Monday, December 15, 2008

Early Christmas

This year we're changing up Christmas. Our tradition is to spend Christmas Eve with my parents and then spend Christmas Day with the Cook relatives. On Christmas Eve we listen to Christmas music, get dressed up and sip champagne while we listen to my dad read the Christmas story in Luke. Before dinner we each get to open one small gift. My mom's parents are Norwegian and Swedish, so we've inherited the tradition of some Scandinavian food (Swedish meatballs, Lefse--like a thick tortilla, but made out of mashed potato dough and cooked on a griddle, then spread with butter and jam or cinnamon sugar) plus rice pilaf and green beans with spaetzel. After dinner we go to church together, then to one of the Cook relatives' houses for a gift exchange. By then it's getting late, but we always drag ourselves home, get on our comfy jammies and sit down with a cup of hot cocoa to open gifts. We always open one at a time, youngest to oldest. We took our time and enjoyed the process and each other and (before kids) would often be up until the wee hours of the morning.

Over the past few years, it's become tradition for me to make breakfast for everyone on Christmas morning (Keith and I would sleep over at my parents' house to make this easier!). French toast or German apple pancakes, homemade rosemary pork sausages, orange-cranberry yogurt, brown sugar-broiled grapefruit and a special drink. In the afternoon we'd finish our Christmas festivities by going to my aunt and uncle Cook's house for a big family dinner.

This year my parents are flying to London to spend Christmas with Dana and Travis & Keith, Maddie and I are flying to Ohio to be with his family, so we decided to do an early Christmas at our house with Nana and Papa.

Maddie looked beautiful in her new Christmas dress!

Eating cookies on Papa's lap.

Showing off her first gift...a coloring book from Aunt Dana & Uncle Travis. She dove right in and colored with Papa for at least 15 minutes before she even opened another gift!

Nana and Papa got her "hoops" to play in the tubby. We tried them out yesterday and I swear she was in the tub for at least an hour! They're a big hit!

Every year since my sister and I were kids, we got a new ornament for Christmas. Usually the ornament fit with something we were into that year (sports, something we were collecting, etc.) and we wrote our name and the year on the bottom. I want to start that tradition with Maddie, also. When you're old enought to move out of the house, it's so neat to have a big box of personal ornaments that chronicles your childhood. One thing Maddie's really into this year is Thomas the Tank Engine, so my mom found her this glittered train. So cute!

This chic new coat is from Aunt Dana & Uncle Travis. Maddie is so stylin'! She loves it, especially the fur around the hood, and it fits perfectly. Thanks, sis! :-)

Merry Christmas everyone! We'll post pics from Christmas #2 in Ohio as well!

Posted by Picasa


Antique Mommy said...

Oh the joy! She looks like a little doll out of a catalogue in that dress! So adorable...

Katy said...

Lovely! I enjoyed reading about your Christmas traditions. Family and friends are the best!
Love you.

Heather Elizabeth said...

Holy cow. I need to come over and eat your food. I am hungry after reading your lovely traditional menu. Have a Merry Christmas! Love you!