#12DatesofChristmas2014 | number nine

IMG_0470 IMG_0467 IMG_0468 IMG_0469 IMG_0466

{on the ninth date of christmas}

wrapping party and Christmas movie with family

this was a great little family date for Christmas. enjoying longstanding traditions and creating new ones as we go. back in the day before boys and marriage and babies...it was just the four of us ridley's. in the days leading up to Christmas, we would gather on the couch every night and watch a different Christmas movie together. home alone, the santa clause, miracle on 34th street, white christmas, holiday inn, it's a wonderful life, the christmas carol. those were the standards, with a few others sprinkled in here and there. the 23rd was reserved for it's a wonderful life. and Christmas Eve, after we returned from church, we would cozy up in our pajamas, light the fire, grab some hot chocolate, and watch the christmas carol. the old one. the grainy and amazing black and white one. alastair sim, all the way. and after that, it was putting out mum's homemade fudge and a glass of coca-cola for santa...his favorites, duh.

and that was how it was done. and the spirit of that movie tradition is something that i treasure and something that we have tried to preserve through college and marriage and the birth of miss elinor.

but things change with time and circumstances. it is inevitable. but instead of just tossing it out or getting sad about the change - we have chosen to keep some traditions alive in a fresh way, as we add new ones to them. it just gets richer that way.

schedules and little ones may not allow everyone to gather for seven straight nights to kick back with a two-hour movie and messy mug of hot chocolate (hello, two year old in the house!) but we can set aside a few days to gather and celebrate. on saturday, the whole crew met up at my parents' place to wrap gifts together and enjoy a DELICIOUS meal, and then watch a movie. this year, we had a new baby napping and cooing and eating every couple of hours. we had a busy preschooler running around and wanting to go on walks and play with everything. it wasn't exactly what it used to be, but it sure was special. cozy and comfortable and festive and fun. all of us together just enjoying the season and the joy it brings. we laughed at silly baby expressions and elinor antics. we feasted on my mum's legendary chicken cordon bleu. we prepared boxes and bows for the big day. we ate fudge and gingerbread. we watched national lampoon's christmas vacation (the boys were down for that or die hard, so...) and grandma distracted elinor during inappropriate language parts. it was old traditions. it was new experiences. it was great.

family and joy and food and laughter and memories. it's what it's all about, i tell ya. merry merry!