{Christmas Traditions}

Friday, December 24, 2010
One of my favorite things about Christmas is all the family traditions that have been passed down, and new ones we're creating with our own family. It's something to look forward to the entire year, even the kids are starting to remember them.

For documentation purposes, here are some of our family traditions:

1. In early November, all of the women on my mom's side (really we take our kids too so there are guys there) but we all gather and bring TONS of cookies for our cookie exchange. This year each of us made 4 dozen per person ... yeah, add that one up :) This way we do not have to bake very much during the holidays and we have an assortment of cookies. We also make my Grandma's famous sugar cookies there, so the kids can cut them out and frost them!

2. Every year, a week or two before Christmas, we pack up and head to KC for my mom's side of the family. It's our "Steak Fondue" Christmas celebration. Have you ever had Steak Fondue? It's SO yummy and unique. We all are able to sit around the table, talk and cook our own food. It allows for a longer dinner, which is wonderful when you haven't had a chance to catch up with family for a while.

3. Of course we always take the kids to see Santa sometime between Thanksgiving & Christmas, it's always funny to see how they will react. I love it! Lately, Bass Pro has offered FREE pictures at their locations, so we don't have to go to the mall and pay a ridiculous price for their pictures, which are bad quality too! Plus, who doesn't love to walk around Bass Pro, we all think it's fun!

4. Christmas Eve is a big day for us. You can usually find me in the kitchen baking something for dinner that night. The kids are off playing, and Ryan is usually putting gifts together that need to be assembled before time. We all go to a Christmas Eve service at our church just down the road, and afterwards head to Ryan's Grandma's house for dinner. This is not just any dinner ... this is Surf n' Turf Dinner ... complete with steak and king crab legs. Seriously, my favorite meal of the whole entire year! What's great about this dinner, is it's Ryan's family & my family ... now how many people can say that? It's great to have us all under one roof. After dinner the kids get to open some gifts and we all sit around and relax and the men indulge in some Crown. AND after all of that, we head back to our house, and throw some cookies dough (made that morning) into the oven for Santa. Baths are taken and we all curl up and read The Polar Express. Nothing is better than that!

Christmas morning we all wake up and enjoy our family Christmas with all the Santa gifts as well. Eat a good breakfast and go crazy with excitement! This is one of my favorite times! Once we all clean up and shower, we head over to Ryan's parents for gift giving, lunch and just relax.

Christmas evening we head over to Ryan's Grandma's Sisters, where the whole extended family is for food and games. Usually the women are upstairs playing board games and the men go downstairs and play poker. It's a great way to end the Christmas day. And as you can imagine, we are all EXHAUSTED afterwards!

What are some of your family traditions?


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