My Holiday Traditions

There’s a few bloggers writing about their favorite holiday traditions, so I thought I’d join the bandwagon and add some of my annual traditions!

1) I watch “A Christmas Story” and “Love Actually” without fail.  I used to watch the former a few times though now I’m good with once a year, and I grow fonder of the latter every time I watch it.  Because honestly, who can’t relate to Sarah in at least one point in their life around 2:33:

2) I celebrate Chrismukkah!  Since my (step)dad is Jewish, we’ve been celebrating Chrismukkah for the past few years.  Sometimes we celebrate together at my parents’ place, though other times we just greet each other with cards and phone calls depending on everyone’s travel schedules (especially my globe-trotting parents, I think they went to France and Israel last holidays – beasts!).  We light the menorah, trim a mini-tree, play Secret Santa/Yenta Claus, and of course, stuff our faces.

3) We go to church.  Confession time (ha, no pun intended but I caught that when proofreading): I actually didn’t start going back until B entered my life.  I turned my back on religion after my dad passed away, and I would have never guessed ten or even five years ago that I would soon be marrying in a church.  B’s helped me rebuild that religion relationship back, and it all started with Christmas Mass.  The ‘new’ Pope has also been more motivating to go back, I really like his actions so far (or at least what the media portrays).

Wrap them up in pretty cellophane and curling ribbon and they look more edible, I swear! ;)

Wrap them up in pretty cellophane and curling ribbon and they look more edible, I swear! 😉

4) I bake goods.  In lieu of gifts, I bake goods and ship them off to loved ones (though it might drop down to immediate family this year since we’re hosting a few friends at various intervals this season).  I always make mini loaves of chocolate zucchini bread (so moist), and think I’m going to give mini pecan pies (thank you, kind clients, who gave me a bagful from their backyard!), Oreos dipped in white chocolate and peppermint sprinkles (cheating with this one, but they’re so yummy), and my other client’s no sugar, fudgy, decadent dark chocolate chip cookies (let me know if anyone wants the recipe).  If anyone has a great recipe, I’d love to see it!

5) I check out the lights!  This has always been a favorite when I was little, and there’s so many cool places that have them like Balboa Park (a strip of museums), the boats at the bay, and of course, the beautiful houses by the beach.  I’m *loving* going with my friends and their little ones, since the kids get so excited and it’s like experiencing Christmas for the first time all over again with their expressions and ooh’s and aah’s.  It’s pretty golden.

I hope everyone is doing well with their holiday preparations and/or shopping!  I’d love to hear what your traditions are so I can copy be inspired from them. 🙂

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43 thoughts on “My Holiday Traditions

  1. Love your Christmas traditions Anna. My home address is #123 – IWantBakedGoodies street in case you want to mail me some. 😛 So far, the only real Christmas tradition J and I have are going to see Christmas lights and take a picture with Santa Claus. Santa is always like “wow, here comes the big kids” when he sees us since J is 6’4″ LOL

  2. We get together with the wife’s family who are extremely, extremely politically conservative: All of the problems of the world including the price of gas (always a hot topic), the lack of availability of certain items at the grocery store, the current temperature, the lack of quality shows on TV and the sorry state of the universe are then blamed on any one of the following: the liberal media, the President, Nancy Pelosi or the state of California (or all of the above),

    Relatives who are liberally biased then jump in. A fracas ensues which quickly devolves into a heated screaming match. My father in-law’s face turns bright red as he yells at the top of his lungs.

    Not wanting to be involved in any part of this, I retreat to a quiet room and shut the door. Headphones go on.

    Only 10 more days; can’t wait!!!

    • I undoubtedly LMAO’ed with this comment – awesome! I would love to be a fly on the wall when they’re around. We have some politically charged moments, as well (most times just B and I!), but we do take a break during the holidays (at least thus far!).

      • Oh wow, it is equally painful and amusing. I swear, the wrguments are the most ridiculous things ever. Here is an example (slight exaggeration):

        Inlaws: Obama wants to change the national anthem to the theme song from Barney and he wants to put the Power Rangers on the American flag! We read it in an email, so it must be true!
        Me: Um, Snopes and FactCheck say it’s BS. Besides, that is preposterous.
        Inlaws: Snope and FactCheck are part of the liberal conspiracy!!
        Me: I’m going to my room now. I need to do my weekly sock count.

  3. We all wear red Santa hats when we’re opening presents, which is super dorky but I love it. And my niece is little, so we put out cookies and milk for Santa, which is delicious. Unless my niece is a reader of yours, in which case I have no idea what the cookies taste like, since Santa is the one who eats them and he is totally real, and very nice, and you are a good girl, Melo.

    • LOL I loved this comment, too!! That is stinkin’ adorable that everyone wears Santa hats, and what a good Santa you are (I mean, look away, Melo, look away!!). One year my parents put my present tilted in the fireplace (no fire of course) – when we woke up at midnight, my mom explained to me that Santa was in a rush and just dropped it off. Brilliant!

  4. I love Love Actually!! I love the original sound track as well.
    I always think I’m going to check out the lights, but then always miss it due to my laziness. I am going to actually go and see it this year. You do it every year, I don’t know why I can’t even go once.
    Your baked goods look so good~ I can tell from the picture that they are moist and yummy.

    • Thanks for the baking compliments, and I agree, I love Love Actually, too!! It’s cheesy in some parts, and awkward in others, but I love it! We don’t really have snow or super cold weather, though, so I don’t have an excuse. 😉 Stay warm, girl!

  5. Those are nice traditions Anna! Feel free to send me any baked good! lol! I loved Love Actually when I saw it in the theater, but it actually makes me feel a little depressed, either because for some things didn’t turn out so great, and others I feel envious of because I’m single. I kind of like Bridget Jones’s Diary this time of year. 🙂 I do love Christmas lights though!

    • Oh man, don’t think I’m not making some post-race goodies!! It complements all buffets, I think. 😉 I agree there’s parts where Love Actually is kind of sad (I wanted Sarah to find love, goshdarnit), and I love Bridget Jones, too!! Man, I might have to add that to the movie tradition!

  6. I usually end up watching Love Actually every year, too. One of my favorites ever since I saw it in college!

    I’m also the baker in the family – I bake many of “grandma’s” recipes (actually great grandma for Mr PoP), and added in the Chocolate Kahlua cake my mom made when I was a kid. People love that and Mr PoP calls them “alcoholic brownies”. =)

    • Awesome, I love how there’s quite a few Love Actually fans in the PF community! The Chocolate Kahlua cake sounds amazing – care to share the recipe, please? 🙂

  7. Chrismukkah! Awesome…did you guys celebrate Thanksgivukkah also? It’s kind of crazy but they play A Christmas Story marathon on TV on Christmas but I don’t think I’ve actually sat down to watch the whole thing! One day maybe… I love checking out the lights, there is a neighborhood that does a great job and so many people go to look at them that it causes a traffic jam. And one house not too far from where I live is going to be on some reality show competing for best Christmas lights or something. I might check that out.

    • Haha, we didn’t spend Thanksgivukkah this year, but I did greet my parents accordingly! You *have* to catch A Christmas Story this year – so many endearing quotables! What’s the reality show called for the Christmas lights, I would love to see how the east coast houses look like with lights – they must look amazing with snow!

  8. baking goods is one of my favorite parts of the holiday too! A Christmas Story is our tradition too, along with eating at either a Jewish deli or a Chinese restaurant and seeing a movie at the theater on Christmas day.

    • Haha, we totally went to a Jewish deli a few times during Christmas, too – oh man, black and white cookies are so delicious! What baked goods do you make? 🙂

      • We usually make chocolate chip cookies or quick breads as they’re relatively easy. And delicious!

  9. You know, I didn’t grow up with holiday traditions. However, my fiance and I started one a couple years ago. Every Christmas, we drive up Mount Hood for some snow…there’s nothing like a white Christmas!!

    • So awesome that you watch Love Actually every year, too! Haha, I don’t think I’ve ever noticed the turtlenecks, now I’m going to have to do a count the next time I watch it!

  10. Some years, I celebrate “Chrismukkah”, too. My aunt and uncle are Jewish and it’s fun learning about the holiday from them. Plus the food is great, too! Thanks for the recipe ideas – the chocolate zucchini cake looks interesting, and the dark chocolate chip cookies look yummy.

    • The chocolate zucchini breads are awesome – you don’t even taste the zucchini, it just makes them super moist, and the chocolate chips make it! I love that you celebrate Chrismukkah, as well – agreed the food is delicious!

  11. My two must-see movies are Elf and Love Actually! Every time it’s the scene with Sarah and Karl, I yell “don’t answer the phone!!!!” at the tv…like the movie will actually change. So sad! I guess it’s like guys yelling at the tv during sports games 😉

    • LOL that is the best analogy ever (and I do the same thing, as well as wonder why the brother didn’t call the whole time during the car ride?!). I *love* Elf – “Saaaanta!! I know him, I *know* him!!*

  12. Love this, Anna! We always watch A Christmas story and It’s a Wonderful Life, which is one of my all-time favorites as Jimmy Stewart starts out a huge spoiled brat and then realizes what a great life he has. 🙂 I love the Chrismukkah idea – how very cool! We always have our annual baking day too, which is today, ironically! My mom’s in the kitchen baking cookies, and I’m taking a computer break – all day baking is WAY too much for my ADD brain. 🙂

    • Mmm, your house must smell AMAZING right now, Laurie! You know, I’ve never seen “It’s a Wonderful Life” though I’m a huge Jimmy Stewart fan (loved “Little Shop Around the Corner”) – perhaps I will check it out this year! 🙂

    • Aww, what a great tradition to just spend time and watch Christmas movies – I might have to adopt that (though I think B has a two movie limit haha). Merry Christmas, Erika!! 🙂

  13. Love the traditions, Anna! Your baked goods looked delicious and I bet your friends and family love getting them. I love seeing all the holiday lights too when I drove home from work. It’s a great way to switch from work-mode to Mom. In SoCal, you can’t really claim it’s too cold to put them out (well, we do but we get laughed at by everyone not from Florida!).

  14. Love Actually is so good! I honestly don’t think of it as a Christmas movie (even though they celebrate Christmas in the movie for goodness sakes) so it never dawned on me until recently why it is always on during the holidays. I am obviously a genius!! LOL! I didn’t do much baking for the holidays until recently but now it has become a tradition. The chocolate zucchini bread sounds great. I made some last summer and tasted it good but it overflowed my bread pan and made a huge mess. 🙂 Oops. I have to admit after growing up in Minnesota, the Christmas lights always seem strange to me here. It doesn’t seem quite right with Palm Trees and no snow. Of course, I’ll be whining about the snow when I go home! Have a great weekend!

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  17. Our current pope is a great example of Christian love – he’s so inviting and humble! Also, the BF and I are baking this year to save money – who doesn’t love homemade goodies?? Speaking of Chrismakkuh, did you see the Shark Tank deal with the guy who made Hanukkah tree toppers?

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