Crazy huh? I feel like once you get into your 20's the years just cruise by. Two nights ago, at a New Years Eve party, we all were reminiscing about Y2K. It didn't seem like it was too long ago that I watched my mom storing up cans of spam and soup to prepare for the "end of the world". Quite a disappointment really when nothing happened, but I did grow in my taste for spam.
So this Christmas was my first Christmas here in Chico, after calling it home for 8 years! It was also our first Christmas in our new home and we also had my brother and sister-in-law for their first Christmas away from Thailand.. I was feeling a little pressure. :)
Just a little though, not enough to stress out my Holiday spirit mojo.
I managed to squeeze in in some family traditions along with trying some new things out.
This year we told ourselves we were going to cut down a tree in the woods, like the real Chico locals do. Then I got a gnarly cold, and so we (tried to) settle for driving up 15 minutes into the mountains to go to a tree farm. But when we got there they shooed us away because there was snow and cars were falling in ditches. So we actually had to settle with FoodMax, again! Hahahha, how lame. But actually Foodmax doesn't disappoint with their fluffy trees.
Tradition Numero II: Cookie drop offs
So this is my favorite tradition-- until it's actually time to carry it out. I speak so fondly of all the times in college during finals that my roomies and I used to labor in the kitchen, making cookies and dropping them door to door. (even in the rain!) They were good times. I actually realized that my mom instilled this tradition in me when we made spritz cookies during the Christmas season. We were spritz-making machines as kiddos.
Anyways, I decided to try and go simpler this year and just make one cookie instead of making 5 and dropping the ball with 2 of them. (ex//chocolate chip cookies with wheat flour *gag*)
I went for Caitlin's famous buckeyes (she was one of my old roomies). We bought jars, because they're fun. Mistake #1: I bought 24 thinking I could use extras for another project, what a fool I was. Mistake #2: The jars were freaking huge! (cute to the eye, ridiculous to fill-- like one batch filled 1 and 1/2 of the mega jars)
All to say, we spent many a weekend afternoon rolling peanut butter balls, getting chocolate everywhere, or running to the store to get more powdered sugar. I do this to myself. (and then I rope in poor Mr.Fitz, he's such a trooper)
Here's the finished product.
Yummy and full of lots of love.
All the angst of making the buckeyes dissipated when we did our drop offs though. That is my favorite part of the tradition-- visiting friends, some that we hadn't seen for awhile. It's great.
Tradition numero III: Christmas Eve Pizza
This one was new for me, but not for the Fitzes and I was so excited to be part of it this year. Pizza on Christmas Eve is a celebration of Michelle and when she joined the Fitz Family. As the story goes, in the craziness of adopting Michelle and getting everything situated, pizza was the fastest meal and the first meal.( I believe, correct me mom if I'm wrong) And ever since, every year on Christmas Eve the Fitzes have eaten pizza! I Love it.
I have to confess. Somehow the time got away from us (we were working on our craft, which you'll see next), and we had to gobble down the pizza in order to make it to the Christmas Eve service on time. When I say gobble, I mean 2 large pizzas in 13 minutes. Not to go either, just down the gullet. :S
Tradition Numero IV~ Christmas Craft
This is one that my mom started at our annual beach trip. She'd always bring a craft for everyone to do. It's the teacher inside of her. One year we decorated frames, one year we made stockings. This year we did a simple pineresty craft. (and lost track of time...and had indigestion...mmm)
*new* Tradition numero V: peppermint hot chocolate
So this one might not stick but I thought it was a fun idea. You make a rich, dark hot chocolate and put in peppermint icecream. y-u-m, right? Most responses I got were the same: "...but then it's not hot". This was also a true statement, but I saw that Michelle had one last night and it's already 2014! We'll see.
Tradition Numero VI: Family picture.
Okay, so this is probably a "given" family tradition for everyone, but it's super difficult for us and we don't even have babies or toddlers to deal with. We just have Fitzes (minus Michelle~ who is super consistently beautiful in each picture, just probably so sick of having to retake pictures)
And we actually had a winner this year (believe it or not mom)...
Tradition Numero VII: A yummy breakfast
The 3 Fitz siblings demanded one of their Christmas breakfast foods: strawberries.
I decided to try and doll them up a little based of this pin:
Well look at our masterpieces: HAHAHHA!
Which then turned into this:
...because the more the merrier!
We read through the Christmas story together from Luke chatted about things that we were thankful for from 2013. So much to praise God for.
We opened gifts and even took pictures with them. (not all of them, but some of them. A Fitz Tradition :) )
*new* Tradition numero VIII: A snow hike
Here's another genius Naomi idea that I had. Since Michelle was new to having a cold Christmas, we were going to go sledding in the snow! So borrowed sleds, jackets, and boots and bundled up in layer upon layer. We were going prepared! We even packed a lunch which included hot chocolate. We drove an hour and 1/2 to Butte Meadows, where people play in the snow and we drove 10 more minutes. And we drove 10 more minutes. Not a sledable patch of snow in sight......... baahh!
So we took our bundled-up selves out of the car and went for a hike. (poor Michelle had huge boots on that were 3 sizes too big) It was beautiful and SUNNY and we actually found an awesome trail that lead to more trail... :)
Thankfully I have such a fun and flexible family that just wants to ultimately hang out. I thoroughly enjoyed our first Chico Christmas with our siblings. It was such a great way to end 2013.
Until next time!