Tag Archives: winter Des Moines

The stockings were hung by the chimney this week

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — at least in this corner of the house!

Joe and I put up our tree over the weekend, lit a fire in the fireplace and are getting into the spirit of things. (Which, of course means Christmas records and hot chocolate.) My favorite thing has always been unwrapping all of our ornaments that have been collected over the years and laughing at how ugly the ones I crafted as a kid are, or telling stories behind ones we got on trips. There’s a bedraggled Big Bird that always goes on the lower branch of my mom’s tree, because as an infant I liked playing with the big yellow feather.

We started — OK, I’ll admit that this was more something I instigated — a tradition last year as a married family that we would sit down after the tree was decorated on (or around) St. Nicholas Day and write each other a letter about favorite memories from the past year and our hopes for the coming year. Then we put them in each others stocking and read them on Christmas, or whenever we open our gifts together. Last year was the first year, and we just wrote them out on notebook paper. This year, we stepped it up to computer paper. I’m going to be a dork and start a scrapbook of them, I think.

Hopefully the letters will become a record of our lives and feelings for each other through the years. I think it’s meaningful to take time to reflect on moments that have impacted us over the year and share our expectations and excitement for what’s ahead. Any new little families out there have freshly minted traditions?

I’m hoping to steal my nieces again this winter break for a few days. Last year, Mia braved her fears and frustration and went ice skating for the first time at the Brenton Skating Plaza! We also had Crab Rangoon Pizza at Fong’s, a pairing that I certainly wouldn’t mind making a tradition this year, too.


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