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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  1. shimelle.~*

    2007-12-21 03:49:50 -0500

    love the photo of the 3 of you. so lovely.
    no one in our generation has kiddies yet, so we are still the younger ones who don't get to host something we have made our own and it has developed pretty darn well over the last three eve and christmas day are more the traditions everyone expects, but we host boxing day on the 26th. everyone comes to our place for a totally chilled day. we eat easy-but-yum stuff like chili and pick one movie that everyone would really like to see and make a little in-house-cinema event of it...and then there is the mandatory adults-acting-like-children activity, which is different every year. this year it is decorating gingerbread houses...which they don't know about yet. because it's all grown ups, i bet it will get so competitive! but should be fun.
    merry christmas!

  2. josette

    2007-12-21 04:03:21 -0500

    About Into the Wild I have seen the movie (EXCELLENT) and currently "listening" to the book on my ipod.....DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND DOWNLOAD THIS! The man who reads it has a great voice!

  3. marg

    2007-12-21 04:16:20 -0500

    ali, not sure if you read the blog
    beautiful post and tribute there.

  4. Angela

    2007-12-21 04:48:23 -0500

    One of the things I've enjoyed about following your art is the story of your family. My daughter is just one year younger than Simon, so it's nice to see what another little family of three is like. Love the family photo!
    I'm intrigued by the packaging for the teachers on the back of that photo. The tags and string look so cute. If you have a chance, can you describe those items or the inspiration?
    Thank you for sharing your craft and your life with us. Wishing you and your house full of family a very merry and blessed holiday.

  5. Terri

    2007-12-21 05:01:45 -0500

    Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful and inspiring album with us. I love the family photo. Wish you a very blessed Holiday and wonderful memories. Hope you get to spend time with your mom too! We loved meeting her at the Bellevue Convention!Merry Christmas! - Terri- Kirkland

  6. Marjorie

    2007-12-21 05:03:11 -0500

    My mom always made Swedish Cinnamon Bread for Christmas morning. We opened presents and then had breakfast of oranges, swedish cinnamon bread, milk and pistachios. Ü Then we all crash for a nap. Now that I'm married, I make the bread for family get togethers. It brings back so many memories. My DH and I go to see christmas lights Christmas Eve and then sit together to watch a christmas movie before we crash. No kiddos yet but the holiday is just as fun with just the two of us.

  7. Tammy Bauman

    2007-12-21 05:21:03 -0500

    Traditions for Christmas Eve...One gift (or maybe two if our daughter can sweet-talk us into it) to open on Christmas Eve, at least one Christmas movie / show, and just some quiet time as a family...I'm thinking this year we might start doing s'mores. Dana (daughter - 12 yrs old) loves them and we bought a little s'mores maker kit...I'm sure she'd love that. Aaron (son - 27 yrs old) will be coming home Saturday. That's when it feels like Christmas, when both the kids are here. Last year Dana began a new Christmas morning "tradition" ... she walked into her brother's room and played a Christmas song very loudly on her trombone to wake him. Her dad and I just laid in bed and started laughing! She told me last night she's been practicing a new song for this year! Enjoy your holiday, Ali - you're in my prayers!

  8. Emily

    2007-12-21 05:22:30 -0500

    Christmas Eve dinner is a secret/suprise potluck - Mom & Dad supply the ham, everyone else brings whatever they want - drinks, deserts, sides, whatever, but doesn't tell anyone what they're bringing. We've had candy bars, homemade rolls, root beer, smoothies, catfish, you name it. I loved it growing up & my little girls are so excited for this year's dinner.
    Pajamas on Christmas Eve
    Read Luke 2 & sing Christmas carols around the tree
    Little ones act out the First Christmas.
    Merry Christmas!

  9. Lauren Z

    2007-12-21 05:32:35 -0500

    In Honor of "The Christmas Story" we Always have Chineese Food for Xmas Eve Dinner (take out, eat in or delivery depending on what we are doing that night)
    It started when we were small, and now that we are grown we are starting the tradition with our new families.

  10. Amber

    2007-12-21 06:14:08 -0500

    When I was first born, my great-grandma Hammaker always gave us an ornament each year - she would often make them herself, but it always had our name and the year on the back. My mom then continued that tradition when my GG passed away, and is still continuing it today with her grandkids. My boys have so much fun each year pulling out the ornaments and seeing "theirs"! When they leave my house to start a family of their own, they will have a tree full of ornaments that remind them of the great Christmas's of the past!
    (growing up, we always got to open 1 present Christmas Eve, and it was always pj's - I swore I would never do that to my kids, and I haven't!!)

  11. Debra

    2007-12-21 06:17:08 -0500

    * Panettone
    * clementines
    * dark hot chocolate
    * caramel chai
    * Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack &
    * Bell ringing for the Salvation Army every * Saturday and on Christmas Eve morning
    * Watching ice skaters on Market Square
    * Putting up 4-1/2 ft. Christmas tree with
    woodland themed ornaments
    * Taking our birds' Christmas photo and
    making and mailing their photo card
    * Buying childrens' gifts and donating
    grooming supplies to various charities
    * Excellent live music at church on
    Christmas Eve
    * Cooking (but not going crazy)
    * Candlelight tours of historic
    * yep, new pajamas

  12. Stacy/CA

    2007-12-21 07:12:21 -0500

    Our Christmas Eve/Christmas Day holiday traditions:
    * My husband makes a *huge* steak and eggs breakfast on Christmas morning.
    * We go to the movies on Christmas Day. This year we're going to see National Treasure: Book of Secrets.
    * The kiddos get new pajamas and slippers on Christmas Eve.
    * My mom gives my husband a box of tissue (Kleenex) with a gift card hidden inside. I still don't know how she gets it in there and still makes the box look new.
    * The kitties get new catnip mice on Christmas Day and entertain us all morning with their antics.
    * We wrap my niece's giftcard in about five different boxes, nested inside each other. This started with my uncle when I was a preteen, and now my niece gets to suffer through it!
    * Even if we aren't having a big group over for dinner, we make a turkey with my husband's grandma's stuffing. I look forward to Gram's Stuffing every year!
    * We eat the entire box of Frango mints my SIL sends from Chicago!!! YUM!!!

  13. Jennifer H in AZ

    2007-12-21 07:14:25 -0500

    Ali, your pictures are amazing. I am so inspired by your work, if only I could do that. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

  14. [email protected]

    2007-12-21 08:55:15 -0500

    Seating in the dark looking at the lights on our Christmas tree. To me that is so peacful & makes me feel like its really christmas.
    Merry Christmas!

  15. marcela

    2007-12-21 22:59:16 -0500

    Ali, I absolutely love your book, and the December album which I decided to do with you, great idea!
    Well I have a different tradition, I’m Polish living in Australia, we celebrate with Christmas dinner on the 24th have beetroot soup with homemade mushroom ravioli and grilled fish with mash potatoes and cabbage, then we have ricotta cheesecake and poppy seed cake. we open presents after dinner and go to church at midnight. 25 & 26th are the most relaxing days for us but we don’t have any traditions as we all celebrate day before, so just lay on the beach (summer in Australia) and relax. I’m fascinated with all the PJ’s traditions and the Santa and reindeer food so as soon as we have kids we’ll adopt these traditions. I also want to buy Christmas book to read with the kids.
    Have a safe and wonderful Christmas!

  16. Misty D

    2007-12-22 01:29:49 -0500

    We are going to do the PJ thing starting this year too. We do our big celebration on Christmas Eve morning. I don't remember when or why we started doing that but I love it. Since my parents divorced we have it at my house (I love that too!) and everyone comes over and I fix a big breakfast then we open presents. Merry Christmas

  17. Allison

    2007-12-22 04:49:28 -0500

    so great to read all these christmas traditions.
    i'll be married by next christmas, so it's so wonderful to get ideas for our own little family.
    definatly thinking of doing the pj gift
    ever year, my sister and i would get a new christmas ornament, and i'm definatly going to continue with this.

  18. jeremyk123

    2007-12-22 13:04:56 -0500

    love love love the matches dispenser. with two old fashioned woodstoves in our home we always have matches around but can never seem to find the boxes. where did you get that? it would be perefect around here.

  19. jeremyk123

    2007-12-22 13:11:00 -0500

    and merry merry christmas to you and your family. thanks for the inspiration.

  20. Kim

    2007-12-23 05:23:48 -0500

    So late, I'm always so late. Sorry!
    1. Christmas music on and the tree up the day after Thanksgiving.
    2. MUST have iced sugar cookies in the collection of cookies we make each year.
    3. Reading The Polar Express and the Christmas story (from Luke) before bed on Christmas eve.
    4. Our little Advent tree - my son puts an ornament on each night before bed.
    5. Homemade sweet rolls and breakfast casserole on Christmas morning.
    6. Stockings before presents, and always a lump of coal in the bottom of the stocking.
    7. The paper crawl after the presents are open. We pile the papers and ribbons into a big pile and DH and DS crawl through. Started as a peek-a-boo game when DS was 5 months old, and it continues now, even when he's 13.

  21. susan

    2007-12-23 23:55:10 -0500

    I'm scrapping my 2006 christmas pictures and from taking you at cku i have 3 different size of pages and am enjoying the process-thank-you!

  22. Karla

    2007-12-27 02:26:58 -0500

    Merry Christmas!!!!!!!! I hope you all had a wonderful one ^----^
    Tradition at our place would be to make gingerbread cookies and dance the nights away to Christmas music! --Love that :)
    Really enjoying all your projects and ideas! Thanks so much for sharing with all of us!

  23. katy

    2007-12-29 03:59:21 -0500

    A little behind, but our traditions make me too happy to not share: Every Christmas Eve my parents have a big party and we invite all of our family friends to come spend the evening with us. Afterward we all go to Midnight Mass. Christmas Day is just a lazy day where we watch movies and play with new gifts. ;)

  24. Char Lee

    2007-12-29 21:05:57 -0500

    So I don't know if anyone will read this, it being so late and all, but I did-so here goes.
    I buy a Christmas book and Christmas CD every year. (Sometimes I have a hard time limiting myself and say I'll just buy one, but end up with three.)
    The week before Thanksgiving I get all the books out and wrap them in wrapping paper. Then each night before the kids go to bed they get to pick ONE book. (Whosever turn it is to get tucked in first that night gets to choose.)
    My kids LOVE this. I came up with the idea because I'm a single mom and can't afford a lot of presents, but this makes them feel like they get to unwrap a lot.
    The other thing we do is as we drive around looking at lights we do a hunt. That is I'll say: "Find a snowman, santa, or a reindeer." This helps the girls not to fight or whine (it's a small car) This year we came up with the challenge item. We pick really hard to find things like a candle, a stocking, or a penguin.
    Just thought I'd share.

  25. sandee

    2008-01-06 11:17:11 -0500

    Each person in our family chose words for the they are:
    Prayerful, Abide, Accomplish, Capable, Reflection, Persevere, Sprout

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