all things christmas

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hello friends! Can you believe it's Christmas season? Here we are with November dwindling down and Christmas traditions are full speed ahead. We have so, so many cherished traditions in our family. And since I always love hearing how others celebrate this special time of year, I wanted to share some of our favorite, both tried and true and new, family holiday traditions and activities with you.

Beckman Family Christmas Tree, 2017

πŸ”” Pick out and cut down our tree at the Christmas Tree Farm on the day after Thanksgiving. Brian and I have been doing this ever since we moved in together, and it continues to be my favorite tradition we share. We always stop for Papa Murphy's pizza after getting the tree, go home and put the pizzas in the oven while we set up the tree. I'm not sure how that tradition started all those years ago, but we love it.
πŸ”” Watch The Family Stone, The Holiday, Christmas Vacation, Elf, Love Actually, Home Alone and countless Hallmark Christmas movies.
πŸ”” String cranberries and popcorn for garland.
πŸ”” Trim the tree with our cherished collection of ornaments. Almost all of them hold special meaning.. some from our childhood, first Christmas ornaments for our children (including our bulldog), handprints, shells from beach vacations, even the teddy bear ornament that I made my grandmother as a child. 
πŸ”” Decorate the house with wreaths, garland and lights!
πŸ”” Put together Christmas Eve boxes for the kids. I started this last year, a sweet idea from the lovely Kerrie Moon. I fill them with one Christmas movie, one Christmas book and matching Christmas jammies for each of them and we enjoy them all day long on Christmas Eve! So simple and special!
πŸ”” I love to wake up early on the weekends, brew a pot of coffee (especially my favorite Cameron's Coffee holiday blend, Creme BrΓ»lΓ©e Latte), put on a Hallmark Christmas movie and wrap presents by the lights of the Christmas tree. Note: this also works late at night, after the kids are in bed, with wine. For me, savoring this slow, quiet time with glowing lights and wrapping up thoughtful gifts with a delicious cup of coffee and cheesy holiday movie in the background helps me to slow down and enjoy the little magical bits of this beautiful, but often hectic, time of year.
πŸ”” Bake Christmas sugar cookies. Lola loves to pick out the cookie cutters. This year she picked Christmas trees and bells. Last year we did these adorable car cookies.
πŸ”” Visit Santa.
πŸ”” Go for a walk in the snow. We try to do this as often as possible and it never gets old. Everett catches snowflakes on his tongue, Lola makes snow angels on the ground. And almost just as enjoyable is coming back home, taking off our layers of sweaters, coats, mittens, scarves and boots and warming up by the heat vents (hey, we don’t have a fireplace), wrapping our hands around a hot cup of coffee or cider and snuggling up with each other to get warm again.
πŸ”” Drive around looking at the lights and to our neighborhood park that lights up like you wouldn’t believe.
πŸ”” Sledding of course.
πŸ”” This year we’re going to try Snow Cones (recipe found in the Winter issue of The Magnolia Journal).
πŸ”” Drink hot cocoa every chance we get. I also love to mix half a mug of my favorite Creme BrΓ»lΓ©e Latte blend and half a mug of hot cocoa mix and milk. Top with some marshmallows. Delectable!
πŸ”” Dance to Christmas music often. Our favorites are on this playlist.
πŸ”” Print and mail Christmas cards.
πŸ”” Read The Night Before Christmas.
πŸ”” Elf on a Shelf. Yes, we are those people. The kids LOVE IT. They are SO attentive and notice everywhere she goes (ours is a girl elf named Tinsel).
πŸ”” Make a snowman of course. Last year Lola named it Elsa, not to be confused with Olaf.
πŸ”” Light all the Christmas candles.
πŸ”” Purchase, wrap and donate gifts for local children in need.
πŸ”” Make gingerbread houses. This year I bought a kit that has four small houses in it, so we will each make our own. Should be interesting!
πŸ”” We are terrible at keeping up with advent calendars, admittedly. Usually I pick a chocolate one up at Aldi, but this year I am just going to make one on the big chalkboard in our kitchen.
πŸ”” This year for the first time we are hosting Christmas Eve at our home with all of our extended family. Our home will be completely packed with family and presents and food and love. It’s going to be so good.
πŸ”” Cut paper snowflakes and hang them around the house.
πŸ”” I’d like to try drying oranges to string up this year too.

So many memories...

And so many exciting adventures to come! Already this season is shaping up to be the best one yet.

Christmas Card Photo, 2016

Baking away... (note the photobomber, bottom left)

Sipping on that Creme BrΓ»lΓ©e

The kids excitedly watching on as we decorate the front porch

Grocery list making is infinitely more enjoyable with a hot cup of coffee and the light of the Christmas tree

Things are happening! Christmas, 2017

What are your favorite traditions, old or new, for this joyous time of the year? I would love to add to our bucket list! xx

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cameron's Coffee. All thoughts and opinions are my own.