First, can I just take a moment to point out the adorable little toes in the picture above? There is NOTHING quite like baby toes. I have a very clear memory of that morning, close to Christmas, Laina wasn't even 1 yet...sigh....
It's the most wonderful time of the year! For us, holiday traditions are those things that "spark joy", we look forward to them all year long. Ours include all the fun festivities leading up to Thanksgiving and through New Year's. Although I have to say that New Year's Eve looks different for me these days. The last 6 years I think I was asleep before midnight more than not! But back in the day I used to throw a cocktail party every year that included a bonfire and countdown to midnight outside, followed by a ritual with friends where we talked about what we achieved, learned and enjoyed about the year that was ending, and what we hoped to see for our lives in the new year. Then a cleansing/burning of said thoughts...Always LOVED that tradition. Maybe it's time to resurrect that one?
Since becoming a mother, the holidays have taken on a new level of excitement and a revisitation of innocence and wonderment, long since forgotten. It's actually quite special, to be able to relive some of that and appreciate it in a different way. Watching wonderment through the lens of your child is a perception truly unique and one I hope to never forget. We aren't religious in our home, but the sights, sounds, smells and energy of the holidays is infectious, throughout our home, and we love to make the most of it!
Wreath - Making
This is a tradition that seemed to happen by chance. And I hope to make it happen every year and as Laina gets older...she can eventually join in on this fun! How fun to create something new, meet new people and enjoy the festivities at various locations around Kennett? A shout out to The Farm at Oxford at Burlap Blooms for hosting these fun events around town! The coolest part about wreath-making is that the wreaths usually last well into February or March...so you have it through most of winter. Amen.
Trimming the Tree - Fresh Cut Tree + Decorating
One of my favorites and I hope it's one of Laina's as well...I think the best part for me is the fun time I try to have around decorating the tree. Laina is fully involved in the placement of the ornaments she wants to hang and I let her have at it! I pour myself some champagne or red wine, and dinner is a big spread of SNACKS! Cheese/crackers/dips, warmed pigs in the blanket, cookies, the wine... This year I took the liberty to personally pick out and cut our tree down myself. It was hard, but not as hard as I expected. Laina attempted to take a video of me, but her little finger was covering the whole thing! But you can hear me telling her to back up, back up again, laugh and tell her to back up again! I can tell you that this Saturday she told me the best part of her day was cutting down the tree...could have something to do with me pulling her up a giant hill in a sled....!
Every year, never fails...this annual tradition trip to Longwood Gardens always pleases and is a perfect Friday night out. I love bundling up, getting some hot chocolate and enjoying the sights with my favorite partner in crime. Some years it's a bigger social event with a group of friends, and some years, it's just us which allows us the freedom to do and go wherever we want!
Laina's Advent Calendar
Of course Laina's advent calendar has calligraphy...I wouldn't have it any other way. Still yet, she asks me what the little papers say, but I also am sure include something fun like a sparkly pencil, nail polish or candy....But it keeps her excited for what the "activity of the day" is. Again...the good news is that I, too, get to participate in all these fun activities!
We get in Pjs early and hop in the car at dark and quite simply, get lost. I like to start at Herr's Factory and work our way back home, finding new developments and seeing their light displays. One of the best is our very own neighborhood...and it rivals Clark Griswold's! Fun and carefree thing to do on an evening if you have some extra time...
Something New for This Year - Rockafeller Center
I wanted to start this last year, but it just didn't make the cut, but THIS YEAR...we are leveling up and making the trip to NYC to visit the Tree @ Rockafeller Center. I'm especially excited to start this as I have never been to see the tree myself for Christmas time, so it's like a new thing I'm starting with Laina. And now that she's a little older, I think this will be something she will remember as an adventure and special time. Who wants to join us?! Any tips on visiting Rockafeller Center??
And I want to know - what do holiday traditions look like for you?