{small things} merry christmas!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! Ours was so full! We spent 4 days traveling across the northern winter lands, being with family, playing games, and eating good food!

One of my favorite things about Christmas is all the traditions. Traditions create a way for families to bond across the generations, provide family ties to pass on, and are ‘scheduled’ opportunities (so to speak) for quality time with family.

J+B on way home

Pink Peppermint Pig – If you haven’t heard about the famous peppermint pig of Saratoga, you’re missing out! I’m not sure how my Grandma found this pink pig 10 years ago, but 10 years ago she did! We have 10 of the little hammers and every year after Christmas Eve dinner, the pink pig goes around and everyone gives it a clink for good luck in the New Year. Memories of this include my aunt Carla denting the table instead of the pig and this year’s Grandma and Grandpa bringing it with them to my aunt and uncle’s the day after Christmas to continue the tradition.

In Search of A Pickle – Another, more common, tradition of ours is the search for the pickle in the Christmas tree. While origins of this tradition are a little bit unclear, I can’t remember when we started this family tradition. Every year when we get to Grandma’s we’re forbidden from the living room until all the children arrive (yes, we still count as children at 27 ;)) and then the search begins. Each year Grandma attaches money to it and whoever finds the pickle keeps the money!

Our Family Dinner Christmas Eve – For ever and ever my Grandma and grandpa hosted both Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve for my family. This led to an odd family tradition of changing Christmas Eve dinner. For Thanksgiving we got both turkey and ham, but Christmas Eve was the time for shrimp, meats and cheeses, pizza even, coleslaw, and a handful of other hors d’oeuvres.

There are other things that are becoming traditions as well now with John and me. Our car rides from my parents farm to his family’s on Christmas day (quality time and introverted quiet time all rolled into one), our first Christmas tree, watching A Christmas Story among other Christmas movies, and the salad bowl game and animal noise game. This year was a full year! More on that in the days to come!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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