A List Maker's Life: Keeping With Tradition

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Keeping With Tradition

Nothing makes a new house feel like a home quite like family traditions.  The holidays are rich with traditions and it has helped us all feel a bit more settled to know that even though the space is different many special things stay the same.  
Every year I debate whether or not to take on the mess of decorating Christmas cookies with the kids.  Yet, the smiles it brings makes the process worth the sprinkles I am still finding across our wood floors.  Gibson could not stop giggling after the plastic shaker top shook right off the bottle and landed in his cookies under a huge pile of chocolate sprinkles.

 To everyone's delight Sinter Klaas found our wooden shoes, despite our new address, and filled them with goodies.
Mipsy found us too and has been having more fun than usual exploring new hiding spots after 7 years of the same options in our old house.
Making our reindeer prints is still an all time favorite December project.  This year we traced our hands and feet instead of printing them with paint.  We also included some new antlers in the team.  With 8 of us crafting we have a crew big enough to pull Santa's sleigh.  Based on the silly names of this year's reindeer can you guess who joined us?  Can you figure out whose names are mixed together for each creature?

{singing} You know... KaNickie, Gatie, Gabbin' the Chatty Reindeer, 
JusGibsin' Around, A.H.K, and Ganne Dope

My favorite way to relax after busy days of holiday preparations is unwrapping one of our Christmas books to read together.  The new book in the pile this year is The Twelve Days of Christmas in Michigan.  Love it!  The main character, Katie, sets off to explore the many treasures of our state with her cousin over their Christmas vacation.  He sends her home with 12 days worth of gifts from Michigan.

In addition to some of our family Christmas tradition this year we tried a couple new things that seem like they will stick in the years to come.  In our new house we have more room for a Christmas tree.  The artifical one we have been using for years found a new home in the boys' bedroom and we took advantage of a Christmas Celebration/Pick Your Fresh Tree party at a local farm.  It was a great morning with hot cocoa, animals to feed, a hay ride, and of course picking out a tree.  Something about driving home in the snow with the tree strapped to the top of our Suburban made this a tradition worth repeating, according to Kevin.

While we have celebrated advent several different ways in the years' past, this year we are enjoying Ann Voskamp's new book, The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas.  Each night we read a small devotional and add an ornament related to the reading to a small lit tree in our dining room.

What traditions, new or tried & true, are you enjoying this December?

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