Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Traditions

Ready or not, the holidays are here, filled with the scents, sounds and traditions that make this special season like no other.

Here at the Obenhaus' home, the tree is up and decorated...

And the stockings have been hung with the greatest of care...
(I must remember to pick up another candle.)

Oh, but that's just the beginning. Soon, cherished events will take place, like our town's annual Christmas parade, my friend, Drenda's cookie/ornament swap, and so many other things, culminating in a blessed Christmas Eve church service.

Recipes that only appear this time of year are being dusted off and ingredients bought.
Andy Williams, Perry Como and Bing Crosby echo from my radio.

One of our favorite traditions is to give each child an ornament that will often reflect something that's happened in their lives that year. It's a tradition that my mom started when our oldest daughter was born and one I've carried on not only with my kids, but with my grandkids. 
In recent years, I've started purchasing an ornament whenever we go on a vacation, so every Christmas, as I hang them on the tree, I'm filled with memories of where we were and what we did.

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without those amazing aromas. 
At our house, I always have Christmas Scent simmering on the stove.
The kids walk in and say, "It smells like Christmas."
It's also a great gift idea, so if you're interested, you can find the recipe in my journal at  mindyobenhaus.com

Now it's your turn. What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?


  1. My mom started the Christmas ornament tradition, too, and I continued it with my kids, often making a special ornament for them each year. My mom has been gone 25 years now, but extra fondly remembered as I put the ornaments on the tree each year.

  2. I love the vacation ornament idea. One tradition we have is to open one gift each after we come home from Christmas Eve service. Another is to put pomegranates in the stockings. I'd never seen a pomegranate until my husband and I moved to Los Angeles for college. The tradition started that first Christmas.

  3. I love the ornament idea, but i have been too slow on the uptake to start that with my kids. This year, however, I am making each of the grandkids a snow-globe ornament. Whether I'll continue this or not, remains to be seen. Great post.

  4. What lovely traditions!

    Our tree is filled with ornaments the kids have made in craft sessions. Love the ones with the pictures best :)

  5. Mindy, love your tree and fireplace. We have an ornament with the date on it for every year we've been married, and I also buy ornaments when we are on vacation.

  6. What wonderful traditions! I can smell your Christmas Scent simmering on the stove. Ahh. Since we travel every year to visit one side of the family or the other, we haven't developed many Christmas traditions of our own, but I love my in-law's tradition of giving a gift from the Grinch. It's either used or extremely inexpensive (like garage sale stuff) and never wrapped in anything fancier than newspaper or a brown paper bag. They have passed down some family treasures this way.

  7. Sandra, tears sprang to my eyes as I read your last sentence. The memories grow more precious with each passing year, don't they?

  8. Jean, we also do the one present on Christmas Eve and it's usually pajamas or something of that nature. A hint that the kids should be scurrying off to bed. ;)

    I've never heard about the pomegranates. Heard of oranges and nuts, but pomegranates sound really exotic.

  9. Carolyne, I love the snow-globe ornament idea and am in awe that so many of you make your ornaments. That would stress me out. Not that I don't appreciate handcrafted works. I still have many of my kids things they made clear back to preschool. Would love to see some of your handiwork.

  10. Sherri, I miss those ornaments the kids used to make in school. Would you believe I still have a pinecone ornament I made when I was in school? Can't believe it's survived so long. I know you'll hang onto those cherished ornaments and pass them on to your kids. Just think of the memories they'll have as they unpack each one, year after year.

  11. Merrilee, those dated ornaments are what I tend to go for. Though, on occasion, if I'm searching for something with a special meaning, I will opt for the undated. Of course, then I will either mark the box or the bottom of the ornament with a sharpie for posterity.

    So if you've had one for every year you've been married, how many dated ornaments are there on your tree? ;)

  12. Christine, I LOVE that. A Grinch gift. Very clever. Oh, I would love to know what some of those treasures are.

  13. My husband and I spent four years early in our marriage living in Germany. While there we collected some wonderful Christmas decorations. I love putting them out each year. They bring back memories of a special time in our lives.

  14. Ok, Keli, I bet you cherish those ornaments. Some of the most beautiful ornaments in the world come from Germany.

    Where were you stationed? I lived there for three years in the mid 80's and still miss some of their holiday traditions. Like the man driving around the neighborhoods with his tractor and flatbed trailer filled with Christmas trees, shouting, "Tannenbaum!"

    For the second year in a row they are hosting a Christkindl market near us and I am determined to go this year. Hopefully it'll give me a little taste of Germany.

  15. Thanks for sharing, Mindy! I'm heading to get the recipe now. It's probably similar to one I've made in the past--and that one is made with apple cider and is drinkable too. :)

  16. Missy, I don't think you'd want to drink this one. Not that it would hurt you, but it might have you thinking, "Yucko." ;)


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