Holiday Memories & Traditions

Between the time I see the first red leaf and the end of the year, I am at my happiest! The smells in the air, the cozy sweaters, football, the first snow, fires in the fireplace, the awesome food & warm cocktails, practicing random acts of kindness & beauty, listening & singing Christmas Carols, etc etc. The reasons I love fall & winter are practically endless.

Everyone seems to have a favorite memory or tradition this time of year. Some people hate to even THINK about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. To me, that’s a waste. Now, I’m not diminishing Thanksgiving at all. I love Thanksgiving, and I was one of those complainers… until I had to travel back to my hometown for Christmas. What do you do when you don’t celebrate Christmas at home? You can’t have a real tree because you’d have to take it down before you left — or worse, come back home to a depressingly dead Charlie-Brown-Christmas-Tree.

To me, the Christmas season is too short to wait until after Thanksgiving to get started (especially if you spend the week between Christmas & New Year’s away from home). I don’t like to be stressed out, rushing around, fighting crowds & traffic just to get things done. Now that I have 2 kids on top of everything else, I think if we waited until that usually busy Thanksgiving weekend, we wouldn’t get our Christmas decorations up at all! Once I finally convinced the hubs of all of these facts, the tradition of setting up our fake tree & all the Christmas decorations a week or two before Thanksgiving was born. It’s so nice to be able to enjoy our ever growing collection of decorations for an extra few weeks.

I start listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween (I get a little ticked celebrating Christmas before Halloween — I do have my limits! However, if it snows before Halloween, all bets are off, the Christmas music must be played the first time it snows!) This year, not only did we put up our usual fake tree… but we decided to purchase a living Christmas tree as well that we will plant in our yard this spring. We were on the fence about what to do with our fake tree, if we would even put it up if we got a living tree, but since the living Frasier firs available at our local greenhouse weren’t much taller than 4′ we decided to do both. And, let me tell ya, if you haven’t had a living tree before and you complain about the size of it, the weight of it will tell you WHY it’s only 4′. I do believe this thing weighs more than my sorry ass because of the roots & soil it is living in. Wow. It was a LOT of work getting it in the house, and we were relieved that the garage was right off of the family room!

Our house has smelled like Christmas for weeks now and it’s so much fun to see my children light up when they see each of our trees, pointing out their favorite ornament or decoration, discussing which tree Santa will put presents under. They are at the perfect age to appreciate every aspect of Christmas, so we are soaking it in. I know our days of Santa are numbered, but we know that even when the Santa thing isn’t as fun, there’s so much more to Christmas than that. We’re just soaking everything in, making the most of every celebratory day we have this holiday season.

Starting tomorrow, I will be featuring guest-posts from writers who will be sharing their favorite holiday traditions & memories. I hope you enjoy reading these stories! If you find one that touches your heart, please utilize the sharing options (email, share on facebook, tweet, etc) below each post to pass along these amazing stories. I have to admit, I’m a huge sap this time of year and many of the guest-posts have made me tear up like a big baby. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. Hope you are embracing every second of it.

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