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December Daily : Days 18 + 19 + 20 + more traditions

Thanks for all the comments over the last couple of days. Not super worried about the moles - it's just nice to have the prayers going out so thank you. Will let you know...

Here's a look at Days 18, 19 and today. Really keeping it focused on the photos + words again. I love it like that - just a couple other fun things added for interest. And man, I love writing on photos and being able to use Photoshop to add journaling right onto the photos. Feeling thankful for that today.

The wreath on Day 18 above comes from Haru. I put it on the door to my office - love that it can be holiday, and also everyday (a great little celebration of paper).

And here's the back of Day 18:

And Day 19:

Envelope came from Japan, flower from K&Company. The envelope includes the story from my post last night - printed out + folded up + placed inside. Rub ons and that cool metal thing (you can see it in the second photo below as well) along the photo is from 7gypsies, circle epoxy from Love, Elsie. The photo of the three of us was taken with a tripod and a timer in our dining room.  Fonts there are Avenir and Marketing Script.

The back of Day 19 and the start of Day 20:

Doing lots of wrapping around here. Got almost all of it done last night and breathed a sigh of relief at getting that job done.

Been listening to Mindy Smith's My Holiday (thanks Gabby) and the soundtrack to Into the Wild (Eddie Vedder - not Christmas at all but man I love his voice). I haven't seen the movie yet but loved the book (and Into Thin Air is also a favorite). I also really want to see Charlie Wilson's War.

And as we get closer to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I was hoping to gather up a collection of traditions that people do/eat/celebrate on either of those days. Ours seems to be always changing depending on where we are, what is happening, who we are with, etc. One thing is for certain: Simon will get a new pair of pj's to open on Christmas Eve (we will all probably open one present).

What are things that simply make it Christmas for you?

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119 thoughts

  1. Linda says…
    12/20/2007

    We make a sour cream coffee cake on Christmas Eve day, and on Christmas morning add a candle and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Love it.

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  2. Sarah says…
    12/20/2007

    We read The Sweet Smell of Christmas each and every year -- and have since before I was 1 year old. (1976!)
    I know it's too late to get it from Amazon, but check it out sometime. It's a scratch & sniff book, and it totally rocks. The book is all about the traditions of Christmas... baking pies, cutting down the tree, singing carols, the orange in the stockings, etc.
    Happy Holidays to all three of you.

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  3. Ginny says…
    12/20/2007

    Our Christmas is full of tradition. We always had Christmas Eve with my husband's family(total madhouse). My inlaws have both passed away & my "girls"(38&24) miss them so much. We decided a new Christmas Eve would be best. We have a fancy sit-down dinner with china, candles,etc with a movie to follow. My daughters & grandchildren love it. We now get together with the rest of the family the Sat. after Christmas. It was just too sad for everyone because Christmas Eve was Grandma's favorite holiday.

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  4. Stacy says…
    12/20/2007

    My kids make Christmas special. When they (4 yr old twins boy/girl) come to me and ask how will Santa find us (we are leaving for Maine on Sat). And how will Santa get into the house (my parent don't have a fireplace). Answer to #1 - I call him Christmas Eve and will tell him where we are and we will leave the tree lights on that will blink a special code to Santa so he can find your location (my son is really into secret agent stuff). Answer to #2 - when people don't have fireplaces, we leave a window open so he can sneak in. Then I love to see the wheels turning in their heads - WOW! Kids make Christmas simple.
    Thanks for asking the question Ali. Happy Holiday to you and yours.

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  5. Addie says…
    12/20/2007

    Loving the album Ali! I received mine from your drawing and can't wait to use it! I have an album idea I want to try for 2008.
    Merry Christmas!

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  6. Cheryl says…
    12/20/2007

    Two things make it Christmas for me - the first is the candlelight Christmas eve service at church, and the second is our special, once-a-year breakfast on Christmas day - eggnog French toast with cranberry/apple topping. Sooo good!

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  7. sharyn (torm) says…
    12/20/2007

    We eat pannukakku Christmas morning. ;)
    Been thinking healthy thoughts for you! Happy holidays to you and yours!

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  8. Laura M says…
    12/20/2007

    Every year we take one night, put on our pajamas, make a thermos of Hot Chocolate, baggies of Christmas Cookies, Christmas songs in the CD player and jump in the van to look at the Christmas lights. This year we are going to include some friends and load up the van. We have been scouting out great light displays for weeks to show to the kids, and even have friends who call to tell us about a great display that they saw that we should include in our "tour." Tonights the night!! Can't wait.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Laura M says…
    12/20/2007

    Every year we take one night, put on our pajamas, make a thermos of Hot Chocolate, baggies of Christmas Cookies, Christmas songs in the CD player and jump in the van to look at the Christmas lights. This year we are going to include some friends and load up the van. We have been scouting out great light displays for weeks to show to the kids, and even have friends who call to tell us about a great display that they saw that we should include in our "tour." Tonights the night!! Can't wait.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Angela says…
    12/20/2007

    Christmas Eve for us in Sydney means walking the streets looking at the Christmas Lights.
    This year I hope to start a new tradition - Chocolate and Raspberry Gateau. I dislike Fruit Cake type things and have always missed out on a Christmas Dessert. SO this year I have rectified that by taking charge.
    I also make pikelets for breakfast if we are at home on Christmas monrning. This doesn't always happen as we are often away from home visiting family for Christmas.
    This year we are hosting the Christams functions for both sides of our family, which I am very grateful for. My family will be able to relax more by having everyone come to us.
    We celebrate Christmas lunch - on both days it will include cold ham, turkey and roast pork, salads in various forms, crusty bread rolls, traditional puddings, fruit salad and the new Chocolate and Raspberry Gateau.
    We are having a Santa Thief Kris Kringle for the Adults. Each adult brings a gender specific present to the value of $25. Each person draws a number. Number one picks a present and opens it. Number 2 can either steal Number 1's persent or choose from the pile. If Number 1 has her present stolen, she picks again. This continues until all presents are opened.
    That's some of our tradtions. I had fun writing those down.
    Ange

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  11. annie says…
    12/20/2007

    Ali,
    Lovelovelove the glimpses into your season. We do the pajamas present on the night before, too. And the paper Christmas crackers that you pull open and find little gifts inside. But one tradition that we started a couple of years ago is simple and lovely. In the time between dinner and opening pajamas/hanging stockings, we get bundled up and go for a walk. Sometimes we drive to a different neighborhood but it's peaceful and quiet and a treat to see the lights and families celebrating inside. We hold hands and talk and the kids skip along ahead. It's bliss--the quiet in a busy day I look forward to!
    Merry, merry!

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  12. Dawn says…
    12/20/2007

    It's got to be the Evergreen Yankee candle (see I have an artificial tree) and the smell of homemade Chex Mix in the oven.

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  13. Dawn says…
    12/20/2007

    It's got to be the Evergreen Yankee candle (see I have an artificial tree) and the smell of homemade Chex Mix in the oven.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. jkhenson says…
    12/20/2007

    Loving the ideas of the book! The pictures are wonderful, as usual! :) We have Christmas eve tradition of church, having the in laws over to cook something unusual, then Christmas morning is here with sausage and egg casserole, frozen fruit and bunt rolls.
    Also wanted to say good luck with the moles... coincidentally, I had one removed from my back yesterday. Mine have been coming back pre-pre cancerous, so, hope this one's fine.

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  15. Ingunn says…
    12/20/2007

    Ooh, I love that soundtrack too - you should definitely see the movie, it did the book justice!
    Ingunn, aka Krakauer Superfan

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  16. Alecia Angell says…
    12/20/2007

    Christmas Eve Candlelight Mass with carol singing before. Love that the children gather to bring Baby Jesus in to place him in the manger--brings tears to my eyes every year! Thank goodness for small towns too, where the parish decided that it was much more practical to have mass at 9pm instead of midnight--the children (and myself) are able to enjoy it so much more. And then, coming home and putting on new jammies of course! I am really looking forward to waking up with Delaynee on Christmas morning this year. She won't know the significance, but I will!

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  17. cris says…
    12/20/2007

    So, so many. But my favorites are:
    1. Reading the Christmas story on Christmas Eve. We actually use an old storybook (not the bible) version. It is 59 years old and has passed down through the woman in our family.
    2. Christmas Eve pizza. Seriously. As a family, we decided not to stress out about cooking during the holidays. So on Christmas Eve, someone goes on a pizza run and everyone eats it (along with soda - we don't eat that stuff very often so it is a total treat) before reading the Xmas story.
    3. Kids have to wait until 8AM on Xmas morning (and then have to wait until every grown up is up and has a camera) to do Santa gifts. This allows the adults to get a little extra sleep in and also makes sure that no one misses out on the Xmas excitement.

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  18. Tona says…
    12/20/2007

    On Christmas morning any family members available meet at my Aunt & Uncle's house for brunch in Napa, CA. (All of my family is in CA & all of my husband's is in MT). 7 years ago we moved to WA but this year we will be going to CA and of course won't miss Christmas brunch!

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  19. Lauren says…
    12/20/2007

    Oh, Ali, as soon as I read your question I knew I had to reply. One thing - and Simon may appreciate this too - is my son tracking Santa's progress at www.noradsanta.org It is a hoot. The other special tradition is an open house at our best friends' home on Christmas Eve. We go to early church and then to their house, which includes driving through their neighborhood that is full of luminaries. We drink champagne, let the kids eat cookies for dinner, track Santa (of course!) and sing carols around the piano with a wonderful, eclectic group of their family and friends. I so enjoy your blog. Thanks for the inspiration. Peace.

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  20. cheryl says…
    12/20/2007

    Ali,
    Thank you for your inspiration with each entry
    to your Blog.
    We were three for a long time...ten years before our second child was born. I remember the days of a threesome so fondly. We are now six all together and the kids range in age from 21 to 3...the thing I most highly recommend is that you have some traditions that belong within your four walls. We've always welcomed family and friends into our
    Christmas, but we've found (in 23 years of marraige) that people come and go. Your traditions will be your own, and your children will treasure them. I say this as I await the return of my firstborn from his big,busy life as a struggling NYC actor. He'll arrive tonight, and my Christmas will begin. It is the gift I feel as though all my
    children will take away from their childhoods, a family that loved eachother well and appreciated the time together.
    You three are precious and I wish you the happiest holiday season and the healtiest of
    New Years.

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  21. De Anne says…
    12/20/2007

    Hi Ali, I love your book!! Our children always open one present on Christmas Eve which is always PJ's. Then we read "The night before Christmas" as a family. We were asking our daughters what their favorite part of Christmas is and they all said opening pajames. That made me feel really nice because it is a tradition that we have carried on for many years and the kids look forward to it.
    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

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  22. Kelly says…
    12/20/2007

    My family has always done Christmas on Christmas Eve (all presents from family get opened Christmas Eve, presents from Santa were opened on Christmas Day). It's always been at my parents house, my Mom decided when I was a baby that she didn't want me to have to go around from house to house to house...she would always do Christmas Eve at our house. Now that I'm grown I realize exactly how awesome that was (and still is). It's a relaxing day, no rushing around, good food, good company...just perfect. It's been much harder since my Grandpa passed, I've had a really tough time getting into the holidays since then (and it's been 3 years) but there is something so comforting about having that routine for Christmas Eve.

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  23. Kristy says…
    12/20/2007

    Christmas Omelet at my grandma's on Christmas morning. We've been doing that for as long as I remember. That's the one thing that makes it Christmas for me.

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  24. Penny says…
    12/20/2007

    So love how this book is progressing. Simply love it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Jackie says…
    12/20/2007

    It isn't Christmas in the Wood house without watching White Christmas (with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, & Rosemary Clooney) and listening to Johnny Mathis. Oh and eating homemade ginger cookies, I try a new recipe every year!
    Merry Christmas!

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