Monday, December 01, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 1 Favorite Christmas Tradition

Hello everyone, welcome to Blogmas 2014!!

I don't know about you, but I am so excited to get this going and to see what everyone will be sharing during the month of December and leading up to the big day.

1st of December, the kick off of our Blogmas 2014.  If you want to join in and are curious about the categories and what exactly this is all about, be sure to read my Blogmas post.

 Since today is the first day, we are kicking it off with our Favorite Christmas Traditions.  These could be something you do as a family, something you did in your childhood, or even something you would love to start doing.

Let's get going......


My favorite Christmas traditions.

Growing up, we always celebrated Christmas on the 24th, that was our big day, and the 25th was a day for eating leftovers, enjoying the presents we received and just plain relaxing.  We didn't even do a big dinner or lunch or anything.

As I've grown up and gotten married and started a family, I kept that same tradition but have also incorporated some of our own.

When the kids were little, every Christmas Eve we would make Reindeer Food and then go outside to sprinkle it on the front lawn, that way Santa's Reindeer knew exactly where to stop and also enjoyed a little snack to give them strength to continue on with their very busy night.

We stopped doing that a few years ago because the kids are now 15 and 11 and weren't interested in that anymore.

Another tradition of ours is that every December 1st, we go out and get our tree.  When we lived in Portugal we always had real trees, and my brothers and I looked forward to going to get one and then bringing it into the house and decorating, it was something that stayed with us all these years.

Once we moved to South Africa, it wasn't that easy to find real ones, and so we started using the artificial trees but it just never felt the same to me, and I dreamed about the day I could get a real one again.

The first few years of marriage we used artificial trees too, we couldn't afford to get a real one but again, that dream always remained.

A few years ago, I decided that it was time to switch back to the real one and my dream came true.  Since then, we always get a real tree.  I can't really describe the feeling of seeing it in the living room all decorated and lights blinking, with the wonderful scent of pine wafting through the air.

Another tradition is for me to make either Monkey Bread or Cinnamon Rolls on Christmas morning.

The big night however, like I said above, is Christmas Eve.  I don't make a big dinner, I make a bunch of small things, tons of Portuguese goodies, and we just sit around the table and chat and snack throughout the night.  Once the night is over, I place a big tablecloth over it all and then the next day we just go in there, lift it up and snack all day long.  Love it, it's something we did as children and something we still enjoy to this day.

Since I'm Portuguese and my husband and children are American, we try to do a bit of both.  We open most of the presents on the 24th, but then we also open some on Christmas morning, and the whole stocking thing?  We never had that growing up, but it's something we do now because my husband always had his when he was younger.

Lastly, I actually came in to add this one because it completely slipped my mind earlier, but we have the kids pick an ornament every year for the tree, and by that I mean a new ornament.  My plan is to give them all their ornaments one day when they go off on their own, so that they will have a little piece of home when they decorate their own trees.

So, not too many Christmas traditions, but I think enough to make this season special!

If you have little ones and would like to try the Reindeer Food, I am leaving you the recipe we used below, along with some cute little printables.  Enjoy :)

1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup red or green sugar crystals (as used for cake decorating)

Be sure to take this magic food and sprinkle on the lawn,
On Christmas, Santa's reindeer travel miles before the dawn.
The smell of oats and glitter path will guide them on their way
And you'll wake up to Santa's gifts next morn on Christmas Day!

So what are YOUR traditions?

Buttons for every day.....feel free to use!


Amy at love made my home said...

You have some lovely traditions, it was nice to read about them. I will enjoy reading your posts in December! xx

threesidesofcrazy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tasha said...

Im so excited that you started this. love it. and im in. I love your traditions

threesidesofcrazy said...

I'm so glad you started this - I'm loving the trip down memory lane.

I'm glad you're doing a real tree too - it just makes the house smell like Christmas to me.

I tried to link up, but it says the link is too long :(

Dawn Marie said...

I love learning about different traditions. I've never had a real tree. My parents said they had one once and it was too much of a hassle. I'm one who enjoys the simplicity of an artificial one.

carrie@northwoods scrapbook said...

I love your traditions! I especially love when you share things about your Portuguese heritage and traditions. Real trees are the best, I agree. We had cats before and they wouldn't leave it alone so we switched to artificial and have stuck with the ease of that, but I do miss the real tree smell.

Love the reindeer food tradition too! Thanks for the sharing the recipe. ;)

Unknown said...

So nice seeing what other countries do as their traditions for Christmas. Can't wait to read your other blogs!
But we make our reindeer food with Porridge oats and glitter


Anonymous said...

Sandra, THANK YOU SO MUCH for hosting this brilliant link-up (I've been waiting for your post all day!)......I'll be with you every day :) Love your traditions.....cinnamon bread - yum!!!!

Stephanie Roberts said...

I love reading about traditions! I'm excited to follow your Blogmas 2014!! Good luck and hope you enjoy the "ride"!!

Much Love,
-Stephanie Eva

Ruth A Stiles said...

This is a great idea! Thank you so much for finding another way for us to all connect!

Anonymous said...

Love the reindeer food, that is so cute, and how fun for the kids!! The ornament idea is very special as well. My mom bought all her grand kids ornaments every year, so my 19 year old twins have a lot and love to look at them every year.

Liz said...

So excited for Blogmas. I'll do my best to keep up. I've not been so good at committing in the past but I'll do my best.

What a great one to start with! Traditions. I love learning about your heritage. So neat and fun!

Our Home Grown Adventures said...

Ohh! I want to try the reindeer food this year. I think James would love that :)

Thanks again for hosting this christmas challenge! x

Sarah said...

Loved reading about your family traditions Sandra. It made me happy just reading it. Big hugs. x

Schotzy said...

Sandra I love this idea.... and I am inspired to try to post as much as am able throughout the season... today I posted here

Merry Christmas to all!

Angel Jem said...

We did Reindeer food for a couple of years; it was really cute to see the children getting excited at the thought of Santa coming!
I'm joining in at my cottage, as well!

Susanne said...

Loved your traditions Sandra! We used to have a real tree all the time growing up and up until about 10 years ago when our family bought a fake one because the trees were so dried out they were literally brown and falling apart by Christmas and we were scared to even turn the lights on on them. I wish I could go cut my own so that wouldn't happen. Miss that gorgeous smell!