What’s your favorite part about the holidays? (Holiday Recipe/Craft/Traditions/Post Link Up!)

Today makes it only 14 days until Christmas. I seriously cannot believe it and I seriously am not ready for it!  I do have almost all my shopping finished (just need to buy a couple gift cards). All of the presents I have purchased so far are wrapped. Dates are set for parties and gatherings with friends and family.  Now it’s just time to clean house and make sure I have all the ingredients for the foods I will be making.

My most favorite part about Christmas and New Years (and all holidays) is spending time with friends and family.  My family may be crazy and we don’t always get along, but we always have so much fun.  I have often joked that we put the “fun” in dysfunctional. :)

We get together for Christmas Eve to eat dinner and then open up our presents. (This tradition started when I was little because we had so many extended family gatherings on Christmas day that there was no time for our immediate family to spend together.  We no longer have those big family gatherings since several older relatives have passed away, but the Christmas Eve tradition has lasted.)  We do not fix a big fancy meal, we do a lot of finger foods, snacks and appetizers, which I frankly love more than the big meals! (A few appetizers we make include this Sweet & Spicy Cheese ball, Ham & Cheese Pinwheels and Pineapple Southern Yam Pineapple Casserole). After we eat then we open up all our presents. Sometimes we will go look at Christmas lights or we’ll stay in and watch old home movies.

On Christmas Day we get together again in the evening to eat more yummy appetizers and finger foods (and desserts). We also will play cards like Phase 10 and board games from Scrabble to Yahtzee to Scattegories and sometimes I can even convince a few of them to play Monopoly. (I seem to be the only person who really likes that game.)

New Year’s Eve is a big deal for us too. We always get together at my parents house and invite over several close family friends and their kids too.  We eat, play board games and my dad shoots off fireworks. It is an absolutely amazing and fun way to bring in and start a new year!  Last year we had 13 or 14 people crammed around a dining room table made for 6-8. It was so much fun!

Outside of family gatherings, we also always try to give back and help others in our community and beyond. That is one tradition we definitely don’t forget. Each year we do Salvation Army Stockings, adopt a child or family through Angel Tree Ministries or our local Crisis Ministries, adopt senior citizens through our local Home Instead, donate kids toys to Toys for Tots and I also send gifts to my 2 World Vision kids that I sponsor. We are so blessed and like I have posted about before, I don’t really need anything myself and it doesn’t take much to help others. If you have $10-$20 to spare you can do so many gifts for so many different organizations or people in your community.

I would love for you to share your posts with your own holiday traditions, special recipes or any holiday crafts or DIY ideas that you have posted on your own blog in the link up below!  If you dont have a blog, feel free to comment on this post instead with your ideas, traditions & recipes!

PS Don’t forget to check out the Great Cookie Exchange link up too!

Merry Christmas!


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