Christmas is my favorite time of year for so many reasons. My family had a lot of traditions. My least favorite was my sister and I shoveling the driveway while my parents watched from inside sipping hot chocolate. Here are a few of my favorite traditions/staples of Christmas:
The Christmas Pickle
My grandparents would hide a pickle ornament in their Christmas tree. If you found it, you'd get a prize. Now we have a pickle for our tree and the first person to find it gets a dollar. (As an aside: I hid it really, really well this year.)
The Christkindlmarket + The Berghoff Restaurant
When we lived in Germany, one of our favorite things to do was go to the markets at Christmastime. After we moved to St. Charles, we discovered there was an authentic German Christmas market. We made it a tradition to go downtown (rain, snow, or shine) and visit the market. After that, we'd hit up Berghoff for an authentic German dinner.
The Nativity Set
We had this awesome old nativity that my mom used to play with under our tree. My sister and I would play with it during the Christmas season. Once we got older (and my mom had bought another nativity [pictured]), we would make the biblically correct nativity, hence the wise men removed from the birth of Christ. My mom loved that.
While we were in Germany, my mom bought me a nutcracker each Christmas. The four tallest in the center are the ones I got. The tallest (a Russian tzar) was the last one I received. I picked it out because the dude had such a fluffy hat and awesome "jewels" (polished rocks). I've added a few to my collection since then, but the core are old, like me!
I cannot wait for when our family grows. It is going to be so much fun to add new traditions to our family; to make new memories; to watch our kids shovel the driveway while enjoying the warmth of a hot chocolate.