Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Traditions

are there certain things that your family does every year during the Christmas season?
growing up, we didn't have many Christmas traditions
but the few we did have are so special to me
if you follow me on instagram, you saw this post last week:
my mom has been baking up a storm lately
she's made a little of this, and a little of that
but mostly she's made batch after batch of these, using my Grandma's secret recipe:
aren't they gorgeous?
they're an Egyptian cookie called "Kahk"
(always a fun word to try and teach someone ;) )
and they don't tend to last long around here...

i've never had the chance to try my hand at making them
(my mom's copy of the recipe is in Arabic - darn, should have paid more attention in Arabic class!)
but i do know that they use up an awful lot of ghee,
they make the house smell amazing,
and they take me back to Christmases past and growing up
most of all, they bring back so many wonderful memories of my grandma

she was an amazing woman, a prayer warrior and the most selfless person i've ever known,
she was also probably the most sarcastic person i've met- the woman was hilarious!
she lost her battle with cancer years ago, but i feel lucky and blessed to have grown up with her around
i'm thrilled that she's pain-free and with Jesus now
and i love thinking back to all those happy times watching her bake and laugh and enjoy life with us

who would have thought that something as simple as Christmas baking could mean so much?
i certainly didn't think much of it growing up
(well, i looked forward to the end product of all that baking, but that was about it!)
but in hindsight, i realize that family traditions mean so much more than simply doing the same things
year after year

so i did some research this weekend,
and made note of some ideas for traditions we can start with the girlies
most will have to wait till next year,
either because it's too late in the season
or because they're just a tad too young to understand / enjoy them this time around

here's what we've already done / started doing this weekend (with our now almost 2 year olds):
- sing Christmas carols together
- give them new Christmas jams on Christmas Eve,
so they can wear them that night and while opening presents the next morning
- baked some awesome ninjabread men
(recipe and pictures coming soon!)
- continued our celebration of Advent at church

and just like that, we've made a step towards creating our own traditions
i'm super excited to make more with my little family
and am really looking forward to being able to explain to them the real meaning of Christmas next year
of Jesus' birth and what that means and why it is such a joyful occasion

i hope you're enjoying the season and feeling festive today,
feel free to share your Christmas traditions in the comments
(or any good ideas for two year olds! ;) )

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