!) she posted about her family's tradition of painting cookies here.  Let me tell you, her glaze recipe is awesome and the decorating is so much fun. It is really easy to make, once you can find the ingredients. (Note #2 to Atlanta shoppers: I could only find the meringue powder at Hobby Lobby.)  Bo ended up traveling for work this week, so I ended up decorating the cookies by myself. I had a blast, and I'll definitely be doing it again, but hopefully Bo can join me next year :)



Winter Puzzle
It's no secret that we love playing board games and doing puzzles. Even though it's not really Christmas-y, we do this winter puzzle every year. It's nice to enjoy a few quiet nights together at home during all the hustle and bustle of the season.



And more...
Now that we are home in Florida for Christmas, we are looking forward to my family's Christmas traditions. It's been two years since we've spent Christmas with them, and even though Bo and I have quite a few of our own traditions that we really enjoy doing together, it still doesn't feel like it's Christmas to me until I'm home with my family.

1 comment:

  1. XOXO thanks for the shout :) LOVE the Christmas socks part hehe! Cute!

    ReplyDelete

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