Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Winter Wonderland


It's hard to believe that yet another Christmas has passed. It was our third year celebrating as husband and wife.

For the holiday weekend, we traveled to the area where both sides of our families live. This is something we have done for a few years and really enjoyed, but we expect things to be different in the coming years. As we look forward to starting a family of our own, we also look forward to starting new Christmas traditions. I'm curious to hear how your holiday celebrations have changed over the years?

We were blessed with a white Christmas. Although it was chilly, we took a long walk through the snow.


We came across one house that had a yard full of snowmen statues.


Some were plastic, and some were inflatables. The one on the far right is about 12 feet tall!


32 comments:

  1. Since our family is getting much bigger with more in-laws, I have in recent years begun to host our big family gathering usually the 2nd Saturday of December, thus freeing up everyone to go to their many family and friends parties closer to the actual holiday.
    We also have a tradition of traveling to Branson each year that Sights and Sounds has a new production. We always find plenty of other new attractions to fill a couple of days there.
    Oh and starting next year we will have a “pass around platter”. Found in Branson last week. If you don’t have one, I’d suggest looking into it!
    Blessings

    ReplyDelete
  2. My family had a white Christmas for the first time in 12 years.
    We even brought back our tradition of singing The 12 Days of Christmas with all the bloopers included along the way.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous12/27/2017

    I wouldn't be in such a hurry to abandon getting together with your parents at Christmas, just because you might have children and would want to start your own traditions. Your children will be around longer than your parents. I don't know anyone my age who wouldn't love to have one more Christmas with their parents, at the old homestead...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12/28/2017

      I completely agree with you. We are a military family, who never gets to spend holidays with our families, due to the distance. You don't realize how very blessed you are to be able to spend the holidays with your families. I'm all for starting new traditions, but why not try to incorporate your parents in them too, if possible?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12/28/2017

      Your kids will always remember going to Grandma's for Christmas, so I hope you weren't implying that the trip was going to end because you might have kids someday.

      I remember the huge gatherings we had at our in-laws at Christmas, when all our kids were little. Sure, someone had to make a long drive in dicey weather, someone's kid (or two) would get sick, and it was disorganized noisy fun that made you wish for school to start again. But now those kids are all grown (with kids of their own), the in-laws have gone to their reward, the house was sold, and the holidays are not the same. But we made those lasting memories.

      So my advice is to continue making that trip while you can. The "new" traditions can wait a bit. There will come a time when you HAVE to make them.....

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12/29/2017

      Completely agree! New traditions should always include your extended family...cherish the time you have with your parents and in laws....time goes quick and I'm sure you'll have family memories that you will be so thankful to have.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12/29/2017

      Depending on how far away they live from the families though. She probably doesn't want to have to pack the kids up on Christmas and drive for hours after the kids already open their gifts. My family is in the situation now, we are going to start celebrating Christmas on another day, so we don't have to take of kids out on Christmas day. It's a happy med for everyone.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous1/02/2018

      As a mom of little ones I understand not wanting to travel to see family. If you are having trouble establishing a night time routine with a small baby it can be stressful to have to stay somewhere else. Maybe she just meant she would like to have extended family over at her place instead so it is easier on her. My family switches every other year between my parents and my husbands parents. But when I’ve had a newborn I’ve hosted my family rather than going to them and they don’t mind a bit. They help with cooking and cleaning so I have the comfort of staying at home but not the extra work thankfully.

      Ellie, that’s exciting to hear you are looking forward to starting a family! Prayers for your family’s journey!

      Delete
  4. Anonymous12/27/2017

    What beautiful snow photos. My area only received rain. We actually still do the same traditions as we have always done. Our parents are both deceased. It is my sisters and me. We always have a live tree to the ceiling. We hang our stockings and fill them with little things. Later we exchange gifts. We have a red Santa bag that we usually fill with things that are fun,crossword, search a word puzzles. We always give books that we know we will all love to read. We have a chicken dinner with all the trimmings. We still open Advent calendars to mark off the days until Christmas. We watch Midnight Mass from St. Patrick's Cathedral,too. Ellie, hope you and Mr. Handsome have a Blessed and joyous 2018.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous12/27/2017

    The snow looked cute.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We have pretty much kept our same tradition except last year we tried something different. We did Christmas crackers. This is a tradition that is popular in the UK. We enjoyed it so much we did it again this year. This year we bought a set of Christmas crackers that was music themed that came with whistles and a song book and we played Christmas songs.Each whistle had a different note. We laughed so hard at ourselves because we were off key but we still had fun.
    We didn't get snow this year. Our winter has been dry and I wonder if we will get any moisture. Anyway, I'm glad you two are looking forward to starting your family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had the same set and it was so much fun!!

      Delete
  7. Growing up we always went to grandma's. We too had family from both sides of our family there. Christmas was synonymous with Christmas. My father died when i was 10, so the stability of going to grandma's became even more important. We also always went to Christmas Eve services then having a big dinner that included Lutefisk and Lefse that are Norwrigan customs. When my mother got older we kust naturally changed to me hosting Christmas. Finally, i have my kids an ornament every year that was unique so when they moved on to their own home the had a set of ornaments ready to go. Be sure to write on the back or bottom who the ornament was from, the year they got it, and then when we put it on the tree we remind them why they got it or tell a story about the person who gave it to them.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous12/28/2017

    When we were married 25 years ago, we always celebrated Christmas Eve with my husband's parents. My husband has one older brother who is married and his two children are married with children also. First we would watch our niece and nephew in their Sunday School program and then go to the in-laws. It worked out that after our niece and nephew were no longer in the Sunday School program, our children started, and then our family attended our church first and then we went to the in-laws. Now that our children are young adults and my in-laws have gone to their heavenly home, we celebrate either the weekend before or the weekend after. We continue to have the same meal that my in-laws served - prime rib and crab legs. We share the cost of the meal. We draw names at Thanksgiving. Our children became part of the draw after they were confirmed. We also shake dice for inexpensive gifts, too, that we all contribute. We really enjoy it and enjoy spending time with our niece and nephew and their families.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous12/28/2017

    I kind of agree with the comment that said host the elerly parents eventually.....after all those years they deserve to be the honoured guests. But it is not easy if there is a social/financial gap and the parents would much rather just have a quiet Christmas at their own comfortable home. Than rough it where their children "are at in life"!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous12/28/2017

    I think Christmas means a little too much to you. Or maybe you don't really want to o along with all the Christmas traditions like your parents had so you want to start having Christmas according to your decisions.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous12/28/2017

    Growing up in a family of 9, there were too many of us to spend all of Christmas at my grandparents. We always spent Christmas Eve at home, going to church and opening gifts as a family that night. On Christmas Day, we would have a big luncheon at my grandparents' with the rest of the extended family, enjoying each others company without worrying about gifts.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous12/28/2017

    I love the Snowmen! We would exchange gifts with my in-laws Christmas Eve. We celebrated Christmas with my widow mom at her house until three years ago, because that's what she wanted. Now my hubby & I, our children & grandchildren celebrate Christmas at our daughter and her families house. Her husband loves to cook and has a big meal for all of us to enjoy. Each year the meal is different. This year was ham, shrimp, pork tenderloin, brussels sprouts, string green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, a few breads and few desserts...Jane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12/28/2017

      What do we have to do to get invited to your daughters house? :-)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1/08/2018

      Just knock on the door, my son-in-law always says more the merrier.Lol...Jane

      Delete
  13. We live about 90 minutes away from both sides of our family. They live in the same general area but about 45 minutes apart. Since we've been married, we've both definitely had to compromise a bit. Luckily, his family celebrates on Christmas Eve, and mine does more on Christmas Day. Even with kids, we travel. Our kids want to see their cousins and we want to spend time with our families while our parents and older relatives are still around. Someday that may not be the case and I would feel sad for what we'd have missed. And anyway, Christmas is all about family and the more the better! You will find your own traditions even if you travel. We generally open up presents in our own house the morning of the 24th. We treat it like Christmas morning with an early visit from Santa (my kids don't question it!), with a fun breakfast and the like. We pack up and head out to my husband's family celebrations, then make it to my parents by noon on Christmas Day for a full day with that side. We also fit in church somewhere--either home or with family, depending on how schedules work out. As much as I'd always longed for Christmas morning in my own house, nine years in we've gotten a pretty solid tradition going and my kids don't know any different. Family is most important to us, and until we're at the point for family to come to us, this is our tradition :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sounds like an announcement to me! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12/29/2017

      do you really think this is an announcement? Is it really any of our business? 🤦‍♀️

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12/31/2017

      If anything it would be a hint. an announcement would be " We're expecting!"

      Delete
  15. Anonymous12/29/2017

    When we got married 27 years ago, we would go to my mom's for Thanksgiving and my husband's grandmother's for Christmas. Then we started alternating each year (my husband's grandmother's for Thanksgiving, my mom's for Christmas) so that we would spend time with both sides of the family on both holidays. Sadly, this changed in 2008. We lost my husband's grandmother in August and my mom in December. Now both holidays are at my house. We miss them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous12/29/2017

    My history begins in Holland where my parents immigrated from to Canada. When I was little we followed traditions from there at home and at church. Gifts were given on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was only about Christ's birth as it should be. As my siblings and I became adults and then parents, my parents became more Canadian in their traditions. They felt that we needed to change our traditions. Christmas was still spent at their home but they wanted their children to establish traditions for themselves with their families. So the afternoon of Christmas Day was spent opening gifts there that were to and ifrom everyone and having Christmas dinner together. This way, the morning was for each individual family to spend the way they wanted and for going to church. Now my children our adults with their own children. I feel my parents showed a lot of respect and thoughtfulness to their grown children and grandchildren. They have both passed away not so many years ago. Our Christmasses are now collaborative holidays between all of us. Some of our children do not live in our city. All have in laws who live other areas from us and from themselves. Many factors are in play that need to be considered. Sometimes Christmas is held at my home, sometimes we travel to one of our children, it all depends. But we all love one another. Eileen

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous12/29/2017

    Ellie, your coat is absolutely gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous12/30/2017

    When I was little we just celebrated Christmas at home.My grandparents lived in another state to far to go their.

    My dad's parents had already died before I was born.

    So I never had Xmas with my granparents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous1/04/2018

      I’m sorry you never got to experience Christmas with grandparents. Sad for you and for them. Maybe one day you will experience the joy and blessing of a grandparent, sharing Christmas with your own grandchild.

      Delete
  19. It's so exciting to start a family and combine and create new traditions. We are expecting our first child in April of this year and look forward to reducing the stress that has become he new normal in the holiday season. since we were the childless ones we would travel and swap Christmas with each family each year. I'm so excited to see my little guy wake up to his Christmas tree that he decorated in his Christmas pj's in his house!! I'm so excited to be the one to cook a big wonderful meal for my family and celebrate using our traditions that best suit our little family. the plan of change in years to come is to open the doors to our house for whomever wants to join us but we are staying put. I just don't want my little man to associated Christmas with Mom and Dad being stressed out with travel. our families also have differing spiritual beliefs then we have so it is important to me that we instill the true meaning for Christmas in our children and that it doesn't get lost in the Santa and gifts of it all. I'm sure we will find a balance that will work for everyone. I'm sure you will find what works best for your family as well. Happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations Christine! I took a peek at your blog awhile back where you had announced your pregnancy. That's so exciting!
      Praying you have a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery!

      Delete
    2. thanks so much!! we are excited. I'm horrible at balancing blogging and life haha. thanks for checking it out i really love doing it!

      Delete