1. Sending out Christmas cards with a DVD of favorite photos to share our many adventures with friends & family.
2. Putting up our tree and decorating the house the weekend following Thanksgiving.
3. Taking a annual family photo (either in a studio or at home).
4. Having Breakfast with Santa at the Pine Tavern Restaurant.
5. Celebrating Christmas - just the four of us - the night before we depart for the coast to see friends & family. Preferably, I would like to do this on Christmas Eve as is tradition in Norway (and as I did as a child) but circumstances prevent this and the specific date isn't critical. I prepare a traditional Norwegian Christmas menu ... roast pork with gingerbread glaze, lefse, pickled herring, etc.
6. Creating handmade gifts for friends and family. I started this in 2003 and have been gradually giving fewer store-bought gifts. I enjoy spending the time crafting with my daughter (my son is just now beginning to show interest) and I feel the gifts are more meaningful. I of course try my best to select projects I think the recipient will truly enjoy.
7. My daughter has also taken up this tradition and has given her loved ones a handmade gift every year since she was two.
8. When I was little, Santa's arrival on Christmas was always magical. I haven't quite figured out how to make this happen for my two. Traveling makes this difficult. Any suggestions would be appreciated. :)
9. I tried to start a new tradition this year of eating by candlelight for our evening meal. DH doesn't like this very well so the kiddos and I do it on the nights he works late. Hopefully, he'll come around and enjoy it himself.
10. Another new tradition I plan to start this year is to eat a traditional Scandinavian breakfast on Christmas morning. I bought an aebleskiver pan and look forward to expanding my repertoire.
11. My Christmas wish list includes a set of clips for Christmas tree candles. They are mostly for appearance but I would light them on Christmas Eve for a short time. My mom did this when I was little and the tree never looked more beautiful. I also want to get a garland of little Norwegian flags to adorn the tree.
12. Maybe not so traditional for other families but true for ours... My FIL prepares prime rib on the 25th and we have a buffet of appetizers and finger foods at my SIL's on the 24th.
13. We drive out to Shore Acres to see the Christmas lights and enjoy hot cider and cookies as we listen to a choir sing Christmas carols.
Wishing you a Christmas warm with happiness and a new year filled with joy. Hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday season.