HAPPY HOLIDAYS – 5 Things My Family Must Do During The Holidays (Specifically Christmas)

dog-candle-fireplace-fir-tree-room-wreath-christmas-new-year-christmas-fireplace-holidaysIt’s nearing the end of September, which means the holidays are right around the corner. I love the holidays and having four little children makes it even more exciting! I decided to start with Christmas, and although it is still quite far away, it will be Christmas before you know it!

This series is intended for all of you who LOVE the Holidays as much as I do! If you enjoy the warm fuzzy feelings the holidays bring, this series is just for you! Now, lets get to the five things my family must do during the holidays. We’ll begin with the Christmas Season!

1. OH CHRISTMAS TREE!

The day after Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year! We get out the Christmas Tree, ornaments, stockings, and other decor. Next we put on some Christmas music, specifically The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole, which sets the mood, and follow up with some Christmas classics, such as the songs you hear on Home Alone, and of course, Mariah Carey’s Christmas Albums (specifically for myself, lol). We make some hot chocolate, filled with the marshmallows and sip it as we sing and put the ornaments on the tree. We talk about all of the fun times we have during the holidays as the spirit of Christmas is ringing in.

2. CHRISTMAS CHAIN!

Do you remember in elementary school when you would make the green and red Christmas chain? It was where the green and red strips were interlocked and you would rip off one and the chain got shorter each night. Well, ever since then I made the same chain every year growing up and as I had my own family. Now whenever I make it, instead of just plain green and red links, I write on each link a verse or set of Bible verses from the Bible of Jesus’ birth. Each night we take off one of the links and read the verses and discuss the true meaning of Christmas to us. Yes “Jesus is the reason for the season!” I’m sure you’ve heard that before! Here’s a link to learn how to make the Christmas Chain, but don’t forget to put the Bible verses you want or you can simply put the numbers for the countdown!

3. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!

How many times have you been driving at night and see almost every house lit up with Christmas lights? Every year, we see some amazing houses with Christmas decorations. We love to take a tour all over Las Vegas during the season, but not for the Vegas lights, lol! Here is a video of one of our kid’s favorite houses that we drive by almost every day! Every year they have more lights! It’s fascinating!

4. BAKE AND WATCH!

One of mine and the kid’s favorite things to do is bake Christmas cookies! I found a simple recipe several years back that takes little time to do I also shared the recipe in a previous post titled Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe. Of course we bake other things as well when we have the time, but these are simple and you can make many in little time! They’re simply Sugar Cookies. Here’s a link to the Sugar Cookies recipe and the recipe is also listed below. This is sort of a two in one because we also LOVE to watch Christmas movies! Yes, I let my kids believe in Santa Claus, but I have always taught them the true meaning of Christmas and teach them to give as well. So of course we have a list of our favorites. We watch and like other movies, but Christmas without these would not be Christmas at all. These are some of our favorites: Home Alone 1 and 2, Tim Allen’s The Santa Clause (1, 2, and 3), Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (animated TV Special 1970), Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), Santa Claus the Movie (with Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, 1985), Elf (Will Ferrel and obviously we don’t watch this with the kids, lol), It’s A Wonderful Life (a classic! 1947), Last Holiday (2006), Perfect Holiday (2007), and of course A Christmas Story (1983).

***The recipe listed below is the original recipe that was posted on the website in the link above. I do modify the recipe to my family’s liking, so I do not make the cookies EXACTLY as they are in the recipe below, so feel free to do the same!***

A simple sugar cookie recipe with a tender, flaky texture and a buttery taste. Yum!

Makes about 24

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix until just combined. Add flour and baking powder in intervals. Dough will seem as if doesn’t have enough moisture but continue to mix with mixer until combined (it will come together when chilled). Divide the dough into four equal parts, shape into four disks, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate about an hour or until firm. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper, about 1/4 inch thick for crispier cookies and 1/3 inch thick for softer cookies. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until edges just start to turn a golden color. For softer cookies, do not allow the cookies to take on color. Remove from oven, let cool for one minute and then transfer to wire rack. Allow cookie sheet to cool thoroughly before placing uncooked dough on it. Decorate cookies with Royal Icing or Buttercream Frosting and sprinkles.

Can be stored in freezer undecorated for 2 months. Dough also freezes well.

Note: Yield varies greatly depending on how thin you roll out the dough and how large your cookie cutters are, but an overall guideline is 24 cookies.

5. CHRISTMAS EVE

Christmas Eve is no doubt my kid’s favorite! They absolutely love it because they know Santa will be on his way and we get to set out a plate of cookies with some milk. Christmas Eve is usually spent at one family’s house (whichever family member decides to have it at their home) and we all gather around for food and exchange gifts. After that, we usually go home, put on another Christmas movie, then get ready for bed. We always let the kids open one gift for Christmas. We usually do the “From Mommy and Daddy” gifts and save the “From Santa” gifts for Christmas morning. Most times it’s something they can sleep in (my kids love comfy pajamas) or something they can use immediately…it’s more fun that way. Then we get the cookies and milk together for Santa and send the kids off to bed. They are so excited and so are we! The next morning everyone is up before the sun! We say a prayer together thanking God that Jesus was born to save us from our sins, sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and then open presents! By then we are all exhausted and fall back to sleep (well, the adults do at least), until it’s time to get ready to visit more family!

What are some of the things your family MUST do during the holidays? I would love for you to share with me some of those things, ideas, traditions, etc. that you do for the holidays! Stay tuned for more posts about the holidays. Thanksgiving and Halloween will be incorporated into some of these posts as well. Happy Holidays!

**emeteriascott.wordpress.com claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.**