For those that celebrate, hope you had a Merry Christmas. I know this is late, but here’s a recap of our Christmas.
When I was growing up, my family never celebrated Christmas. My parents are Chinese immigrants and were not familiar with this holiday. It doesn’t hold any special meaning to them so we never really celebrated it. Growing up, it was hard watching how Christmas was celebrated on TV and not having any of the traditional Christmas stuff at our home–the decorations. presents, and holiday baking. I couldn’t help but envy my classmates when they talked excitedly about what they got for Christmas. It was the biggest holiday in the United States and my brothers and I got nothing.
So, after my husband and I had kids, we try to make it special for them so they would have fond memories of the holidays. We get a real Christmas tree every year because the fresh smell of the tree just sets the mood.
It is especially exciting for my 6-year-old. She kept asking us when it will be the start of December. She’s so excited to start her mornings opening the doors of the advent calendar. It’s such a joy to see her little face light up when she finds a little treat behind the door.
This year we got a Christmas tree just two weeks before Christmas. That’s actually early for me because I normally don’t like to decorate the house too early since it looks too cluttered. I also try to remove all the decorations right away but the kids convinced me to keep the tree an extra week before the tree collection came this year.
Since we’re spending a lot of time at home, I did a lot of baking with the kids. My youngest daughter had fun making a sugar Christmas tree cookie. We used this star tree cookie cutter set. It’s easy and fun to make.
We also made a gingerbread house. I used to buy the premade gingerbread house kits, but the cookie tastes awful and stale. Now, I prefer to make my own. I used this gingerbread cookie recipe for the house and still had enough dough leftover to make gingerbread people for our first annual gingerbread cookie decorating contest.
I used this kit to cut out the gingerbread house.
Since we were ordered to Stay At Home in California during the holidays, we gladly stayed home. It was actually nice to not worry about a rushed, chaotic morning or feel obligated to attend any event on Christmas Day. We could’ve slept in (except my 6-year-old woke us up early). We started the morning opening gifts, watched a movie, and then had our first annual gingerbread cookie competition. I prebaked all the gingerbread people the night before. We did 3 rounds:
- A member of our immediate family
- Any famous character
- Any funny character
My middle daughter won the contest with her sarcastic humor transposed onto a gingerbread cookie. It was a lot of fun. I think we will make this a tradition.
Yesterday, we finally un-decorated the Christmas tree. The kids were sad to see it go. Taking a lesson from Marie Kondo, we did say a little thanks and goodbye to our lovely Christmas tree for bringing us beauty and joy.