Dare to DIY: Christmas traditions and a tree!

It’s the last week of Kim’s dare to DIY link party- and this week it’s Christmas traditions! 

Our Christmas traditions have changed over the years- when we lived in the same state as our families, we’d split the holiday between our two sets of parents.  My husband’s parents are REALLY into Christmas, and he has a huge family, so the majority of the holiday was spent with them- we would go to their house for Christmas Eve and have a big dinner and open presents with his brothers/sisters/nephews/nieces.  Then my husband and I would actually stay the night at his parents (and Santa would fill our stockings!  Seriously this never gets old for me…) and open presents with them the next morning (plus have Christmas breakfast).  Then we would drive 2 hours south to spend Christmas day with my parents and sister.  My family is pretty flexible about when the holiday family time actually occurs, which is nice when you’re separated by a couple hour drive!

Now that we live all the way across the country from everyone, our traditions have changed.  We have 5 animals and it’s REALLY difficult to find a petsitter at Christmas.  So we’ve had to create our own Christmas traditions the past few years because we can’t be with everyone at Christmas time.  It goes a little something like this- Christmas eve I make a big dinner, usually a turkey, but I did make mac n’ cheese (from scratch!) one year so we’re flexible.  That way Christmas day all we have to do is heat up leftovers (and eat them for a week since it’s only the two of us!!)  We usually open a present or two on Christmas eve.  Then Christmas morning we have a big(ish) breakfast and open presents/stockings.  It goes very quick with just the two of us, but it’s still fun to have some sort of tradition.  We’re lucky in that my parents have decided they like visiting around Thanksgiving, so we do an early Christmas with them.  This year my sister is visiting right after Christmas, so we’ll do another mini celebration with her!

One of our traditions that we do regardless of where we live is to cut down a Christmas tree.  There’s just something about the scent of a live tree- I don’t know if I could ever do a fake tree, although they certainly are easier (and WAY less mess).  I also don’t like buying a pre-cut tree- I want to tromp through a field and pick out/cut my own!!  This year was no different, except that we were a little later in getting our tree than we usually are.  Want to see?

There’s even presents underneath already!!!

We do a mish-mash of ornaments- some are from my husband’s childhood, some are from my childhood, some are keepsakes that people have gotten us throughout the years and then there are lots of different balls on there to fill in the holes.

Here’s a look at a few

An early Christmas present from my husband- awww he’s so cute!

My mother-in-law gets me one of these ornaments/figures almost every year- I love them

My husband has quite the John Deer collection on the tree- we think he might need his own tree for them!

One very old one from my husband’s childhood

First married Christmas together!

I really like the white lights on the tree- that’s actually my favorite part I think.  My husband REALLY wants the giant old fashioned colored bulbs on the tree because that’s what he grew up with…uhhhhh.  I’m a little worried they might be a fire hazard since they’re outdoor lights…but maybe once our white lights burn out we’ll make the switch??

Here’s the tree at night- my favorite part

And in the room

Ahhhhh- so nice!!

And one more fun picture- I got all the “kids” (well, of the canine variety anyway) to sit for me under the tree.  It only took about 20 tries to get a good picture, and I think Ellie thought she was in trouble.  Oops.  But it turned out cute!!!

Happy Holidays everyone!!!  Looking forward to reading about everyone’s holiday traditions!

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