December 27, 2009

Traditions Revisited and A Resolution

Well, it's been a busy Christmas celebration, and it's not over yet! We'll be heading to Texas on Tuesday to see my Dad's side of the family. I'm so, so excited!! However, I'm praying that Evy will be somewhat cooperative on the LONG car ride ahead. Eeesh. Oh, and I will be able to post my recap of everything once I'm home the first week of January. I hate that it won't happen until then, but maybe that will remind me of all the Christmas cheer :)

Now that we've done our first Christmas with Evy, I've thought more about what I want our traditions to look like. I realized over this weekend that I crave some predictability around the holidays, and traditions are extremely important to me. For some reason, this Christmas really solidifed my need for Kurt, Evy, and I to have special things that we will do every year. So, here is my list of traditions that we hope to incorporate from now on:

Sometime in December:
  • Look at Christmas lights in pajamas
  • Bake and decorate Christmas cookies
  • Watch the classic animations, Holiday Inn, Christmas in Connecticut, White Christmas, and Disney's A Christmas Carol
  • Observe Advent
  • Host a party (or two!)
  • Attend the Cape Girardeau Christmas Parade
  • Sponsor an Angel Tree child
  • Send out a Christmas card and letter

Christmas Eve:

  • Watch one of the classic holiday movies with hot chocolate and snacks
  • Leave out milk and cookies for Santa
  • Read the Christmas story
  • Attend the Christmas Eve service (if possible)
  • Open family gifts
  • Wear a new pair of Christmas pajamas

Christmas Day:

  • Santa gifts and stockings
  • Have breakfast together as a family

I know there are more that will probably come to mind, but I think this is a reasonable list to aim for. Christmas is too important to me for it to be unpredictable and chaotic. I look forward to these traditions as our family grows!

On my 101 in 1001 goals list, I left room for a goal that was to be determined. I've settled on what that should be! My goal is to print out pictures for albums and also create digital photobooks from the time Kurt and I met (which was 4 years ago). I'm going to try and do a "year in pictures" book for each year, just hitting the highlights of the year. This is a lengthy and lofty goal, but I feel like organizing my pictures would really make me feel better. So that's what I'm going to start working on! Kurt's mom is coming to visit for a weekend in January, and I plan on starting then. Which program do you recommend using for photobooks? I like Shutterfly, but I want to know what else is out there and how they compare. So your opinions are needed!

I hope you're enjoying the last days of 2009!

17 comments:

Emily said...

I made photo books for my daughter every 3 months(o-3,4-6,7-9,10-12) using the program on Wal-Mart's website. It offers a pretty good variety of backgrounds and layouts and they add new stuff every so often. The price is VERY reasonable. I priced making books on other websites and Wal-Mart was about $20-$30(if not more) less. I was very pleased with the quality.

JanMary said...

Merry Christmas from Ireland - the traditions we have established are almost identical to yours! ALL of them! (except that Santa here gets a glass of port and a mince pie!)

Amy said...

Love your traditions...we have a lot of the same ones! I use the program called "my publisher" (www.mypublisher.com) it is a program that you download to your computer (it's a small file and it's free!)Then you just drag and drop your pictures in the order/layout that you choose. You can also choose to add captions or not. We gave one of these books to my parents as a Christmas gift. Since Libbi is only 6 months old, we just used the first six months of her little life, but Jeffrey and I are planning on making one of these each year for Libbi. They are really nice leather bound albums (sort of reminds me of a yearbook) and the turnaround is great! I highly recommend it! Good luck with your new goal! Praying for safe travels =0)

Tommy, Suzanne, and Mary Peyton said...

ash~
i was just introduced to Blurb and LOVE it. i'm going to go back and make mp books for k3 and get started on k4. i made one for my dad using pictures that beth took (and included my childhood memories of the places mary peyton was being photographed) and i can't tell you how precious it is - and reasonable!!! i'll show you my copy sometime soon - since we NEED to have lunch or meet up at b & n or SOMETHING!
much love...

Rachel said...

I used Blurb to create my wedding book and it turned out BEAUTIFUL! I will post pictures soon of my book - I definitely recommend Blurb - so user friendly!!

Cuddles and Chaos said...

Ashley
I have done several Shutterfly books. If you would like some high quality storybooks (you can journal and write more of a story...and design is more open) then try www.heritagemakers.com. You can catch discounts from your consultants so the price can be more reasonable...though they are pricey. The quality and design abilities are amazing.

Ashley said...

That sounds like a great goal to add. I don't think we have enough photos from each year to be worthy of making a picture book. I always have good intentions but either I forget or T isn't in the mood for pictures. That is one of my new goals for the upcoming year(s).
Travel safely. I adore Texas!

Christy said...

I love the Christmas traditions :) We do most of those in my family.

I hope traveling goes well! That is something I am torn about next year. clay and I are thinking about simplifying. Three kids and traveling all over creation has made Christmas chaotic and not as enjoyable. Laura Grace and Layton begged to be at home all during Christmas Eve and Christmas so next year we will probably change how we do things.

As far as photobooks go... Creative Memories is a good place to look. I used to scrapbook but have gotten SO far behind that I don't see myself ever catching up. I am looking into making photo books as well because it takes less time and in the end is probably much cheaper.

Summer said...

I love your new revised traditions! They sound alot like ours! Just wait until Evy is old enough to help you bake cookies and put them out for Santa and don't forget the carrots for the reindeer! It is the cutest thing to see them run to the plate to see Santa has been there on Christmas Morning! Kelcee is 3 and gushed over that part all day!
Your such a sweet family!
Summer :0)

Brittany and Charlie-Social Butterfly said...

Hands down, creative memories has a program called Storybook. It has won several awards. It will allow you to be quite creative. No drag and drop. You pick every background, every color, every word...everything! You can use the program for a lot of other things...christmas cards, calendars, bookmarks, invitations and so much! I use it for all my scrapbooking. I love it!

Summer said...

Me again,
I forgot to mention my BFF uses Snapfish for photo books and turn out AMAZING! You can customize the leather and te front of the book can be a whole pic on it and a whole pic on the back with leather surrounding it if you want! They look amazing! She gave them out for Christmas presents.... They turned out FABULOUS! I would recommend you give them a shot!
Summer :0)

Love Being a Nonny said...

I use Shutterfly...for the $, it is great!!! But there are nicer ones if you want to spend the $.

Kristal said...

Blurb!!

I've used Snapfish, Kodak, and Blurb and I will never use anything but Blurb again. It's by far the best!

The Segrest Family said...

LOVE BLURB! its awesome for blogs too - i have friends that have made blog books for every year - so they really do have a 'scrapblog'! i made one from our trip to italy a couple of years ago and it was BEAUTIFUL! quality is superb.

Mark and Emily said...

Ashley, I have had really good luck with kodakgallery.com for photo books. My sister-in-law does one for grandparents every year as a recap. It's really cute, they just got new page layouts and much more! Also you can store your pictures on there year round too! It's so easy because all your pictures are already there and ready!

3 Peanuts said...

These are good traditions...we have been doing many of them since our kids were little too. It is wonderful to do the same family oriented things each year. This year, we joined two other families once a week for an Advent get together. The adults did some discussion and advent reflections and the kids had crafts, etc. it was really great!

Megan said...

I've seen a lot of girl in the bloggy world use Blurb and they LOVE it. You should check that out.

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