Today was my day to share my favorite Christmas traditions or memories and I thought of a few but each and every one lead me back to things my Mom did or traditions she started. What I remember most about the holidays and Christmas Morning in particular was how special my Mom made it for us. She not only kept the spirit of Santa alive by always filling our stockings after we went to bed but she always made sure we had a wonderful mixture of things we needed wanted and loved. She knew how to shop for each one of us so well, it took me years to understand how important that was. It wasn't about the gifts themselves, although they were awesome, it was that she took the time to show us how much she loved us by knowing us so well and in turn always making it perfect! Whether money was tight or we were finicky teenagers, her ability to give the perfect gift was always a constant.
Stockings were her very favorite thing and to this day, my favorite thing and hopefully in years to come, my childrens favorite since I have carried on the tradition. As far as stockings go in our house, she made sure they were pouring over with lots of toys and candy. Every year we each got a book of lifesavers, never fail. The best part was each and every little thing, from the wooden toys from World Market to the socks and underwear, were all wrapped and with each small surprise a new smile.
The next best thing was her ability to make it fun. One year, we all received bikes for Christmas, but instead of just putting them in the garage or in front of the tree, we got miniature bikes in our stockings with notes that read, " find the real thing". And yes, we had to search the neighbors in our pajamas until we found them, good thing we lived on a small street in the country with only a few houses (and I think she gave us a hint). I carried on this tradition as well. When we bought out daughters a trampoline, we assembled it and put it over the hot tub, then disguised it with a tarp. On Christmas morning, they opened all of their gifts under the tree but there was one left, on the bench by the front door. It was a wrapped box, addressed to both with a string attached that went outside, through the courtyard, around the side yard, into the backyard and was attached to the trampoline. By the time the girls got half way I think they knew but I will never forget them starting to cry and hold hands as they rounded the corner and ran toward the tramp screaming and I have my wonderful, fun Mother to thank for that.
Mom was a baker and a cook at heart, if that was all she did all day long, she was her happiest. During the holidays however she was in rare form! From the rolled out peanut brittle on the top of the pull out dishwasher to the candy thermometers working overtime, to the roasted duck, pheasant and whatever else she could get her hands on, the girl got serious when it came to holiday cooking and baking! I have attempted to carry on this tradition as well. I am a fairly good cook, an average baker and a meek candy maker but I am getting better thanks to melt-able chocolate and sucker molds.
This year was kinda hectic and rushed but in the end I was done early, so my husband helped me make some goodies last night, he is quite possibly the best guy in the world btw, just sayin':) We made his favorite (probably why I got help) peanut butter cup cookies, My Grandmother's, Mom's and my favorite, Crescent Moon Cookies (Mexican Wedding cookies shaped like moons), Sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. I have to say, baking with your husband, drinking champagne on Christmas Eve is a nice date if you can get it, I highly recommend it and am starting to get why Mom liked cooking so much :)
(Note to self, Hipstamatic not good for pictures of food, sorry!)
Our last tradition is, Christmas pajamas! When I was a kid we used to get our new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve or by our bed Christmas morning (depending on how on top of wrapping Mom was) I have carried this tradition on as well but will not embarrass my family with the pictures of us in matching pj's, instead I will share a few from our day today.
Again, I hope your day was a fantastic one and you made many memories or started or carried on a few traditions. Merry Christmas!
PS. Our winner from yesterday's tradition question was Barbara,congrats! Please send us your address to firstname.lastname@example.org,thanks!