I’m a little late on my Christmas post, but better late than never, right? This Christmas season flew by for me. I wish it could be Christmas all winter long. I love everything about it. The music, the lights, the tree, the shopping, the spirit, and of course Santa!  AJ is a perfect age for everything Christmas. He was SO excited this year. And Max even loved joining in some of the fun!

One of my favorite things about doing in home photography is being able to capture each family’s unique story. Part of my family’s story is how much we love the Christmas season! My absolute favorite thing about Christmas is all of our traditions. It was so fun to incorporate the old and some new family traditions for our boys. For me, it all starts the day after Thanksgiving (I’m a big believer in savoring and enjoying each season on its own before moving to the next one, although this year it was harder to hold out!).  Every year since I was about 12, I have gone Black Friday shopping with my Dad. And then when my sister was old enough, she joined in with us. It’s something special for my Dad to share with both his girls. We shop the deals and get a big breakfast. The rest of that weekend is spent busy with Christmas fun. I make every effort to try to get out all of our Christmas decorations sometime that weekend. AJ loved helping put all the ornaments on the tree this year! Then either Friday or Saturday of that weekend, we have been getting together with my cousins for a beer exchange and tasting. We eat, drink (of course), and play games. Each year it’s getting bigger and bigger as we add more kiddos to the clan 🙂 The weekend after Thanksgiving is also when I tune the radio in my car to one of the stations that plays Christmas music 24 hrs a day and it stays there until after Christmas is over. I LOVE Christmas music 🙂 One of my other favorite things to do is help my parents pick out their tree. As much as I want a real tree, for now (because of lack of space) we have to settle for a fake one. So, to get the whole “cutting down your tree” experience with the boys, I go with my parents out to Manner’s Tree Farm and help them pick out theirs. AJ loves everything about it. The horse drawn wagon, picking the perfect tree, cutting it down with the saw, and dragging it back with the sled. I can’t wait till we can get one for our house. As Christmas continues to get closer, my husband and I get a babysitter so we can spend a few hours by ourselves shopping for the boys and turn it into a little date night for us. I think my husband just does it so he can play with all the toys at the store 🙂 AJ has a Christmas concert at his school and this year he sang his little heart out! Last year, I started a tradition of making a gingerbread house with AJ (he ends up eating more candy than what goes on the house). This year, Daddy and Max joined in the fun, too! I also try to make at least one batch of Christmas cookies. I’m not much of a baker, but this is the exception. I LOVE baking Christmas cookies! This year we made the most adorable reindeer cookies. I also love reading Christmas stories and watching Christmas movies. Some of our favorites are The Polar Express (we went on the train this year!), Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Elf on the Shelf, Charlie Brown’s Christmas, Twas’ the Night Before Christmas, Christmas Vacation, Home Alone (which I’m hoping AJ will love this year), and of course like any good Clevelander, A Christmas Story. Christmas Eve, we go to my Mother-in-law’s house for dinner and presents. Her house is always so fun! My husband’s family is Polish so there is always an Oplatki exchange. On the way home, we check out all the Christmas lights and look for Santa’s sleigh. When we get home, it’s time for matching Christmas jammies, putting out milk and cookies for Santa, carrots for the reindeer, and then reading The Night Before Christmas.  After the boys are asleep, Hubby and I watch Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, drink Christmas beer, and wrap presents till we drop! Christmas day we open gifts, Hubby makes breakfast, and we go to my parents house either Christmas Day or the day after (depending on work schedules). My mom ALWAYS goes overboard with gifts, even though every year she says she’s not going to. We have a gift opening marathon and then a yummy ham dinner. And when it’s all over, I’m usually sad that it went so fast, and want the year to hurry up so we can do it all over again!

Here are a few photos (ok, a lot of photos) from our Christmas season. A lot of them are not perfect, but I love them because they are our memories…

magic of christmasstockingschristmas cookiesbest christmas cookiesrudolph cookiesmaking a gingerbread housemaking a gingerbread housedad and son making gingerbread housechristmas tree farmcutting down the christmas treechristmas tree farmpolar expresshot cocoa on the polar expresscute little boys on the polar expressout of focus christmas lightsin home photographymatching Christmas jammiesopening presentsboys opening presentschristmas morninggiant toothbrushmelissa and doug coffee makerchristmas morning funin home photography | christmas morning





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