Growing up, we did not have many traditions surrounding the holidays.
There was never a specific day to trim the tree, or a night to go caroling.
We didn't have a special ornament to hang or nativity to set out.
There were no candies or cookies that we made without fail.
When I envisioned myself as a mother, I pictured changing all of that. And while I realize that reality sometimes gets in the way of that vision of perfection, I am - slowly.
The tree is trimmed with care (and with the breakable ornaments carefully hung out of the reach of almost-2-year-old hands).
We're not big on caroling, but I do love to listen to Christmas music almost every day and night.
We have many special ornaments (including many from my childhood), and look forward to growing our collection.
I do love to cook, and enjoy trying new cookie and candy recipes, always refining what we like & when to make them. This year's experiments include caramels, peppermint patties, marshmallows, and maybe even cake balls.
One thing I've always wanted to cross off my Holiday Mom List was making a gingerbread house. I know better than to dive in full-force, so I started off small with a graham cracker version and dollar store candy.
We used a 6-pack holder as a base, with cardboard for sub-roofing.
(shout out to the neighbors for providing the foundation of our gingerbread house)
Work in progress.
Cutting graham crackers is much easier with a serrated knife.
And patience. That helps, too.
The finished product.
Next year I will: make more royal icing, buy more candies (including gumdrops and Nilla wafers), and not bother creating red icing. I will also spread the process over a few days. It seems best to assemble the house one night & decorate it the next.
I feel like I've completed a rite of passage as a mother.