4th Annual Blog Cookie Exchange

I’m taking part in Susie’s 4th Annual Blog Cookie Exchange today. Luckily, there are no rules –just suggestions– because if there were rules I’d be apt to break them. In fact, know now that the name is a misnomer when it comes to me: this is my first year to participate and I have no cookies to exchange.

Wait!! Please don’t leave… I just bought a bottle of egg nog (the spiked kind) for SuperDad to give at his office party, but I can always buy another tomorrow if I need to. And I’m told I make awesome margaritas. I’ll put on a fresh pot of coffee for you. Please make yourself at home while I unload the car. (I just got back from Target, Kohl’s, and Costco.)


There, that’s better. Sorry, we’re rather informal here. With 4 boys, I’d rather focus on life than fancy foods and decorations.


Oh, see that picture above? That’s the official Christmas picture of the boys. We aren’t all into matching outfits – I guess you can tell?


When the kids were smaller, younger, and more compliant, I made a birthday cake and we would sing happy birthday to Jesus. A few years ago, I asked what traditions they loved and which ones they didn’t care about. Driving around looking at Christmas lights was a resounding success, but the birthday party went away. Sorta. I now bake breakfast breads (cranberry orange, anyone?) and a wonderful German Stollen (dry and PERFECT with coffee). Bread is almost like cake, isn’t it?

For the 4 Sundays before Christmas, we light an Advent candle. Last Sunday was the pink candle. On Christmas morning, we will have this wreath (sans the African violet) as our centerpiece on the table, and in the center of the wreath will be a white “Christ candle.” We will re-light each of the Advent candles, in order, and then the white Christ candle. And since they won’t let me make a birthday cake for baby Jesus, we’ll have to sing happy birthday with the Advent candle!

The kids get their stockings when they wake up (and there will be a granola bar, a tangerine, and perhaps a bit of chocolate inside to ruin their appetites tide them over until breakfast. But there is no present-under-the-tree opening until after breakfast and the singing of happy birthday. Gotta remember whose birthday it is, after all!
Well… everyone does get to open one gift on Christmas Eve. When I was a kid, it had to be a gift from a grandparent. Our rules now are less stringent, so the kids get to choose which gift they want to open. (Which means sometimes I keep gifts hidden until later!)

da tree, assembled and decorated by boys

da tree, assembled and decorated by boys

This year, one of my favorite gifts to give will be these mugs by my potter friend (and facebook cousin) Gary

gift mugs

gift mugs

Gary also made this lovely pig ornament:

piggy ornament

piggy ornament

Don we now our gay apparel…

I’d post a picture of my “let it snow” pajamas, but they are all wrinkled and in the hamper. I’m not taking a picture of THAT!!

I’ll be making the Par-Tay rounds so let me know if you stopped by in my absence. Help yourself to the German cookies that I stashed on the top shelf in the cupboard!


14 responses to “4th Annual Blog Cookie Exchange

  1. If that isn’t the nicest family I don’t know what is. Add Super dad and you have a basketball team!

  2. You know, I always forget to do an advent wreath at home. We have one (an advent candle holder) that I really like, and I always forget about it. I’ll have to remember next year. That’s a lovely tradition. This coming Sunday our family lights the final candle on the wreath at church and says the prayer.

    Your guys look great!
    (Um, it’s snowing on your blog.)

  3. Real boys don’t do matching outfits after the age of 5. At least that’s the way it’s worked around here.

    We do Christmas Eve and morning a lot like you do.

  4. A delight to read! 🙂

  5. It’s always interesting to read how other people celebrate Christmas. Every family has their own traditions. Our Christmas traditions are a blend of Danish and American, so it’s always fun.

  6. We’re having issues getting going with Christmas this year. The tree isn’t even up yet and it doesn’t look like it will be until Saturday.

    I guess this is our “off” year.

  7. You don’t make you eggnog from scratch? The friend that I spend my Christmases with these days does and boy is it good!

    Sounds like you have great traditions for Christmas.

  8. I think the birthday cake is a great idea, even if your family doesn’t want to do that any longer. Watch them grow up and restart the tradition with their families. 🙂

  9. Ummm cookies……..drooling…………..

  10. Since my brother and and I have moved out of the house we have very few traditions left in the immediate family. Christmas morning we eat jalapeno quiche while drinking mimosas and opening gifts. Christmas Eve we have a huge meal of Mexican Food. Christmas night we take down all the decorations. It gets boring with no kids around.

  11. You do the ADVENT candles at HOME too? Gosh darn, ball of yarn! Why don’t I think of stuff like that!?

    The kids would love it while they are still young so it would stick as an excellent tradition when they are older.

    Kindly, since you have my e-address, email me a little note and tote about how y’all do this so maybe next week and/or at least next year I can implement this tradition?

    I have another Catholic couple who I am sure would value this also!

    Cookie exchange!? Great idea? Are we sure no one “taints” their talents with anything, “non” traditional? Just kiddin’!

    Happy Holidays!

    Your boys are awesome! [That must come from YOU! *wink*]

  12. I just love the Christmas picture of the boys – who needs matching outfits when they are obviously all such individuals?! And, I think your tree is beautiful – and those mugs? I have some very similar ones…with a teapot – and guess who made them? I LOVE your piggy ornament! When I was little, I always got to open one present on Christmas Eve, too. I spent a couple of days deciding WHICH one I was going to open. Great memories…
    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas celebration – I’ll be singing Happy Birthday right along with you…

  13. I love that you do a advent wreath. I think I am going to do that in the future.

    I am super jealous of your pig ornament. I am going to tell Gary that I need one immediately.

  14. Thanks for sharing your Christmas traditions with us. I almost felt like I was in my robe and slippers enjoying it along with you. I like that you keep some of the “must open on Christmas Day” gifts back so that they don’t peak (or peek) too soon.