Of Mantles & Chaos
Monday Morning Gratitudes

Holiday Countdown!

~2011 Holiday Calendar~

As usual, a work in progress…. I’ll be going down this list, no doubt tweaking a thing or here and there, and writing up a post on each Tradition.

I may even print them all out and do a little refurbishing of my Holiday Binder – which is looking rather tattered and very well loved this year!

{And of course, having them all bound into a remembrance book would be wonderful; perhaps someday…}

So here are the Traditions I am working on at present.  No doubt more will be squeezed in as I go along.

“Floating Traditions” 

These are the traditions we schedule into our calendar wherever they fit.  Each are deserving of their own post so watch out – soon this post will be filled with links and deserving of a place upon the Navigation Bar!

The Family Box

Decorating Gingerbread Houses

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Gingerbread, Cookie, & Holiday Breads Baking

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Dutch Spice Cookies.  Delicious! 

Attending a Christmas Play at a local professional theatre, usually followed by Dinner Out, checking out the Downtown Christmas Lights and A Carriage Ride.  (It’s a full day!)

The annual Salt Roast

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Service Projects

Christmas Tree Campout

Hopefully hosting a Family Party

Hosting a holiday party for the Witt’s End Bookgroup

The watching of all those Christmas movies!

Christmas crafts…

The Lighting of the Christmas Pudding

And, of course, shopping……

~And the Calendar Traditions~

November 1:  Begin putting out the Thanksgiving & Christmas Decorations.  Yes I happily admit I am one of those people!

November 1 ~ Thanksgiving:  Study of the Pilgrims, Native Americans, the history of the Thanksgiving tradition itself.  This is an ongoing study filled with hands on activities, reading both fiction and non, and viewing documentaries as well as dramatized films. 

Of course my boy’s favorite are the “How America Eats” programs, which one fateful year introduced us to the Turducken.

{And no we haven’t attempted one yet!} 

November 14:   Begin Christmas Readings:  Choose which Dickens we’ll be reading.  Decide which of our other favorite Christmas Books will be first in the lineup. (I anticipate Kringle will be right up there!)


November 23:   Prepare those Thanksgiving dishes easily pre-prepared.  Order pizza or fix tacos, el pollo brasa with fresh salsa for dinner – anything which is different from “holiday food”!

November 24: Thanksgiving Day.  Macy’s Parade in the morning and gorging ourselves all day long.  Movie for the evening?   Miracle on 34th Street naturally!  This is also the day we usually decide which kidlet is buying a Christmas present for which other kidlet.

Holiday Weekend – Scott works constantly (this is retail life – the kind we’re used to), while on the homefront I pack away the one lowly bin I have of Thanksgiving decorations, and put up that Christmas décor I always save out till after Thanksgiving. 

I also always enjoy watching all those crazy Black Friday shoppers on the news!  (I never leave the house on this weekend.  It’s a strict tradition!)

And even though it is a holiday weekend, hopefully we’ll also be doing a lot of scouts, a bit of math, and a lot of reading.

November 27:  First Advent and Stir Up Sunday.

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November 30:  November Bookgroup Meeting

December 1:  Begin Reading Christmas Mystery, a section a day till Christmas.

December 4:  Second Advent

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December 6:  St. Nicholas Day.  The kids will leave their shoes filled with hay and perhaps a carrot for Nicholas’ horse, (we’re also supposed to leave a glass of schnapps for Ruprecht, his servant.  Though we never seem to have any schnapps!  I wonder if Ruprecht likes eggnog or diet coke?) 

Hopefully , if they’ve been good children, the kids  awaken next morning to find golden chocolate coins in their shoes, along with a new book or two wrapped in brown paper.

December 7:  Pearl Harbor Day.  We always observe this by hanging an American flag and discussing the meaning of what happened that day in 1941.  We may watch a documentary or film as well.

December 11:  Third Advent

December 18:  Fourth Advent  

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December 20:  Hanukkah begins at sundown. 

December 24:  Christmas Eve

December 25:  Christmas Day!

December 26:  Boxing Day

December 27:  Opening of the first 12 Days of Christmas Present

December 28:  Feast of the Holy Innocents  

December 29:  Second 12 Days Present

December 31:  New Year’s Eve Yahoo Feast! And the Third 12 Days Present

January 1, 2012:  Traditional Dinner of Ham & Beans with Potatoes, cornbread, a simple dessert.

January 2:  Fourth 12 Days Present

January 4:  Fifth 12 Days Present

January 6:  Epiphany, or, as many call it, Twelfth Night.  A King’s Cake, and the opening of the last 12 Days Present.

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And of course the January Traditions continue.....

What special Holiday Traditions does your family observe?

I’d love to hear about them!