I LOVE the fall and winter. I love holidays- decorating, cooking, baking, going to parties, traveling, the airport, shopping, traffic. The whole shebang. I'll admit it, I'm a little bit crazy about the holidays. I plan out menus, and keep a Christmas notebook with addresses that get updated (sometimes!) throughout the year, gift lists with ideas and budgeting (that always gets blown out of the water), cut outs from magazines with crafts and recipes and ideas (that never all get tried out and accomplished).
Adam has set very clear boundaries for me during the holiday season. The decorations do not go up until the day after Thanksgiving, that is also when the holiday movies and music are allowed to begin their 24 hour vigil in our house. They are put away sometime before the end of New Year's Day. The only contraband that is allowed out before Thanksgiving is the Christmas cards (that were purchased the year before on sale, I can't justify the 100+ Christmas cards we send out unless they are on sale), because they have to be prepared and ready to mail the day after Thanksgiving. (Note: This year they will be a little later. I know! Horror! But I promise the wait will be well worth it, so keep your pants on!)
We have the same (but less stringent) boundaries for the fall. The fall decorations come out after it is officially Autumn and not before. And really I can't justify that one any earlier here in Texas since it is usually still 90 degrees outside when this occurs and I'm allowed one mini pumpkin spending spree- Can't have big pumpkins in a tiny apartment.
But what I love most about the holidays are traditions. I love knowing that I will do the same thing every year without having to really think or plan well for mishaps or problems. But I think what I appreciate most this year is how the traditions have morphed over the past few years. I know that for Thanksgiving there will be Kristi Campbell's Stuffing, Grandma Kipp's Corn Casserole, Laura's Cranberry Cobbler from her grandmother, we will all go around the table (whether it's a table seating 2 or 20) and say what we are thankful for (from my Step-grandparents, Bugs and Judy).
For Christmas, we will hide the Baby Jesus from the rest of the nativity until Christmas Eve, then the wise men will get increasing closer to the nativity as the days go on after Christmas, and we will open at least one good present on Christmas Eve so I can sleep (thanks Mom!). This year may be a little different because we will be at Disney World for Christmas, but usually I would have Black Forest Pie and Monkey Bread for Christmas Breakfast and Adam and I would fight over whether we should have ham or turkey for dinner (we usually end up having both). We would watch the full 24hours of The Christmas Story on TV, even though we have it on DVD and I hate that movie.
What are your favorite holiday traditions?