The Emerald Girl

casual. classic. curious.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Making Christmas Cookies

Every year my Mom likes to host all of her grandkids for a Christmas cookie baking get together. It's fun, it's a mess and it's something I'm glad my mom hosts because I don't have much patience for baking or for making the ginormous mess that is required for 6 kids to make a bunch of cookies. I'd be done at about the length of time it takes to make the dough and put it in the fridge. I'd probably never get around to actually making the cookies. I guess I wasn't blessed with any kind of kitchen genes. I am, however, quite blessed with the ability to eat cookies and spoonfuls of frosting. 😜

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

10 Christmas Tradtions

Christmas is a favorite time of the year. As cliché as that may be, I still love it. I wanted to compile a list of all of the holiday traditions Matt and I have started since being married and having kids.
1) Decorate the house. This may seem obvious but it's such a fun part of the season it can't be left off the list. From twinkling lights on the tree, to embroidered stockings to our growing collection of nutcrackers. Which brings me to...
2) The Nutcracker collection. We started this last year. Nutcrackers remind of the good ol' days in Christmas history. They're kind of quirky and carry a sense of European flair. So in thirty years we'll be those weirdos with 30 nutcrackers and it will be hysterical and I will love it. 
3) Santa pictures. My Grandma had a framed board that held the santa pictures of my dad and his siblings through the years so it's always seemed like something families do. Even though we didn't do Santa pictures growing up, I love having my kids visit him and seeing the pictures as they grow. 

4) Cutting down the Christmas tree. I wrote about this last week, so I won't go in to detail but it's just another fun activity for making merry bright. 
5) Cinnamon rolls on Christmas Eve morning. I started this last year because I really wanted an excuse to eat cinnamon rolls and I'm committed to making this happen once a year!
6) Opening a present on Christmas Eve. OK this is not a real tradition that we decided on. I just love getting presents and can never contain my excitement to give as well so we always end up doing this. I think I'd rather wait for all of them on Christmas morning but it's always just too much. ;)
7) Christmas breakfast: Eggs Benedict . Matt carried this tradition from his childhood into ours and I can't complain. We all sit around the table drinking orange juice. It's kind of picture perfect and so delicious!
8) Annual Hot Chocolate party. This is also something we started last year but we plan on continuing it forever. It's a friends only invite due to the fact that we live in a small place and we see our families on the 24th and 25th. The event is meant to be a sort of come and go thing, where people can come by for some hot cocoa before heading out to the city for other plans like seeing The Nutcracker or going to some other party. Since our kids are so young this works well as it ends before bedtime. 
9) Watch Christmas movies. My all time favorite is The Family Man. Matt really likes Love Actually. There's The Family Stone, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street. We also watched The Night Before. What are some other good ones?
10) Family. We both grew up celebrating with our extended families and it's something we both still love to do and want our kids to grow up experiencing. Luckily, Matt's family gets together on Christmas Eve and mine on Christmas Day so we don't have to split the time and we get to see everyone. 
That's it.
For now. 
Anyone else have fun traditions they like to do?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cutting down the Christmas tree

Traditions and family seem to travel well hand in hand. Traditions root us. They make us feel like we're apart of something. They bond us together with those who share them with us. Traditions bottle up the past so you can easily take it with you through the future. We are a country with so many celebrated traditions yet so few. Perhaps because so many of us come from "broken" families, traditions are broken too. As much as I may push away from commitments, my heart longs for grounded traditions.
This past weekend we started a new tradition. We cut down our own tree. It sounds cheesy but it was a fun afternoon adventure in which we drove towards the mountains, drank eggnog lattes, went to a crowded tree farm, scouted for the tree, cut the tree together and then went home to decorate. It will be a tradition we look forward to. I can imagine when my kids are older, excitedly asking when we're going to cut our tree. I can imagine them taking their significant other and then their kids. That's the joy of traditions. To be deeply rooted. 

I think I'm going to share more Christmas traditions in an upcoming post. Does anyone else cut down their tree?
PS I made a vlog of our adventure and trimming the tree once we got it home. If you haven't subscribed to my YouTube channel, go now!