Thank you so much for sharing your traditions - there are so many great, meaningful ones listed. I have read through the comments a couple of times now and am planning to add some to our own traditions.
A couple simple ideas I loved was eating Christmas Eve dinner by candlelight with lots of candles (even if it is something perfectly simple such as pizza - we usually do a bigger early dinner on Christmas day - not sure what will happen yet this year with all our guests), spending the night in the living room all together near the tree + watching movies (just picked up Elf at Target this morning) + eating pizza (anything having to do with pizza is good in my book), and getting an ornament box set up just for Simon.
I have an ornament box that my Grandma Cathy made for me and my siblings (and cousins) when I was a kid that holds all the ones I have received over the years. My Mom even kept track of where they came from (who + when). She is so good at writing things down. It is a super special treasure and I want Simon to have the same sort of experience as well.
Here's a peek inside:
Today I am working on work stuff and getting ready for my holiday gathering tomorrow night. I am hosting my first every get-together (another benefit of not traveling so much) and I am really excited. Ever notice how inviting people to come over spurs you into action on projects that have been waiting forever to be completed? That is totally happening around here and Chris has been a major help in this department.
We got our tree last night at a local lot and it was the easiest and simplest set up we have experienced in our 9 years of marriage. Ever since I can remember we have been using my Grandparents old metal Christmas Tree stand. Last year it finally rusted (worse than it was already rusted) and ended up staining the carpet so I was finally justified in disposing of it. We should have gotten rid of it a long time ago.
Yesterday morning Chris picked up one of those Krinner Click Fix Christmas Tree Genies. Seriously, it is the best thing ever. You just set your tree in it, click a lever a couple times with your foot and it's done. We laughed quite awhile about how much BETTER it was than the old one which took forever to get set up. It's one of those great little things that made the whole experience a million times better.
Starting Saturday I will be posting my holiday December Daily journal pages each day over on CK's website (not sure on the exact link yet) - check back for more information on that one. Jessica posted an awesome digital template for her December Daily album here (instructions are located within the post). Love the idea of using one template foundation for each day and simply varying the content, papers, etc.