'tis the season for: tradition

Traditions. That is what's on my mind today concerning Christmas. Traditions are such a fun way to celebrate the Christmas season, each family having their own. Well, this afternoon I am sharing a few of mine with you.

Cinnamon rolls. Every Christmas morning, ever since I can even remember there being a Christmas holiday, has been spent opening up our presents from Santa with a warm plate of homemade cinnamon rolls. My mom, sister and I make the dough, roll it out and add our favorite ingredients to it: caramel, nuts, cinnamon, raisins....

Nutcrackers. I was 4 when I got the first Nutcracker of my growing collection. Each year after that my sis and I have received a Nutcracker from my parents. Usually they are tied in some way to the year before. For instance one year my sister was the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz, so my mom found a Tin Man Nutcracker. Another year the theme of my banquet at school {like Prom for our school} was Pirates of the Caribbean and my mom managed to find a Pirate Nutcracker. Didn't think that was possible.

Elf + Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer + Muppet Christmas special. These are probably 3 of our favorite Christmas specials. I have seen them too many times to count and take so many of their quotes into my every day Christmas banter. I mean, "Don't slip on the icy patch!" and "Son of a Nutcracker!" and just 2 of the most delightful phrases ever. Where would we be if we couldn't quote such classy movies as these!

PJ's. This is the attire for our Christmas Eve events {after the children's program of course} and also the attire for our Christmas day events. Staying at home all day and relaxing with family is the best present of all.

Seafood. This is our tradition for Christmas Eve supper. We don't bother with the traditional food, but have a little treat that reminds us of home {California}.

Gift exchange. A gift exchange is a great way for our family along with my cousins, uncles and aunts to celebrate Christmas. We're gathering together a few days after Christmas to celebrate the festivities before our family jets off to Chicago for a few days.

Baking. Pies are my favorite to bake {as my cousin J knows}. It's my tradition to bake the pies, and I do it with pleasure. A few of my favorites are: triple berry, caramel apple, and pumpkin spice latte cheesecake. I'm always looking for new recipes, so if you have a favorite, please let me know!

Puzzles. When I think of Christmas puzzles I always think of the relatives of my mom's side, especially my Grandma Drews. She seems to be the queen of puzzles, staying up into the late hours of the night to add a few more pieces to the festive puzzle.

Pictures. Capturing moments of the celebrations is something we do in abundance and I'm sure many others do as well. Pictures are a timeless keepsake that can instantly put you back into the atmosphere of that particular event.

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