Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.             

– Anthony Brandt


       The holiday season and traditions are upon us. Every family seems to have traditions and activities that make this holiday season special to them. The one common thread in all of the traditions and activities, besides food, is family and friends. It is about embracing the love around us, and sharing and giving grace to one another. It is about being thankful for all that we have and all that we have accomplished throughout this year.

        I wanted to share a few family traditions we have. One of course is the cookies. You can never have too many cookies, from sugar cookies to gingerbread cookies. We make and decorate cookies for the holidays. I love watching our daughters decorate the cookies and laugh and bond while they are doing it.

      The Christmas tree. Oh how exciting it is to put it up! We do a themed tree every year. We make and buy decorations. Some of our most notable decorated trees. We did a musical tree one year. We created decorations and had numerous cutouts of musical instruments with lots of glitter. It was so much fun designing and decorating the tree. Another was a Seusical tree. Lots of bright neon colors and crazy cut out shapes and paper mache shapes. The fun was in the creating and decorating the tree. The trees looked homemade but the smile and the time together was really the focus of the process.

         Our biggest tradition is Christmas bread. It is a gooey bread with caramel, nuts and is so sweet and indulgent. It is the only time we make it. The bread rises overnight in the oven and is baked first thing in the morning. The thought of the smell of cinnamon throughout the house and freshly brewed coffee is enough to make me smile. I could not imagine a Christmas without having this tradition.

       So this month I will share some eclectic thoughts of the past year and of the holiday season. I would love to hear from you and what makes this time of year special for you and your family.