christmas traditions | blogmas day 23

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If I knew back on November 28 ( when I first decided that I seriously wanted to attempt blogging every day until Christmas ) how hard it would be to keep up with Blogmas, I’m really not sure that I would have chosen to do it.

Bloggers who blog every single day, without a break, are my serious idols.

It is tough work.

I mean somedays you have no ideas, you’re pressed for time, your picture files are too big and you have to re-take them ( OMG ANNOYING ), you’re tired, you have other things you absolutely have to dedicate your time to, or like, you just don’t want to sit and write ( being real here ).

I’m really glad that I have ALMOST successfully completed it. I love challenges and setting goals for myself and I HATE not reaching them, so I like an internal fight. Even though it gets annoying sometimes.

As you may or may not be able to tell, I gave up on the 5 pm blog posting time like a long time ago. But hey, there’s still posts going up.

Re-vamping my blog life for January 1… stay tuned.

Anyway, to the point of today’s post… Christmas traditions!

My family definitely has some things that we do every single year without fail. I love each and every one of them ( mostly HA ) and I love being able to do them all with my fav people.

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Christmas starts out with my brother and I surprising my mom and decorating the house for her. There’s typically an inservice day in the end of November/beginning of December and we completely Christmasify the house. It’s so fun.

We always pick out a Christmas tree as a family and decorate it together. My dad always does the lights ( and then my mom gets picky and acts like a perfectionist and usually ends up re-doing them ha ), then we all decorate together. We each have special ornaments so we all put those on ourselves but the basic ones we just grab and put on. We always put an angel on top of our tree. My dad bought it for my mom their first Christmas together, which is SO cute. What do you guys put on top of your tree?

My mom bakes THE best shortbread cookies, so she always bakes at least 2 batches… sometimes we can talk her in to more haha. She won’t make them any other time of the year and I’ve never been able to see the recipe… it’s top secret and so delicious.

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I loveeee driving around looking at Christmas lights. Usually there are a few neighbourhoods with a ton of realllly lit up houses but I was let down this year! This house has been my fav since I was a little kid though, I love the Ho Ho Ho on the roof and the way they have so many lights on the big tree out front.

Watching a ton of Christmas movies ( ELF 24/7 ) and listening to Christmas music is a must during December.

On December 6, St Nick comes and brings us some goodies. We have dinner at my grandparents and then we get our treats – usually a gingerbread house, some windshield washer fluid ( ugggh being old is lame, I used to get a toy!! ), chocolate, Christmas ornaments and a book! <<< my mom grew up in Europe and this is a tradition we have always done. I love it!

I love shopping with my mom for Christmas gifts and my brother and I usually do all of our shopping together too, with a breakfast at Cora’s first – but we didn’t this year because he couldn’t take a day off school. <<<<<< boo high school and exemptions!

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I always force Daniel and my brother to make gingerbread houses with me. This year, St Nick brought us a gingerbread village to decorate. I turn into a psychopath and control everything AKA I man the icing and usually control the decorations too, but this year, they had full run of the decorations. <<<< this is why it’s not patterned or colour co-ordinated… #boys

I think it turned out pretty cute though. Making gingerbread houses is one of my favourite Christmas things to do.

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We used to have a mixture of bags and different wrapping paper under the tree, but one year my mom found these rolls of wrapping paper at Costco that are reversible and now each year, she picks a theme and we stick with it. Seriously, under the tree looks SO good with every present boxed and wrapped in the same wrapping paper ( no bags ). It makes my perfectionist heart happy.

My brother and I do all of the wrapping. Mom boxes it up and sticks an inital on it. I wrap it and I con my brother in to doing ribbons and bows, along with gift tags, every year. He’s almost 16 now, so I’m pretty sure he’s OVER IT and he’ll pawn it off on my mom. Whatever works! I had a picture of Daniel’s presents and stocking but the file was too big WHO WOULDA THOUGHT ugh, having some technical issues lately. But anyway, his presents look so good too. He’s obsessed with the black and red buffalo check so of course, everything’s wrapped in that paper, plus his stocking is the same pattern. 🙂

We have a ton of other traditions too…

Christmas Eve is a tradition filled day around my house. My parents always make “Christmas Eve Pie” for dinner aka a ham and cheese quiche, plus a chocolate log for dessert ( so gross… I prefer to fill up on appetizers and scrambled eggs ). She makes this sick cheese ball thing with bacon and green onions in it, that we only have on Christmas Eve and at our family reunion in the summer so it’s pretty special when she busts out that recipe. It is TO DIEEEE. So that ends up being basically my Christmas Eve dinner and I don’t hate it. We always have my grandparents over for dinner and then we take basic ( BUT SO NECESSARY ) family pictures in front of the tree and fireplace. Then we’ll finish last minute wrapping after my grandpa goes home, watch a Christmas movie ( or curling or hockey or basketball ) and then Santa comes!

Christmas morning includes my dad and I sneaking off to Tim Horton’s and bringing everyone coffee, opening out stockings from Santa #duh ( where everything’s wrapped in princess wrapping paper for me and some dark boy-ish wrapping paper for my brother, Santa knows what’s up ), and eating a breakfast filled with sausages, bacon, eggs and clementines. Then we move on to the tree, where we open gifts one at a time and laugh a ton. We used to have ham sandwiches for a late lunch but now that we’re older we go out to a hotel for Christmas dinner ( SO NOT my fav tradition, but… let’s not go there today ). Then we come home and crash. Daniel usually comes over in the evening and we do our gift exchange, and relax some more.

Christmas doesn’t stop on the 25th. Boxing Day is filled with World Juniors Hockey, lazaing around, eating more sweets and having appetizer/finger food for dinner. Sometimes included is a party at Daniel’s grandparents – if the timing works!

Do you guys have any traditions that you love? Let me know!

2 more sleeps!!

xx julieann

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