I know I’ve been harping on how every. single. holiday. Tim and I will have from now until the sprout comes is THE LAST ONE AS A COUPLE and I’m sure you’re super tired of hearing about it….
Don’t you want to see what all went down during our last Christmas as a pair instead of a threesome?
It’ll be like you were right there with us…only…slightly delayed.
This Christmas, Tim and I wanted to do everything…cookies and a real tree and decorations and anything and everything else we could possibly cram into the holiday.
(Maybe it was just me who wanted to do “everything,” since I found out this year that the only reason Tim puts up lights outside is because *I* like them)
There would be no slacking like last Christmas where all we had was a fake tree.
In our defense, we had just moved to Colorado and had to move from our temporary asspartment to our house a few days after Christmas, so it didn’t make much sense to go all out, only to have to add extra work to our already overflowing plate of stuff to do. I digress.
This year was completely different.
This year Tim put up the lights for me and we made little boughs for the porch and bought wreaths and it all turned out super freaking adorable, if you ask me.
(I took this picture right after we got something like 10 inches of snow…the piles on either side of the driveway were up to my HIP!)
(And yes, that’s my car in the garage)
Tim and I LOVE tradition. We live for it.
It’s funny…Tim, as an individual, fell in love with tradition on his own, as did I. And here we are. Thirteen years separating us in age and we both value many of the same things…
Tim and I have traditions for everything…all of the big holidays and even the “Hallmark” ones.
The big holidays tend to be some of Tim and some of my childhood traditions melded together. The smaller ones….not so much.
Like, for example, Tim has always gotten me roses on Valentine’s Day.
Sure, some people may find it cornballish but it is something I look forward to every year. We also get all dressed up and go out to a nice restaurant for dinner. Typically, it is a restaurant that Tim picks, makes reservations for and then takes me to without my knowing where we’re going.
It’s not cheesy.
For the big holidays, through trial and error and compromise, Tim and I have done a pretty good job merging our traditions together.
We tried to go cut down a tree because Christmas isn’t Christmas unless WE HAVE A REAL TREE.
But since that didn’t work out, we ended up with this one…still pretty…still real…just…from Oregon instead of the mountains of Colorado.
(I have no idea why they came all the way from Oregon when we have plenty of trees here…)
We tried something new, which was to go into downtown Denver and take a picture of this building. We passed it by accident on our way home from one of my OB appointments and I was all, “WE HAVE TO COME BACK. PICTURE.”
So, we did.
I can’t even begin to describe the details on this building…ones you can’t even see in the picture. The windows have nutcrackers and tin men…Santa and his reindeer are on the roof…it is insane the amount of effort that must go into this display.
And how they make sure none of the lights go out is beyond my realm of understanding. Tim and I almost had a breakdown with our icicle lights not working. I couldn’t even imagine taking on that kind of lighting responsibility.
I’ll settle for this one, instead:
I have no neck in this picture and it made me sad in the pants and I didn’t even attempt to “fix” the brightness due to said no neck but long story short: no other pictures were attempted….this year.
We also baked cookies, all from Tim’s family. My family wasn’t huge on baking specific cookies every year, so I was happy to indulge in Tim’s traditional cookie feast.
I say “feast” because if we had REALLY gone all out, we would have had to make somewhere around five or six different kinds of cookies.
I just didn’t have that kind of patience or resilience.
Instead, we settled for the favorites: jammies (probably better known as jam cut outs or jam cookies. I failed in taking a picture of ours but the finished product will look something like this), hazelnut balls (which, by the way, the version Tim makes doesn’t even *have* hazelnuts in them) and one new “thing.”
We’ve yet to repeat a new “thing” yet but we keep trying to see if we find something we really like and want to start making every year.
This year, Tim tried his hand at candy making with peanut brittle.
He did a fabulous job but I’m not sure if we’ll end up making it again next year. Personally, I think sugar cookies with icing for decorating would be fun, since baby sprout will be something like 10 months old and might be able to get into it.
I also want to make a gingerbread house with baby sprout every year…but I’m getting way ahead of myself…
The beginning of the jammie creation process:
And the “hazelnut I mean really pecan” balls:
Cookies are vital because one of the traditions we have continued comes from Tim’s family. While everyone is opening gifts on Christmas morning, there is always a plate of cookies out for everyone to eat.
My family never did the cookie thing but we also kept the Christmas morning tradition that my family does as well, which is to have sausage balls and orange juice after all of the gift opening has commenced.
(We didn’t take a picture this year…these are sausage balls from last Christmas at the asspartment but that’s basically exactly what they’re supposed to look like)
When I first told Tim about the sausage balls he was all, “That’s disgusting.“
Then he tried them.
They’re BFF now.
All of these baking projects start a day or two before Christmas and are finished sometime Christmas Eve in the early evening.
Then, on Christmas Eve, we watch the Polar Express, our movie of choice every year since we’ve been together.
That’s the first movie Tim and I saw together on our very first date ever in the history of us.
Awww…so cute, right?
This year we also “read” one of those recordable story books to baby sprout. My mom sent it with her voice as the narrator for The Night Before Christmas.
Super sweet, I know.
Then, Christmas morning, we get up before the sun, Tim takes the obligatory “before the chaos” picture…
sets out the plate of cookies and then…..
We broke tradition.
Typically, Tim and I always open our stockings first, before any presents are even touched. I’m not sure if he did that with his family or not, but in mine, brother Jeff and I always opened our stockings before anything else.
This year, however, baby sprout had about a million gifts to open, so we decided to do his first before we opened anything for ourselves (basically practice for next year, right?).
If you think I’m kidding, here is a picture of the gifts under the tree before Tim and I put any of our gifts to each other under the tree.
That – the presents under the tree thing – doesn’t happen until right before bed on Christmas Eve. I had to (gently) talk Tim into wrapping and putting the sprout’s presents under the tree before Christmas Eve.
He was all, “Good thing I did!” because it took him somewhere around five or so hours over the course of a few days to wrap them all.
All of the gifts for the sprout, of course, had bows and pretty name tags and the paper was coordinated with who got us each gift.
And that was all Tim’s doing.
Zero percent influence from yours truly.
Anyhow, under normal circumstances there are not any gifts under the tree until Christmas Eve.
The kid cleaned UP!
Yet we STILL have a million things we need to buy for him. They aren’t even wants or ‘it’d be nice to have…’ They are MUST PURCHASE ITEMS like a carseat and a stroller and diapers.
You think I’m joking….
Having your first child is asspensive!
Why so much stuff?!
Anyhow, after we spent an hour on the sprout’s gifts (for serious), we finally got to our stockings and gifts.
We’re one of those households who open one present at a time, alternating who opens a gift from the other person.
I know this kind of slow opening drives some people crazy, but it’s what we like to do…and hopefully when the sprout is old enough, he’ll enjoy it, too, instead of ripping through everything in five seconds and then running off with his new toys…
We end our Christmas day with this meal (minus the peas this year).
This is the meal my mom makes and when we lived in Atlanta, the one we would have either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, depending on which night she had my two younger brothers (my parents are divorced, so they alternate who has them on these two days each year).
Basically – a honey glazed ham, brussels sprouts, macaroni and cheese.
Completely delicious and not exactly health conscious but when you eat sausage balls and cookies for breakfast…….
I think Tim’s family usually has Italian…lasagna, maybe, on Christmas day.
Tim and I moved that to Christmas Eve instead and we have some kind of Italian meal that night. This year it was chicken parmesan…last year was stuffed shells.
Only time will tell.