I am an early riser and truly enjoy the quiet start to my days that allows me to journal and write before a multitude of tasks fill up my day. I don’t suffer from SAD but the dark mornings do seem to sap my energy at times.
Thankfully there are a number of holiday traditions that buoy me up – a walk through the neighborhood to admire the festive displays, a trip to view holiday lights, a drive to the mountains to play in the snow (or at least admire it from the warm car). When my boys were younger, there were ski trips and visits to the holiday ice skating rink, followed by hot cocoa and an occasional band-aid or two.
And of course, December isn’t complete unless we watch Christmas movies, with hot buttered popcorn for munching. My favorites span decades – classics like Holiday Inn, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, Christmas in Connecticut, Meet Me In St. Louis; the 1960s animated A Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reinder; some of the fun Christmas films of the 80s and 90s (A Christmas Story, The Santa Clause, Home Alone); and the more recent additions to my watch list such as The Christmas Chronicles, the Polar Express and the Man Who Invented Christmas.
I put a menorah in the window, symbolizing a commitment to faith and family.
Of course, no holiday is complete without food. Our youngest son has started a new tradition of making latkes and will bring them again this year.
While baking cakes to celebrate the Solstice, and later Christmas, has been around since Medieval times, the French Buche de Noel has been a delicious tradition since the 19th century. A rolled cake filled with cream and decorated to look like a Yule Log, my mother baked one for years. Like any cake roll, it’s a bit complicated, but worth the effort, even if the results aren’t always a beautiful as you might wish. After all, regardless of looks, cake is delicious!
While not exactly the same as my mother’s recipe, this King Arthur Baking recipe for a Buche de Noel is very close. I’ve made several of their recipes, and never had them steer me wrong.
As is no surprise, I love reading, and encouraged it in my sons. I gave them books for Christmas, as well as taking them to the library to pick up books.
A new favorite of mine is The Christmas Letters, a heartwarming, feel-good holiday romance by Jenny Hale.
Elizabeth Holloway’s sparkling world comes crashing down around her when her boyfriend of seven years drops the bomb that he’s leaving her—at Christmas. In an attempt to piece her life back together, she suddenly finds herself back at her childhood farm in the Great Smoky Mountains.
And she isn’t expecting to meet visitor Paul Dawson, chipping away at her resolve to focus on figuring out who she is and what she really wants in life.
Just when she starts to think things are moving in the right direction, a stack of letters from Elizabeth’s grandmother will change everything she thought she knew about her family and cause a divide between her and Paul that she never saw coming.
Will the Christmas letters strip her of everything she holds dear? Or will they be the biggest gift of the season?
Wishing you all my best with a Giveaway! Enter for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card plus a copy of my latest novel, A Lancaster Family Secret or another of my books if you’ve already purchased a copy. US and Canada only. Winner will be announced Tuesday, December 20 and has three days to respond to my email. Only by responding to my email can you win.
Our Christmas tradition is enjoying our lives and living in the country bless with food and roof over our heads and good Christmas dinner with each other
I have always enjoyed doing stockings. After my kids moved out, I did them for my parents.
Our family has always got together on Christmas Eve to celebrate Christmas together. We eat, fellowship, play games and enjoy each other’s company. I love reading everyone’s Christmas traditions. Thanks for sharing.
I love Amish books have a Merry Christmas being with my family
We always open up one gift each on Christmas Eve, have Christmas dinner and watch Christmas movies all day long.
We always do a family Christmas Dinner.
There are about 65 of us and we all pitch in and have a fully cooked meal together. And play games and just enjoy being together every year.
Years ago we baked a cake each Christmas and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. Those times are long gone and only memories are left of smiles and laughter.
We celebrate Christmas with our oldest son and family on Christmas Eve afternoon, then go to my husband’s aunt’s house for Christmas Eve. Christmas morning we drive to our youngest son’s home and celebrate Christmas with them. It is a lot of traveling for us, but we love being with all the family.
We celebrate Christmas with all my children and their families!
We usually always have a family Christmas…now that we have moved to the Ga mts (from South Fla) we go down to our boys, who still live there…for Christmas and stay thru NY’s…our daughter moved up here so we have to do things a bit differently but as long as we are together one time or another…its GREAT….Christmas gift opening,…breakfast, and later dinner….sitting enjoying family and time together….the BEST…
Love Christmas music, movies, decorations, etc. We have breakfast Christmas morning with my daughter and her family and then exchange gifts. Christmas dinner is sometimes Christmas Eve and other times, Christmas Day with them. Not sure which we are doing this year.
This year we are going to have a very quiet Christmas. Moved from East Coast to West in November of last year. Hubby passed in April. No family here and way, way too expensive for the kids and me to fly home. So, we will have a nice meal and toast to my husband/their dad, watch some movies, talk about fun times we had on Christmases past and keep our fingers crossed that 2023 will be a healthy and happy year for us all.
I buy Christmas Eve PJ’s for all my Grandchildren. They love having a gift they can open & use every Christmas Eve!
In New Zealand it’s BBQ season ..
days at the beach and swimming in the sea.
Camping and gathering together.
Our family meets at a restaurant the 2nd sat. In Dec for Christmas dinner that way we visit and nobody has to clean up.
We have a couple traditions that we all just love, first we always get to open one gift on Christmas Eve which is always new pajama’s and either a book or movie. We also play a Christmas game that has become a family favorite. And last I love filling stockings for all me family.
we always have the kids at our house for Christmas Eve and have a meal together. we don’t do gifts anymore but just being together is my gift. Tater isn’t sure about all the noise but he like all the attention he is getting.
Growing up we always went to Knoxville then Gatlinburg. Ice skating was a treat. My Momma was from East Tennessee. Miss going. We made Candy Wreaths every year. I love Christmas movies like many you mentioned but While Christmas is a favorite. Thanks for a chance to win a book of yours! Merry Christmas!
we enjoy do all kinds of preparations for our large family to come here on Christmas Day. Some come On Christmas eve, we all go to church and love the music and messages of the season. There are usually 22 of us, but 1 son is now living in Spain, so he won’t be here. We have our 1st great grandchild now, too. 5 sons, spouses, 7 grandchildren, 4 married, so it will be a house-full again. WE are so very blessed. And, I have read all of your books, and own some.. Have a blessed holiday season.
We love making Christmas cookies in our pjs watching movies.. .. hard to enter giveaway hope this counts ..do follow on all social media.
I am not an early riser, after retiring many years ago I no longer had to up by 6:00 AM, I sleep until about 9:30 or 10:00 but I go to bed at 3:00AM!
When my children were little we always enjoyed getting the day started, especially days after the a big snow! Building snowmen and sledding. Now I fear a slip or fall…old age…lol.
This year is the first year I did not decorate, had that terrible flu and still have the cough so being outside to decorate was not going to happen. Thankfully the neighbors have decorated and I will enjoy their lights this year. Merry Christmas to you Kate and your family…and Piper too!
Not an early riser, usually around 9am . Retired now so like to take things slower. I love your books, love amish fiction.
Merry Christmas to you and family.. I follow you on Amazon.ca and Facebook
I’ve never made a Yule log cake but I’d like to , it looks delicious.
My daughter always arrives early and we cook together, talking and laughing always such a good time.