Christmas Traditions - The Changing of the Guards.

This Christmas Brandon and I are staying here by ourselves in Los Angeles (oh! I have to start saying Pasadena, don't I?). I'm 29 weeks pregnant, so traveling now is a bit of a hassle. And we wanted all our family members to save up their trips for when this little guy comes in March. So it's just us for Christmas 2014!

At varying points this month we've both gone back and forth on this situation. Sometimes we are sad to not be with family...we miss the traditions we share with our parents and siblings...the food we eat, the games we play, the movies we watch. And sometimes we are thrilled to have this time to ourselves...time to nest, time to rest and relax, and time for the two of us to enjoy us before a third person joins our family unit forever.

One of my favorite traditions is the Advent Calendar.
My super talented mother made us this one for our
house and our future bebes. I love it!
I suppose that's what every holiday is like as an adult, isn't it? You're happy to be where you are, but you also miss the people, places, and traditions of your past. This holiday is particularly interesting because it catches us on this threshold between remembering the traditions of our childhood and recognizing that we will be creating new traditions with this little nugget coming next year. We're so excited about this. But it's also daunting. I mean, we want to make sure we're doing this right! We want to make sure we're creating the magic for this child that we were lucky enough to experience as children.

But, as a co-worker of mine said, you don't really pick the traditions - your child does. He said his family played UNO a couple Christmases in a row, and suddenly his son was saying, "We're going to play UNO this year, right? That's what we always do!" Traditions have a way of sneaking up on you like that, I guess.

So here's how we're going to spend our Christmas. Today, which is Christmas Eve, we will take a walk and enjoy the fact that it's sunny and 70 degrees outside (yay, says the Midwesterner). We will do some cooking prep for Christmas Day (of course I'll make more cookies - you can never have enough cookies at Christmas). And then we will make a feast for ourselves tonight - lamb chops and onion rings (you know, that old classic combo). We will sit by our tree and watch Elf and eat a fancy dessert and drink fancy drinks (well, if you call sparkling cider fancy). We are very excited to have this quiet time together, just us.

Tomorrow we will wake up together and open lots and lots of presents (we are so spoiled)! We will eat baked eggs and Skype with our massive amounts of immediate family (spread across Chicago, D.C., Virginia, and four cities in Michigan). And then some dear friends who are also in town will come over for a Christmas feast of rib roast and far too many sides (you need at least 13 sides at a holiday dinner, right?). We'll drink alcohol and play games and be merry!

It sounds wonderful to me. And I guess we will see if any of these things stick around next year, when we add a little boy to the mix? We'll see what he likes (he better like onion rings)!

Merry Christmas, lovely ones. Whether your holiday plans are full of wonderful, timeless traditions or new and refreshing ones...whether they are busy and family-filled or quiet and contemplative...may they be full of love and blessings and good cheer.

Our tree! Brandon and I always name it. This year his name is Hashbrown.