Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Titus 2sday: Traditions

I grew up with a lot of holiday traditions.  They are all pretty typical, ranging from when we decorate our tree to the kinds of Christmas cookies we make to making sure we get out to see Christmas lights to watching the Christmas cantata at church.

I've heard though that it's important to create your own traditions with your own family.  It can be hard to fit more in (because I just can't give up the traditions I grew up with!) but we've done a few things that are pretty special to us.

1.  We get a real tree.
This is cool to me because I grew up with an artificial tree.  I've really enjoyed picking out our own fresh tree.  It feels so special and Christmas-y.  So it's worth it, even if it's more expensive in the long-run than a fake tree.

2.  This year we went to see a live nativity and- seriously- it was so cool.
They did a great job, it was simple and Biblical, and Sweet Pea loved it.  She especially loved shouting "HORSE!" at the camels, which made everyone around us laugh.  It's something I definitely want to keep doing, especially because it's a tradition that focuses on the real meaning of Christmas.

Sorry about my foggy lens...
3.  We make caramel apples.
I may have to kick myself for this one, because it's a lot of work, but this is the second year I've made caramel apples for family stockings.  My family LOVES them.  My friend Jen has helped me both years, and we had so much fun hanging out, decorating, and snacking on the leftovers.

I can't seem to figure out how to get the chocolate to harden well, or how to get the caramel to stay well!  Pointers?

I'm also hoping our little elves-in-training party will become a tradition.  We had a lot of fun this year!

Now for a brief picture session of an old tradition.  We didn't get to our tried-and-true sugar cookie tradition this year until the day after Christmas.  And yes, our sugar cookies are gluten-free!  The secret is to add xanthan gum to your gluten-free baking flour mix and to make sure your dough is thoroughly, completely chilled.  (Like, as in, overnight-in-the-fridge kind of thoroughly chilled.)

What, you don't let your kids lick knives?

Annnnd we opted for a popsicle stick instead.  Thanks, Nana.

That's my girl!
Very focused on decorating that cookie...

...no, wait, check that...very focused on eating icing

Sorry for all of the spit in the cookies this year, family.

"Don't you know you need milk with cookies?  And I can't walk in this apron, people."
What traditions have you started with your own family?  Or do you just carry on the ones you had as a kid?


  1. I love the holiday traditions! James is starting to use scissors so we made paper snowflakes and hung them in our windows. We also started elf on a shelf this year. He named him George!

  2. You did the elves in training party!! That's awesome! I saw something like that on kellehampton.com. You read Enjoying the Small Things, right? Anyhow--so cool that you did one of your own! Wish we lived closer!


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