Monday, November 29, 2010


My friend, Ami,did a post about old and new traditions and I thought that was a STUPENDOUS idea.

Christmas has always been my family's favorite time of year. Growing up my mom would decorate our house to the hilt. It was always amazing! Our friends would come over just to hang out at the Kelley's Christmas Wonderland. I love our traditions and I love that we are making new ones. I love everything about this season.

  • Every year we go to Winterhaven and walk around as a family looking at all the amazing 'exterior illumination'.
  • My mom and I put out our Christmas Villages and each Christmas we add a new house to our collection- this year my sister has joined in the madness.
  • During the Toys for Tots toy drive, we give the kids some money and take them shopping. It's totally cool watching them pick stuff out for kids that would otherwise get nothing (that is something that my parents started with us when we were little)
  • On Christmas Eve we have a very strict routine and I LOVE IT! We all go to church (the big church, as Delaney would say) about 4:00. When it's over we head to my parents house. **New tradition that started last year.... when we get to my parent's house, Santa somehow got to her house early and left some cozy jammies for the little kids to wear (this is actually something that Eric's older kids do at their mom's house and I loved the idea, although I think maybe we will say it was Santa's elves that left the jammies-I dunno, I am still undecided.)
  • Every Christmas Eve, we eat chili. Chili with cut up hot dogs and cheese and Frito's and onions. My mouth literally just filled up with spit as I typed that.
  • After Chili, we always got to open one present on Christmas Eve (we will do that too with our kids) and then we watch White Christmas. This is something that I remember every year growing up. I love that I can remember watching it when I was younger and I can't wait for our kids to appreciate it too.
  • After the movie, cookies and milk are put out for Santa and then off to bed.
  • Christmas morning we could open our stockings as we waited for my parents to wake up or heard the final beep signaling that the coffee was ready.
  • We eat Chicken Enchilada Soup on Christmas Day and watch The Polar Express
I know that list is kind of all over the place, but my mind is going a million different directions tonight. I am so excited for Christmas. I want to make sure that I put emphasis on the fact that Christmas is not about things, but about family and Christ. I want my kids growing up understanding the Reason for the Season. It's important to me. I find myself telling Delaney that Santa is watching and she can't say "stupid", "shut up" or "son of a bitch" (Awesome, I know) and she promptly asks me, "With his noculars?" I tell her yes and he doesn't like that language and he won't bring you presents, and I immediately cringe. That's not what I want. I don't want Kris Kringle to turn into a threat. I am going to work on that. I promise.

I am grateful for all the memories I have growing up during this time of the year...... I want that for my kids too.


  1. I'm picturing Santa watching Delaney and Brody with his 'noculars' and ho..ho..ho'ing!
    ...And then I watched the White Christmas clip and immediately remembered all the years of tired yawns and sleepy eyes at the end of the movie and three of you trooping off to bed only because as you put it, "That way Christmas morning will get here quicker!"
    I'm so happy you're making memories with your kids...and that you still love Christmas as much as you did when you were their age.
    xoxo Mom

  2. That is a lovely post, Nicole. Your mom's hot dog chili soup is my son's favorite dinner - she gave me the recipe years ago. It is the first thing he asks for when he comes home.

  3. I loved reading about your family's old and your new traditions for the holidays. I have had fun starting my own/used traditions. Great idea to post about it-- maybe I will follow your lead and your friend, Ami (she has the triplets, right? I follow her too! and I think found you from her!) and blog about ours as well! :)


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