It's funny how having a baby is starting to bring back some traditions in both of our families and even creating some new ones (Eric and I have put our Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving every year since we've been married). On Christmas Eve, Eric's mom commented that she was excited to have a little one around next year to buy actual presents for (right now everyone just gets money). My mom said she wanted to make sure Cate made it into her Christmas card picture. And there were some other things brought back this year too.
Paintbrush cookies were a staple at Christmas time in the White house. It was fun to pick out the shapes we wanted and then with painstaking elementary school concentration, paint our cookies (just a plain cookie dough) with "paint" (made from egg yolk and food coloring). Then we'd take them home (we usually made them with my cousins at my grandma's house), each kid with their own tin full of cookies they had painted. I've always talked about them and how Eric and I should make them, but we've never gotten around to it.
This year, when we headed over to my grandmother's house on Christmas Day, we were in for a surprise...her and my Uncle Dave had made the dough for Paintbrush cookies and we were going to get to make some. Yum! While we weren't as attentive to detail as I was when I was a kid, it was still really fun to make them together. They still turned out just as yummy, and even though Cate's artistic talents may not be fully bloomed as an 11 month old, we're excited to introduce the tradition to her next Christmas too. Hey, my brother's first painted cookie ended up being a red, doughy blob (it was supposed to be a truck), but it still tasted terrific to him.
Here are our final cookies :-)Another tradition we'll be able to start next year is the advent calendar. My mom, aunt, and grandma all had the same homemade advent calendar with a Christmas tree on it. You hang it on the wall and below the tree are 24 little pockets to fill with small ornaments that you hang on the tree (it has buttons to do this). As a kid, my brother, sister, and I took turns hanging up the ornaments each day in December and fighting over who got to hang up Christmas Eve, the last ornament and always the angel that went at the top. My grandmother surprised us this year by giving us her advent calendar ("the original" as my mom calls it) for Christmas this year. She said it's no fun to do it by herself anymore and figured that we'd have fun bringing it to our house and hanging up the tiny ornaments with Cate and with Cate's brother or sister (someday). We absolutely love it and can't wait to put it up next December :-)
And special big thanks to my family for the new digital camera (our old one held a charge for about 5 minutes...it was one of the original Kodak Easyshares...so it was time). Aren't the pictures above nice and clear? And we'll definitely be posting plenty of Cate in just a few short weeks.