We decked the halls and trimmed the tree, but my favorite thing of all is our mantle.  We have so many stockings on there the adults got booted to the railing on the stairs and the dog’s are hung on a door (yes, we have stockings for our dogs, but thankfully not our fish)

 first snow 012

We have begun our traditions and started some new ones too.  Here are a few of our favorite traditions that we “gleaned” from other families.  If you have any great traditions, please add a comment and share.

Top ranked traditions in the Martin house for Christmas:

1.) Christmas Eve PJ’s.  You would think we wrapped us gold and chocolate! A new, special pair of PJ’s for each family under the tree all of Advent just sitting there, waiting, calling your name to be opened. After Christmas Eve service at church we rush home and rip them open, and wear them for days! (yes, they are prewashed)

2.) Getting everyone heir own, personalized stocking.

3.) A family Christmas cookie exchange. When you have a big family it works perfect! Everyone picks a cookie, we bake for two days, and sample till our bellies are full. This year: caramel, chocolate bars; MM choc. chip cookies; brownie cookies with peppermint glaze; Candy cane cookies; traditional chocolate chip; coconut macaroons; and peanut butter balls (unless you are from the semi mid-west and call them Buckeyes)

4.) Advent books.  We wrapped up all of our Christmas books, some old, some new, and labeled each one for a day in advent.  The kids take turns opening one each night after dinner (dishes must be done by kids first) and then we read it as a family.

5.) Christmas Extra, extra, sticky, sticky buns for breakfast. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.