sleigh bells in april.

hello everyone.

This is a post about Christmas. Yes, I know it's almost May and the Easter Bunny's footprints are still fresh in the mud, but I never got around to blogging about some of my favorite Christmas traditions, so I am going to do it now. Plus, to be fair, the weather outside has been pretty frightful lately....

This past Christmas we continued a few traditions that help make Christmas time special for me.

Tradition #1 Get a live tree!
Tim and I hunted for a live evergreen tree at a tree farm near Bloomington. Each year we take great care in choosing the pagan-symbol-turned-commercial-icon that is our Christmas tree. This year we bought one with a root ball and then planted it in our backyard to commemorate our first Christmas as homeowners.

Tradition #2 Decorate!
Josh, Tim, and I got in our jammies (this is mandatory), and took turns hanging ornaments on the tree.
Notice Josh is wearing is hood because it is soooo cold in our house. You may not be able to tell from this picture, but our tree is adorned with several handmade artisan ornaments crafted by local artists.....

Tradition #3 Make ornaments with friends!
A few years ago, we had a party where we all made ornaments out of construction paper and random craft supplies lying around. This year, I decided to revive the tradition at a community dinner one night. Below is a bradybunchesque display o' ornaments:
Clockwise from the top, left: Josiah made a Christmas tree for the Christmas tree (so meta), Tarabee made a stocking out of yarn, Kevin made an advent pyramid, I made a Sunset Hill silhouette and a rainbow baby Jesus icon, Will made some origami...things, Jose made a tribute to himself, Josh made a wintery-spaceship scene, and Sam created a perfect snowflake replica.

Tradition #4 Make gifts and creative wrappings!
Tim and I try to incorporate at least a few handmade gifts for our family members each Christmas. This year we made peppermint lip balm in mini-Altoid tins. I based the recipe off the recipe found here, but tweaked it with some tips from Bean, who used a different recipe to make yummy lemon lip balm.
Also, every year, I put way too much time and effort into wrapping all our gifts with things lying around the house. This year I used phone books, grocery sacks, an old blue D.A.R.E. t-shirt (just say "no"), some old yarn scraps, and some paint pens. Money spent on wrapping = $0

Tradition #5 Spoon with brother!
Okay, so this tradition only applies to Tim and occurs anytime, not just at Christmas. But I included it because it's real dang cute.
Thanks for letting me take you back a few months, even though I am sure you are all excited that we've left Christmas in the dust and are headed for summertime. More seasonally appropriate posts to come.


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