I came to the realization this year that many of the things I used to do with my Mom at Christmas time, I would have to pick up the slack and do myself if I wanted Kenna to experience them. The two major ones of importance to me were putting the ornaments on the tree and making Christmas cookies. Last year, we had just had Kenna and I had a hard time finding the motivation or energy to really decorate at all. Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who put up all the ornaments for me while I sat on the couch nursing Kenna. This year, we made it more of a family project, and she was much more able to be involved!
Daddy and Kenna decorating the tree, 2008:
And this year:
(PS- How is it possible our little bear could have grown so much in just one year? My two favorite people decorating the Christmas tree in the glow of twinkly lights- now that's a tradition to keep!)
As for the Christmas cookies, I feel like I took every opportunity I could find to make Christmas cookies! Our Sunday school couples' social, a ladies' cookie exchange, the last meeting of one of my classes, and I even packaged a few up for the nursery workers that keep Kenna during our missions class at Southeastern. I forgot how fun they were to do, and how dangerous now that I am the grown up and have no one to keep me accountable for how many I've eaten!
I made two of my favorite classics, peanut butter hershey kiss ("kissmas cookies") and powdered sugar snowballs (pecan shortbread balls rolled in powdered sugar! Mmmmm!). I also made a new recipe on a whim, coconut almond snowflakes, because I love coconut and I had everything I needed on hand for them.
Another sort of unspoken Christmas tradition of Mom's was how much she loved Hallmark's Keepsake ornaments and would love to get one each year for the big events that happened in our lives... getting engaged, studying abroad, baby's first Christmas, etc. I had to laugh when I saw one of their 2009 ornaments and thought maybe I needed it to commemorate the year of cookies:
Unfortunately, I doubled the recipe for the coconut cookies and ended up having to throw some of them away because they made so many! I feel like I took them everywhere with me, trying to get rid of all these cookies! (Matt hates coconut, so I was on my own trying to eat them). The only kind I have not made yet that I promised Matt I would are sugar cookies with icing, so the year of the cookie making will continue!