Saturday, November 16, 2019

4 Years of Holiday Pictures + Traditions

Yesterday's post about traditions really got me thinking about what ours are, which led me to an extensive session of scrolling through old photos. I LOVED every second of it. Except for the part where I had to get the photos from my phone to this is not my strong suit.
Anyway, it was so fun looking back over the last few years. Why did I only go back a few years? Because those are the photos I have on my phone, but regardless, it was a big insight into what we've been valuing over the years and some of the little traditions we've formed maybe without even knowing it.

October is maybe my favorite month because it's the first sign of fall festivities and a promise that Christmas is right around the corner. I start to cook with as much pumpkin as possible and play Christmas music. This year was probably the first year that Halloween was actually fun. The kiddos are big enough to choose costumes they love and get excited about going door-to-door asking for candy. We usually carve/paint/draw on pumpkins, too, which is something I grew up doing. I'm looking forward to Treats in the Streets, our local fall trick-or-treating event, and spending Halloween night with our closest friends and their kiddos in the years ahead. Oh, and seeing our kiddos get excited about their costumes.

November holds my husband's and my mom's favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. For me, it's another sign that Christmas is closer. This month always includes lots of family, cooking, and group photos. We've spent Thanksgiving day with my side of the family each year, an event that has been over 50 people some years. This past year was probably one of my favorites even though it was very heavy. My dad was one-month post-liver transplant and I was in the middle of a miscarriage. We flew to spend the holiday with my parents in Florida, where my dad was receiving care, which was a crazy adventure, but very special. Some traditions that have started since Josh and I got married are pumpkin pancakes Thanksgiving AM and a lot of cooking on our part. Josh has brought a handful of dishes from his childhood to spice up Thanksgiving dinner. I wasn't a huge fan at first, but I've really come to enjoy them. 

December is my most favorite month. Our orange tree produces so much fruit so Josh makes it a point to squeeze fresh juice as often as possible. Citrus will forever remind me of winter, especially because my parents also have an orange tree that gave us some Christmas AM goodness for many years. I'm so grateful my husband is on board for Christmas tree shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Citrus + pine = heaven. We've also made it a point to hold Christmas Eve dinner either before or after church service. We make brisket and Martha's mac & cheese and use the leftover meat for Christmas day breakfast burritos. This past year I perfected a homemade cinnamon roll recipe with eggnog frosting and have to toot my own horn. They're delicious. Before breaking them apart we sing happy birthday to Jesus. We also spend some time down in San Diego with Josh's side of the family and the kiddos have a ton of fun with their cousins. Christmas photos and cards happen sometimes...I love getting them but I'm terrible at sending them. 

The Season, in general, is jam-packed with food, family, and fun. Like I talked about yesterday, I want traditions that serve our family and our foundation. They all seem to get more exciting as the years go on and my prayer is that I stay open to the actual foods, events, and locations changing as the needs of our family change. However, at the end of the day, it's about gathering and lifting one another up. 

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