Christmas Traditions

Christmas is a time of tradition. Christmas trees, Santa Clause, and opening gifts are some that we all have, but I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Christmas traditions that my family has.

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Since I was a little kid, we would go to my dad’s side of the family Christmas Eve and my mom’s side on Christmas Day. We would eat dinner together and then exchange gifts. I remember my grandmother always making white trash, which is Chex mix and M&Ms mixed in white chocolate, and she would have wassail. In the past few years as the grand kids have grown older, this tradition has changed a bit. Instead of going to my grandmother’s house on Christmas, we now go and spend the night at my aunt’s house the weekend before Christmas. Plus instead of everyone exchanging gifts, we play white elephant. Pretty much everyone brings things from their house that they don’t want or funny gifts and we play a game where we go around and open the gifts. The best rule of the game is that when it is your turn you have the option to steal a gift. Although it sounds kind of mean, it is a ton of fun. You never know what gift you are going to open or if it will get taken from you. For example, this year my grandmother wrapped up random knick-knacks from her house. She even wrapped up some of the grand kids old school photos. We all got a kick out of it. Plus there are always enough gifts to go around several times (see below). It is the best way to get rid of that unwanted Christmas gift you got last year, that is if the person who gave it to you, is not there.

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Another Christmas tradition that I love is one that my immediate family started a few years back. Recently we have decided that we would rather open gifts of Christmas Eve so then we can sleep in on Christmas Day and then get up and enjoy Christmas brunch with the family that comes over. The other part of this tradition is that we order Chinese food to eat on Christmas Eve before opening presents. You are probably wondering why Chinese food. This one was my brother’s idea. He loves the movie A Christmas Story, which we also watch every Christmas, and at the end if the movie the family’s turkey gets eaten by the neighbor’s dogs and they are forced to eat Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant.

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As time goes on Christmas traditions grow and change, but there is one tradition that remains true. It is the tradition of giving. This tradition last because it is the tradition that started Christmas. 2000 years ago God gave us the gift of His son. He sent him as a sacrifice to save us from our sins. This is why we celebrate Christmas. This is why we give at Christmas. We do this because God did it for us. Though this gift, God showed us love and through our gifts we show love to others. So as traditions change, remember the one tradition that remains and that is the love God shows for us.

Burlap Tree Skirt

I love the classic look of a burlap tree skirt, but most of the tree skirts I found in the stores were more than I wanted to pay.  They can range anywhere from $20 to even $50.  So I found a cheaper way.

While shopping at Hobby Lobby, I found this burlap gift bag for only $7 and got an idea.  I figured that I could use the bag to make a tree skirt of my own.

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I folded the bag in half and then cut out a pie shape piece (see below).  I also cut a small piece out on the corner in order to create a hole for the tree.

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I was not sure how this was going to turn out, but had planned on sewing the four corner pieces together to make the tree skirt.  Turns out that when I unfolded the piece, it was already the shape I needed.  I did not plan it this way, but it worked out and saved me some time.  In order to make this happen, you just have cut along the folds.

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Finally, I cut a slit down the tree skirt so that it could go around the tree.  I did not do anything to finish off the edges or to prevent it from unraveling, but will probably do something in the future.

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Christmas Candle Holders

Christmas Crafting continues with these quick and easy candle holders made from recycled wine bottles.  I used red acrylic paint to paint the entire bottle red and then used a puff-paint pen to draw on the snowflakes.  The snowflakes aren’t perfect, but that’s okay since every snowflake is different.

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Finally, I added the gold candles to make them look more elegant. I also plan to use a clear, glossy finish spray to give the candle holders some shine and preserve them a bit.

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If you like this craft check out my other candles holders here.

J-O-Y Scrabble Tiles

Here is a quick and easy project to decorate for Christmas.  Now I cannot completely take credit for this idea.  I have seen this on several other blogs along with Pintrest.

I started making the Scrabble tiles by cutting some scrap MDF boards that my mom found for me.

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I cut the boards into 13″ by 13″ squares since they were already 13″ wide.  This way I didn’t have to make as many cuts.  I made three tiles in total; one for each letter.

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After cutting the tiles, I sanded the edges.  This softens the edges and make the tiles look more finished.  (Plus if the cuts aren’t perfectly straight, sanding them will make them look better.)

The next step is to paint the letters and corresponding numbers on the tiles.  You can choose whatever letters you want in order to spell whatever word you choose.  I chose the word JOY (partly because it was short).  Since I don’t have the best handwriting, I printed  out the letters and numbers from the computer.  Then I cut and traced the letters and numbers on the boards.

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Finally, I painted the letters and numbers on with gray paint.  You of course could use whatever paint color you want.

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I choose to display my Scrabble tiles on the buffet in my dinning room.  I added trimmings from the tree and ornaments to add a festive flare.

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I just love this project because it is so simple yet makes a big statement.  Plus there are endless possibilities with what you can do.

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

It’s that time of year again.  CHRISTMAS!!!!

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is decorating for the season.  Christmas decorations just make a house look so warm and cozy.

Well first things first; the Christmas Tree.  Last year, I did the traditional thing and went and cut down a tree.  I just love having a live tree.  I love the look and smell, but most of all I love the fact that you get rid of it at the end of the season and you do not have to store it.  ( I don’t like clutter.)  Even though I love the idea of picking out a live tree and cutting it down, it does take a lot of time which I did not have this year.  Instead, I went online and bought one from Lowe’s. (Who knew you could buy a live tree online?)  When I arrived at the store, they brought it out to my car and loaded it up.  Thankfully I only bought a 6ft tree, and it fit inside my Jeep quite nicely so I didn’t have to tie it to the top.

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After getting the tree home, I put it in the tree stand, watered it, and started putting the lights on.  Then I added the ribbon and ornaments.  My style for Christmas is pretty traditional.  I like the traditional Christmas colors, red, white, and green.  Plus many of my ornaments look vintage, but most of them came from Target.  The vintage ornaments give the tree a classic feel that doesn’t look like some fancy designer did it.  There is nothing wrong with a designer tree; they are gorgeous.  It is just not my style.  I prefer a tree that looks like it belongs in a small cabin in the mountain somewhere and that has handmade ornaments.  I also added the burlap tree skirt to finish it off.  So without further ado, here are a few pictures of my tree.

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Even Bernoulli likes the tree!

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