I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading all of the wonderful comments
So many of you told me about decorating with treasured keepsakes from
holidays past. We do the same thing at out home... For instance, every
year at Thanksgiving, this adorable hand puppet created by our youngest
son while he was in the first grade pops out to make me smile again!
And of course, there's this turkey the Ranger made in kindergarten. I
can still see him bringing it home to me, calling out its, "springy" feet!
The holidays have always been a special time; but I won't lie, it's been an
adjustment the last five years since we became empty-nester's. Add to the
emptiness around the holidays the fact that Ranger has been deployed four
Christmases in a row and well, you can imagine the effort it takes not to
make storage of our decorations permanent and, turn into a Scrooge!
However, we do make the effort to keep the holidays alive even if it does end up
being for just the two of us. I still decorate the tree with the mushrooms that
remind me of my Oma and the other ornaments featuring all the birds...
Koi, raccoons and other creatures we have in our gardens!
Decorating our home always helps put me in the spirit of Christmas. What
also gets me in the spirit of the holidays is putting together care-packages to
send to the Ranger and his battle buddies to remind them that we love them
and are thinking of them at Christmas and every day. Hickory Farms brought
back their FREE shipping for APO addresses again this year so it was easy and
even less expensive to ship their Hickory Farms favorites overseas! It's not too
late for you to do the same so click here to shop Hickory Farms holiday gifts!
A lot of you recalled baking as a favorite holiday tradition and I'm so glad
because, I agree... There's something special about holiday-themed cookies!
One of my new favorite traditions at Christmas is visiting Biltmore!
But my all-time favorite Christmas tradition is midnight mass at
the Carmel Mission Basilica in Carmel, California. Our boys were
baptized there, we renewed our vows there on our sixth wedding
anniversary, (to help correct our elopement to Reno!) and nothing
whispers I'm home at Christmas better than being at the Mission!
Thank you again for your participation in the give away sponsored
by the wonderful people at Hickory Farms. I sincerely wish that
everyone who took a moment to share their holiday traditions could
win; however, I'm delighted to announce that Alice will receive
the Home for the Holidays Gift Box! Alice, please send your
address to firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your tasty prize!