Holiday traditions can be meaninful, fun, a pain in the butt, and change from year to year as we grow. I remember making and eating homemade cookies with my mom growing up, but maybe I remember it more fondly than the reality, or maybe we didn't really do it every year. For the past 3 years I have made cookies with Gwen and we did it again this year. I let her pick which kind to make - Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies and we made the dough together. She was disappointed that it had to sit in the fridge 2 hours before rolling it out. In that time frame we made and decorated Spritz cookies. By the time we got around to rolling and cutting the gingerbread cookies we were getting tired and cranky. Maddy helped some, which she enjoyed. Before dinner, I gave each kid a cookie, mini M&M's and frosting to decorate their cookie. Jack dove into his snack and demanded more cookies. Maddy touched each M&M to the cookie before eating it. Only Gwen pain stakingly placed 300 M&M's on one butterfly cookie before eating it. She also decorated a few more with Alex. I quickly covered any remaining cookies with icing and sprinkles to finish them off. It was a long day, and I remember in kid-free years past making 5 different kinds of cookies in one day. I can't imagine getting that much done now! Maybe next year I will let Pillsbury make the dough and the kids decorate while I make the more elaborate cookies.
Other holiday traditions for the Mills family -
Driving around to see Christmas lights (yes, I'm my mother's daughter)
Leaving cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer
Opening gifts Christmas morning (not Christmas Eve for us)
Not attending church - this isn't a NICE tradition, but I can't imagine the tourture of 3 little kids and long Christmas service. This will change eventually.
Dad decorating outside - John put up the inflatables and lights, the house looks lovely
Mom decorating inside - Tree is up, Christmas village is lit and the stockings are hung
Traditions to begin -
Elf on the Shelf - Jenna sent it last week, I'm looking forward to having a good behavior weapon
Special holiday meals - since my kids refuse to eat anything consistantly, we don't have a favorite go-to-meal that is special. Last year Aunt Jenna made lasanga, which was awesome. Growing up Christmas Eve was Busha's pierogis, golabki (stuffed cabbage), mushroom soup and her special rolls. Christmas Day was ham, Cheesy potatoes, shrimp, green jello and Grandma's coconut cream pie.
What are your holiday traditions?