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Embracing the Simple Joy of Family — 25 Comments

  1. What a fun and very “Griswold” tradition. (Please tell me you’ve seen the Christmas Vacation movie! Lol!) I have always wanted to cut down our own tree, but we never have. Instead we have a fake pre lit tree and to be very honest, I pulled it out of the basement the day after thanksgiving and it stinks. The tree smells awful! Like dust and dirt or something. I’ve been washing the branches in a vinegar solution, vacuuming them, and I even tried baking soda. Nothing seems to be getting rid of the odor. So I’m totally wishing I had that lovely smell of fresh cut pine in my home right now. 🙂 Enjoy your tree and your Christmas!!

    • This made me laugh. Not because your tree smells, but because I want to buy an artificial tree so bad. I do love the fresh smell, but it’s so much work. It helps having children who take control and do most of it. But I would love to just pop it up and go!

  2. I stopped over from Tuesdays Unwrapped. I’m looking forward to putting up the tree, phase two, tonight with my peeps.

    Thanks for the beautiful picture of your family holidays!

  3. Thank you, I can’t wait to make the peanut butter balls with my girls. I have to say I think you’re doing your kids a favour by minimizing the gift giving. I’ve done that over the years to where I’m only giving them one gift each this year (it’s a good one). Of course, I can’t control the rest of the extended family…I prayed about encouraging my daughters to give a gift to Jesus, meaning a gesture of love to someone else. Wouldn’t you know, that very evening my 10-year-old shared her plan to give her sister a unique gift. She is asking people who love her big sister to write what they love about her on a cue card and she is putting all the messages in a jar as a special gift.

    • Wow, your daughter has such a giving heart. That is truly going to be a gift her sister will always treasure. Thanks for stopping by Laura!

  4. Barbie,
    What wonderful traditions…your kids are blessed to have so many wonderful memories together…for the past several years, we have bought our tree and decorated it while listening to Christmas music …the day after Thanksgiving…our girl is already talking about baking cookies for friends and neighbors…blessings to you, my friend 🙂

  5. OK, I see you already answered the decorated cookie question! 🙂 I love getting a glimpse into how you celebrate. And for the record, I am not a fan of the stores opening on Thanksgiving evening either. I haven’t set foot in a store yet, but have done some online shopping. I like to go to the mall just to browse and watch people.

    Love you, Barbie!

    • People crack me up at Christmas, and sometimes it can be so sad. I love on line shopping and hope to do most of mine there this year. Amazon and I are great friends!

  6. It’s so neat to get a sneak peak into other families Christmas traditions. One of things I started with my nieces and nephews was baking Christmas cookies and even though they are tweens and teens now they still look forward to it.

  7. Loved this glimpse into your celebrations and I so agree- what a GIFT family is!!! We have so many traditions and I love them all. Planning to hunt for our tree on Thursday- the kids have the day off of school on Friday, so we will decorate with cookies and hot chocolate all day long! I made the the Rolo pretzels for the first time this Thanksgiving and I understand why they are a staple at your house!!! Oh, my word! So easy. So delicious. Our favorite is Buttermilks. Oh, it is a magical time, isn’t it?
    Merriest of Merry Christmases to you!!!

  8. LOVE this little glimpse into your holidays Barbie! Ooooh – and Michael Buble… I don’t have that one (yet!) I LOVE Christmas music… but I promise my hubby every year that I will not keep buying more CDs that we only listen to for a month or so… and yet? (Last year it was She and Him and I love that one too!)

    As far as Christmas Activities… well we don’t have a real tree – so the hunt is not part of our tradition anymore but the decorating and Christmas movie and a whole lot LESS baking nowadays – but still a little! We go through a Drive Through Nativity, look at Christmas lights around town… go to the Lighted Parade and walk through a Journey to Bethlehem… mostly – we snuggle on the couch and enjoy the twinkling of lights and holidays movies!

    • Oh yes, how could I have forgotten the lights! I’ve never been through a drive through nativity. There is a church near us that sets up a nativity outside, complete with a real baby and real animals!

  9. I love your pictures and the recounting of some of your family traditions! Our kids are grown, but we still love to decorate and make the house look festive for Christmas. Yesterday was spent (joyfully) with boxes all over the house as we unpacked decorations! I love the baking tradition, too, and am looking forward to that. There is so much at this time of year that I love…especially the true reason we are celebrating!!

    Blessings, Joan

  10. love your traditions, Barbie…
    But do you really decorate your cookies like that bottom picture????? If you do, my friend, you have just landed in a whole other kind of spectacular!
    <3

  11. Thanks for sharing with us, Barbie. I love this “Tuesdays Unwrapped.” Those cookies look delicious and your tree is BEAUTIFUL! I need to get mine up!!
    Much love to you.
    Beth

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