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Holiday Traditions?  I admit, I definitely have a harder time with the holidays then my partner does.  It is always an emotional conflict since my parents are divorced and my family is spread everywhere.  Come October we are figuring out schedules, airfares, who to please, who to disappoint.  It is not easy and someone, usually me, feels unfulfilled.

Over a cup of coffee this past weekend, I opened an email and found that we were asked to share our holiday traditions.  OMG!  This was a loaded question for us; what were our holiday traditions?  I asked my partner what he thought and we both blankly looked at each other.  Were we growing old, with no children and no holiday traditions?  Are we a couple of blah humbugs?   I sat and pondered for a few hours.  I remised over some of my favorite holidays, ones with both of our families as well as with friends.  What gave me the greatest pleasure?  Was it all the planning, the shopping, the traveling?  I soul searched long, hard and deep; there had to be something.

After listening to the rain pitter-patter on the windows for a few hours and downing a few too many cups of coffee, it came to me.  I love baking during the holidays.   And I love the last quiet evening the two of us spend together before we start our holiday travels.

I always imagined myself with a couple kids, tugging at my apron ties, their little faces covered with sugar and floury fingers touching everything while we baked cookies for the holidays.  The house would be warm and sweet smelling while we sat around the table laughing, cutting and decorating.  We don’t have our own children but are fortunate to live next door to some very dear friends, who have 3 wonderful kids.  I have been baking with their three children for the past 8 years and none of us ever tire of it.  In fact, the planning of cookie baking seems to start months before it actually takes place.  What sort of cutters should we use, what kind of icing this year and then the sprinkles, oh the sprinkles!  This may be the most important part of cookie baking.  It has been so much fun over the years to see how the process has changed.  When we first started and they were small, most of the cookie dough ended up in their bellies and the frosting ended up smeared across their happy faces.  They plan out the process from baking to decorating.  It is not rushed, we take our time, we laugh, and we cut, decorate and still sample the dough, icings and sprinkles.  The difference, now the cookies are more like a piece of art.  No matter what the process is, they are always so thrilled when we are finished and they are granted that one cookie before dinner.  The holidays really would not feel like the holidays without our cookie baking sessions!

Another holiday tradition that we love as a couple is the last supper before we leave our home.  It is our way of celebrating, just the two of us, before the hectic holiday travels start.  We put on some holiday music, maybe a little Edith signing Santa Baby.  Turn on the Christmas lights.  Then we kick back, dial the pizza delivery guy and wait for dinner.  It is really nice to just relax, enjoy each other’s company and exchange our gifts, privately, together. We both always look forward to this quiet holiday time with our best friend.

What are you favorite holiday traditions?  Have they been passed down from generation to generation?  Or maybe it is a new tradition that you started with the ones you love?  We would love to hear about what you have planned for this year or something memorable from a holiday past. When I started this, I did not think we even had one and look I came up with two.  Won’t you share your favorite holiday traditions with us?

If you would like to have more fun with this, you can enter into Folger’s Best Part of Wakin’ Up At Home For The Holidays contest.  You can win a trip home to see your family this Christmas.  Details can be found here.  Also be sure to check out the 9 other BlogHer bloggers who are joining us in sharing their stories.

Thanks for sharing with us. Happy Holidays to each of you!

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