Okay, so on to the blogfest! They asked us to post pics of our decorations, how we celebrate the holidays, and also post a favorite recipe.
Hubsies and I try to incorporate different winter holidays into our Christmas celebration. I've always had a great deal of respect for different religions, and since I don't follow one particular religion, I like to pull a little from each of the major ones.
The first tradition we celebrated was Hanukkah on Dec. 1. I read a little story about it to Little Monster, and then she got some cute boots and chocolate gold Hanukkah coins as a gift. We also set the Menorah up.
I had actually decorated my house for the holidays before Thanksgiving (I was a little excited...). So we had gotten our lights up outside and everything out and ready by the time the fam came for Thanksgiving dinner.
|Yes, those are totally moose glasses from Christmas Vacation-|
thanks to my awesome Brother-in-law and his fiance`!
And then we finally put the tree up. It's always a fiasco with us and the lights- we always have dead strands by the time we get them out for Christmas again. So I'm always having to run out and buy new ones as we are putting our tree up. Luckily this year, I had bought some BEFORE we tried putting the tree up.
Little Monster decided to make us all name tags for our stockings so Santa would know whose was whose:
We also have garland up over our doorway, which symbolizes the Solstice for me.
The Solstice is tomorrow and we will give Little Monster her Christmas/Solstice present from "us". I'll also usually read a little prayer to the sun, and a book to Little Monster about the Solstice and other winter celebrations.
And then finally, Christmas Eve arrives. Usually we do a traditional Polish Catholic dinner of perogies, potato soup, fish and greens. It's actually supposed to be a big complicated 7, 9 or 11 course meal, complete with hay under the tablecloth and an extra spot for the "Unexpected Guest" (i.e. Jesus). We are also supposed to leave a little bit of food on our plates for the animals, because they helped keep the baby Jesus warm in the stable. Through the years my family condensed the tradition a bit. I was raised Catholic (my great grandparents immigrated from Poland), so we like to hang on to the traditions that were important to our family. It was always followed by Pasterka, or Midnight Mass.
My grandmother always made shortbread cookies and what we call chewie brownies. I've included the recipe for those brownies- I don't have a picture but they look like chocolate chip cookie bars. They are SO good. You will love them, and it's easy to make!
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz) package chocolate chips
1 (13 1/2 oz) package of graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients. Grease 15x9 inch pan. Bake in 325 oven for 25 minutes.
They should be gooey in the center. Yummy!
Christmas Day has turned into a relaxing day for Hubs, Little Monster, and I. Since he works retail, we can't travel to see the rest of the family for Christmas. We celebrate over New Years weekend now, so Christmas is just the three of us. We love watching A Christmas Story all day, and just hang out together. Hubs' brother and sister live near us so sometimes they stop by to see what Little Monster got.
That's our holiday traditions in a nutshell! Can't wait to see how everyone else celebrates! Have a great Christmas everyone!