books / poetry / reading

Decking the Halls

As I finish wrapping, decorating, and decking the halls with many other projects, I wanted to offer a “Wrap Up” of sorts for my blog this year.

First and foremost, thank you to everyone who visits and reads my blog and graciously offers feedback and insight. You all have enriched my life.

I started a two new traditions this year. One was to keep a daily journal of one thing I appreciate/love about my husband. I am working this week on compiling it all into a book for him just in time for his birthday on the 28th. While it is a gift for him, it was undoubtedly a wonderful gift for myself in that it made me focus on the positive daily. 2011 has been a tough year for us as we have tried to start a family and this journal helped me keep perspective on the incredible man in my life and what we have built together over the past eight years.

We also began a new tradition last night of Christmas light strolling through Eastridge. We bundled up in scarves and gloves, filled the thermos up with tea (we’ve decided on hot chocolate for next year), and off we went to gaze at all the creative light displays a few neighborhoods away. We even saw a jeep driving through all lit up. I regret not taking my camera!

One tradition that has been going strong for nearly a decade now is baking with my mom on Christmas Eve. We load the CD player with Christmas albums, we pour ourselves some sparkling white wine, and bake the night away. Rum cakes, red velvet cookies, lemon bars, fudge, turtles, the list goes on…It is my favorite way to spend time with my mom. The sweets are endless and so are the memories.

For some book reading: Letras Latinas shared a wonderful blog post on poetry collections published this year by a Latino or Latina poets. My reading list just grew.

For a fun blog reading: A wildly creative person with an equally creative “old school literary yearbook” whose rock band I want to be in.

For inspiration: Jodi Picoult’s essay, “To my 16-year-old self” which begins with, “Since everyone is always telling you what’s important in life, I’m going to tell you what isn’t.” One word: Incredible.

What are your holiday traditions? Any you care to start? And what’s on your reading list?

I look forward to seeing you all in 2012!

Love, peace, joy and hope to you all, Andrea

5 thoughts on “Decking the Halls

  1. I just love your Christmas Eve tradition with your Mom, such a special time. When my daughter makes her Christmas lasagna, she always plays a Sinatra Christmas CD, saying that even the mood of it is an ingredient in her cooking.One of my traditions with my daughters is that we watch the movie White Christmas each year. It's our favorite Christmas movie, and we have much of the dialogue memorized. Some of which pops into our daily conversations throughout the year 🙂

  2. So much good stuff here, Andee! First, what an amazing gift of love you are putting together for your hubs. And such a great idea. I might have to borrow that one some time in the future. Our holiday traditions keep changing, and I think I like it that way some. The main ones are keepers–decorating the tree, making cookies, and so forth. But it's so fun to keep things fresh. Thank you for your sweet comment over at my place. You sure blessed me today. Thank you for that. And a very sweet Christmas to you and yours. We are almost to the manger…

  3. Joanne, thank you for sharing your traditions. What a sweet story about White Christmas. Can you believe I've never seen it? I know I am missing out. I also love the tidbit about your daughter and her Sinatra music as an ingredient…I'm happy to have connected with you this year! Laura, I think the changing of some traditions is a neat idea…I'm sure there is always something to look forward to and what counts the most is the time together. Thank you for sharing your stories. I always look forward to your blog, and I'll be thinking of you! God bless.

  4. I love the idea of compiling a daily journal of things you appreciate/love about your husband! In fact, I think I might steal it and use it for our fifth anniversary next September. Have a great Christmas!

  5. I hope you do, Nora. Yesterday, I finished the book on Shutterfly. I cannot wait to hold it in my hands and then give it to him for his birthday on Wednesday. Wishing you and your husband a wonderful Christmas, Nora. Praying for all good things in 2012 for you both.

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