Friday, December 16, 2011

Finding your way to the perfect tradition

Welcome holiday blog hoppers! If this is your first stop don’t forget to check out THIS post to catch up on the previous four blogs and find all the info you need on what’s happening. You’ll need to collect their blog hop graphic (in the corner of the picture) in order to be entered for the grand prize at the end of the Hop.

So, as I was reading my fellow author’s holiday traditions it struck me that my family really doesn’t have any of their own. Well, every year we get together for a meal that’s big enough to feed an army, get drunk and fight but that’s about it. Okay, we don’t always fight ;)

A lot of people start their Christmas festivities right after Thanksgiving. Well, in Canada our Thanksgiving is in October so that would be a little early to haul out the tree. Especially for someone who rarely puts her tree up much before December 21st. What? I’m a Christmas procrastinator. I shop on the 21st, I sometimes decorate on the 21st and Christmas Eve is a flurry of wrapping paper and scotch tape as I try and remember which gifts I bought for which kid.  I like to think I work better under pressure. And let’s face it, at the end of the night Santa likes a nice glass of wine to go with the cookies rather than the milk that’s been sitting out for hours.

Not everything in my house is left until the last minute. Thanks to my mother I inherited a holiday baking obsession. Maybe it’s more of an addiction. Much to the horror of my waistline, the entire month of December is dedicated to Christmas baking. My kitchen seriously looks like a bakery exploded in it. Shortbread, gingerbread, turtles (homemade not the box kind), chocolate peanut butter squares, truffles, tarts, fudge, an assortment of cookies, rum balls, chocolate covered cherries, fruit cake, cheese straws…are you in a sugar coma yet? Obviously, Christmas baking is my thing.

But after I had kids, I found that I wanted to do something that was just ours. Something they could look forward to each year and remember doing forever. Yes, they love the baking as much as I do and the squeals that follow when I pull out my big yellow mixing bowl are almost deafening.  They know that bowl means business. But I wanted something that had more to do with one special day than an entire month.

So the day I pull out the tree and all the Christmas decorations is the day our tradition begins. There’s no set date, it’s random and spontaneous and that makes it all the more fun. The kids make cards for Grandma and Nana in the morning, and after that they each make them some kind of homemade gift. We make sugar cookies in the afternoon, complete with icing ending up not only all over the table but on the floor and somehow on the walls as well. And later that evening we set up the tree, shut off all the lights when we’re through, and watch Rudolph with just the tree lights on. It’s nothing fancy or over the top, but the boys know it’s our day.

I also have to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol every Christmas Eve. It’s just not Christmas without the Muppets.

What are your holiday traditions? Leave a comment along with your contact info (email, twitter, Facebook) and be entered to win one of TWO eBooks of Last Call that I’m giving away.  Winners will be chosen through (If you would rather not have your contact info posted publicly, feel free to email me at the address provided in Contact)

Happy Holidays!


  1. Loved reading your post today. May you have a wonderful Merry Christmas..

    Kim Justice
    Breath of Life!/Breathoflifeb

  2. I love that I'm not the only one who can't seem to get a grasp on shopping and wrapping gifts before December :) I do agree that kids help speed things up... a little.
    My own tradition includes a bottle of wine Christmas Eve with my mom. A whole years worth of hugs and talking comes pouring out of that bottle.
    Congratulations on all the success of Last Call and hope the new year has much more!

  3. How can you say you really don't have a holiday tradition. All the wonderful things you have written about just proved that you do--even if the tradition is to really have no tradition. Nothing wrong with spontaneity. It, too, is the spice of life. I love the remarks about how when the yellow mixing bowl comes out the kids know you mean business. And I have no doubt they will treasure the memories of the mixing bowl.! :)

    Ok, so off to the grown-ups Christmas party at church. Hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday! And if it's not too much trouble, can ya try to send a little snow our way? My husband was born in Alaska and I am from Michigan. How us two snow bunnies ended up in Austin, Texas is beyond me but hey, if we hadn't we would have never met 30 years ago!!!

    TTFN, kg

  4. @She Who Blogs Behind the Rows
    It's amazing how a little bit of alcohol helps with that!

    @Kathryn Gayle
    Believe it or not we hardly have any snow here yet. I'm hoping it stays that way. I'm not a fan of winter

  5. As I read this blog, on my phone, we're queueing to go through 'The Garden of Lights'! When I was a little girl, the centre of my hometown was always lit up with beautiful Christmas lights and my parents would make a night of driving us through the town to look at the lights. For a few years, there were Christmas carols blaring from loud speakers as we drove past. The lights are no longer put up, but we sure have some lovely memories.

    Thanks for sharing :)

    @NixHaw on twitter

  6. Even I work great under pressure and i'm sure if we had Christmas here, my tree would be decorated on Christmas eve. That could be great tradition actually. Trying to break a record on how fast you can decorate. Lol, well I'm from India and we don't Christmas. The spirit is there, one of dad's friend holds this grand party, which I absolutely LOVE going to. I mean the food she displays and like, umm...Can I please pack that? She's a professional baker so her cakes are like out of the world. She even gives homemade chocolates to the kids. Guess she doesn't consider us "kids" anymore, but who can live without chocolates?
    This year at the moment I'm out of town, visiting my dad, so unfortunately cannot attend the party, but I'm looking forward to seeing what they do on the eve.
    I love baking, too. If I were home, I would have baked chocolate macaroons this time. Here, I can't even enter the kitchen, let alone make something-_-.
    But at least I'll see snowfall after a looong time, in years and remember it this time. So that gives a more Christmasy touch to it.
    May you have a great Christmas and enjoy it with the Muppets. Enjoy baking, festivals are the time when you should just let it go;).
    well my twitter:!/Trilby97

  7. My family tradition is still done today….my parents own over 100 acres so each year my father goes out back and cuts down their Christmas tree. Each year, my brother and I tell him, he has found a better tree than last year but they are all pretty much Charlie Brown my dad takes my son out with him to pick the tree (my son is 12 yrs old) so he can share the blame. Gosh, I love my family and Christmas!

  8. I enjoyed reading about your Christmas traditions. I love baking sugar cookies and decorating them. We always try to go as a family on Christmas eve to a movie. Not sure how that became a tradition...but we do it every year now. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!