Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas At The Sprague's

Almost every year since we've been married, we've been able to go to California around Christmas time. Because we went to California for Thanksgiving this year, we will not be able to make it there for Christmas. I've decided this year that because Hannah is getting old enough to recognize what Christmas is, it's time to start some of our own traditions. We put up our decorations on Monday and I was actually quite proud of the way the tree turned out. We usually just have random ornaments that were given to us by our parents and no cute color scheme. Last year I bought some red and gold decorations after Christmas, so I got them for a good deal. The tree actually has a small theme going on this year. Sure, I added the important ornaments from our parents (Some are hidden in the back. Do you have those ugly ornaments from when you were born like we do?), but a lot of them are new!

One tradition that I enjoy is that every year we decorate the tree together. This year we did it while watching Frosty The Snowman. When we are done with school and have a house to fill with decorations, we will get a real tree every year that I hope to be able to chop down with my family. There is nothing like the smell of a real Christmas tree; believe me, I've tried the Christmas tree scented candle.....not even close.

Cost of two strings of lights: $10
The feeling of seeing Christmas lights in a bush on the outside of your apartment, even if it is only two strings and looks absolutely pathetic: priceless

some day:

As part of the Christmas tradition, we also like to make goodies for other people. These cookies were the grossest sugar cookies I've ever tasted, so we didn't give them out, but we'll try again next week with a different recipe.

A tradition that I've started this year was something that my mom did for us as kids. She used to make bear Christmas ornaments every year for each of us. I used to get very excited to see what my bear would look like. She wrote our names on the bottom of it, which made me feel special. I still have all of my bears and hang them on our tree every year. This year I made one for Hannah, one for me, and one for Scott. I plan to do this every year for each of our kids. Hannah loved helping me make the bears and hang them on the tree, and I really enjoyed making them.
Other traditions that I enjoyed as a kid were reading the nativity story on Christmas Eve, lasagna with sausage and meatballs on Christmas day (we're Italian), and not seeing ANY of my gifts until Christmas morning (It leaves a fun suspense to do it that way). I plan on keeping those traditions with my kids as well. Feel free to take any of my traditions if they interest you. I would love to hear some of your favorite traditions (or you can just leave a comment even if you don't have any traditions).


MOM said...

Maran your tree is beautiful. (Is that big present mine behind the tree?) hee hee. And I love your little bears, they are so cute! How did you know how to do it? Did you just copy your old ones? I am surprised they haven't fallen apart yet. Ihave a great sugar cookie recipe that I love. Maybe I'll make them when I come up. I think I'll e mail the recipe to you. good luck. Love ya

Hollie said...

Wow! You've been busy with Christmas lately. We're trying to think of a new Christmas tradition that will be meaningful to our family. I'd like to hear some ideas. Some traditions we have are: take a pic with Santa at the mall ( I have one every year since Taylor was 1 1/2), open up PJ gifts on Christmas Eve, read the Christmas story of Christ's birth on Christmas Eve, and drive around and look at Christmas lights. Some years we have done the "12 Days of Christmas" to others in our neighborhood.

Cori said...

I love the tree, ours is red and gold as well. Gotta love it. PS. I have an AMAZING sugar cookie recipe if you are interested. From my mom, seriously the best I've ever tasted and REALLY easy.

The Kradolfers said...

Red and gold must be the thing, ours is read and gold too. Yours looks great. Its so fun to continue and make new christmas traditions. I love watching all the Christmas movies, Charlie Brown Christmas is my favorite. We had a Charlie Brown christmas tree at my dad's when we were little and decorated it with homemade stuff, popcorn, construction paper style. One of my favorite Christmas memories...and Id like to do it with my kids some day. Merry Christmas!

Marc and Stacy said...

Your house looks adorable, I love it!!! Marc had our tree up like two weeks before thanksgiving! We were a little excited, apparently. :) I love your traditions. Marc and I were just talking last night about needing to start our own traditions. I think that I'm going to go and find a kids set nativity and a childrens book about the nativity and make that a christmas eve or day tradition that we read as a family and use the kids nativity to enact it. Something like that. Montana can say Ho Ho Ho and knows all about Santa and Snowmen, but I want her to grasp the concept of Jesus' birth.
I want all the great recipes you get for sugar cookies. The one I use is really good too, just on the back of the Gold Medal Flour bag. But...I'm always looking for even better recipes to try! :)
Love ya!

kerrie said...

Funny thing...I had planned on making the bear ornaments this year too. I've got them almost done and I'm going to give it to them in their stocking. As for traditions, we have always been visiting family so this will be our first year with just our little family. So...this will be the first year of traditions. Here are some traditions that we are starting: decorate tree with christmas music and hot chocolate, advent calendar, every FHE about Christmas/nativity, make a letter for santa and leave it in our bird feeder for the birds to take to santa, make reindeer food and leave it out on Christmas eve, tell the christmas story on christmas eve and have allie open one gift for the family (a children's puzzle). I'll make lasagna too. Anyway, I think your bear ornaments are darling.

Jen said...

I love your tree! Mine is red and gold as well. That's great that you're starting the bear ornaments so early. I've heard of other families getting an ornament each year that matches their personality at the time (like a tinkerbell one if they love tinkerbell, soccer one etc.) The bears turned out cute... I remember loving to get those as well.

I have the same traditions as Hollie except the picture with Santa Claus (I like that one though- it's fun to see her kids growing up each year). We do the advent calendar and decorating the tree while music plays- and hot chocolate to drink as well.

Price family said...

Ah, your tree looks beautiful!I guess red and gold is the thing because thats what we have going on too!I love your bear ornaments.I might have to steal that tradition.David still has his and they are up on the tree every year(though some are in a much need of repair).

Oh, can you pass that sugar cookie recipe my way.I need to make some for Sam's class next week.

RachelBarker said...

Those cookies look so good! Wondering if I could get your address??