Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Traditions

This weekend truly felt like a weekend. To me that means: time with family, time with friends, brunch on Saturday, brunch on Sunday, a little baking and a lot of relaxing. This stress-free weekend was especially energizing for me as I'm between job changes. You could say that I've been a "hot mess" and I wouldn't argue with you. Leaving some place you love is a bummer. The anticipation of a new challenges\ is nerve-wracking.

Looking ahead to our holiday gatherings, the to-do, to-make and to-buy lists are slowly and steadily growing. Compared to the stress of a job change - the next few weeks feel like they are going to be a piece of cake. 

Speaking of cake - have you guys ever had sponge candy? You probably have. But if not, it's one of those wonderful, sugary confections that surfaces this time of the year. Dark chocolate surrounds a piece of crunchy, cake-like candy. A friend introduced me to this last month and I'm officially hooked. I've allowed myself to buy two bags (so far). It's over-priced and worth it. 

Back to the holidays. 

In addition to drooling over sponge candy, introducing Ingrid to Christmas traditions has been incredibly rewarding this month. We took her to Cathedral Square Park and admired the lights. Ingrid insisted on visiting the playground for a quick swing and loved laughing at us through the looping lights. 

This weekend, we made Cranberry Bread for her daycare teachers. Ingrid stood proudly at the counter and sprinkled on a topping while reminding us "Ingrid help! Ingrid help!" 

Then, we pushed the envelope and had her paint mugs. What a brilliant idea it was to use the smallest bib imaginable in hopes to catch the multiple paint splatters.

Even though her clothes were painted in the process, she did a really great job using the paintbrush. I think it's because it involves dipping the brush into the paint. Kids love to dip. I'm starting to learn that carrots are best with ranch and chicken is best with a quarter cup of mustard on the side. 

Baking and crafting are holiday traditions that I loved as a kid. They were traditions that I could carry with me to college and to my first apartment in Milwaukee. We don't have the room for a tree, Ingrid doesn't know who Santa truly is and we're still in search of a church - but these simple traditions always get me in the holiday spirit. 

What are your favorite holiday traditions? 
What do you recommend we try with a young toddler? 

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