Traditions New and Old

Yes, I know most of you are well past thinking about Christmas and have moved on to bigger and better things like New Year's resolutions and figuring out how the heck you could have possibly consumed so many sugar cookies in one month. (No? That one's just me?)

But because I'm a new mom whose days are consumed with a delightful yet rather demanding little guy, I operate on a schedule all my own. So you're getting another Christmas post now. Deal with it.

This is the first year since right after I graduated from college that I actually spent Christmas at "home." I use "home" in quotation marks because it isn't the same home in which I spent Christmases past.

I did not return to my hometown in Wyoming or even to the state in general (in part because My Parents don't live there anymore!). And unlike I've done in the past few years, I did not split my time between celebrating the holidays with My Parents wherever My Sister lives (a few years in D.C.; last year in Santa Monica) and then visiting Conservative Grandparents in Florida. Instead, My Parents made the trip to L-Town to join us for new holiday traditions in good ol' L-Town.

With My Parents, Conservative Parents, Kid Sister, and T-Bear, plus a smattering of good friends here and there, we managed to have a wonderful Christmas celebration that stretched over a couple of days. Best of all, we were able to start some new family traditions and integrate some of My Family's favorites, which we seem to maintain no matter where we celebrate Christmas.

The photos scattered throughout this post provide a snapshot of some of those traditions. On Christmas Eve, Conservative Parents joined us for our traditional meal of seafood chowder and rolls, followed by an angel food cake with peppermint ice cream. (It's a birthday cake for Baby Jesus, in case you're wondering. When we were younger, we'd light birthday candles and sing Him happy birthday. Cheesy? Perhaps. But it is a reminder of the reason for the season.)

Then, after we attended a celebration hosted by some good family friends, we got the little guy ready for bed. My Mom (who's known throughout the land for her reading voice) read Collin "The Night Before Christmas," which was given to him by his great aunt and uncle in Kansas City.

We set out cookies and milk and a note for Santa on the tray My Sister and I used for this very purpose throughout our childhoods. This year, Butter wrote the note on behalf of himself and Collin. In future years, Collin will have the pleasure of writing his own note to Santa.

Magically (!), when we awoke on Christmas morning Santa had already come and filled our stockings. After eating a bit of our usual Christmas morning bread, we took a peek at the treasures we received. Then we loaded up and headed over to Conservative Parents' house for gifts over there (along with Kid Sister, T-Bear, and Cubbie) and a delicious brunch that included Conservative Dad's famous sausage gravy and biscuits.

Later that evening, we went back to Conservative Parents' house for a traditional Christmas dinner of turkey and all the fixings. Deeelicious, and the perfect end to Christmas Day.

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