The Night Before Christmas Day 1: Baking with your Children & Guess WHO's coming to Christmas??

Welcome to Day ONE of our Pajama Series, The Night Before Christmas.  Every day this week, we will be sharing fun pajamas and some of our favorite holiday traditions.  There are going to be some awesome chances to win some fun prizes, so make sure to follow along!!!

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Today you get to hear from Me (I also blog over at Winter Wonderings, Wanderings, & Whatnot - in case you were wondering what I did with all my spare time ;op) and also from Becca of Becca Duval Photography.  Two photographers on one day means LOTS of pictures, so grab a cup of something warm and sit back to enjoy the cuteness of the Pocket PJ's by  our affiliate Blank Slate Patterns and the Elke Dress by My Childhood Treasures.

 

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As a child I was dubbed,  'The Creator Of Traditions'.  You see, I was one of those kids who thought that if our family did something once and I liked it, it was a 'tradition' and had to be done every year.
But, my family had and has some special traditions that will never fade and existed long before my existence - and they all revolve around FOOD! (we're not going to discuss how that may be reflected in my current size - mmm'kay!)  In my house - all special Christmas food was made at home, and my mom brought us into the kitchen very early to start learning...as I've started doing with my own kids.
Now, there is nothing better to have your kiddos cook in than their PJ's - they are comfy and warm, you don't have to worry about getting them dirty (since you would obviously change out of them prior to going anywhere), and it means you don't have to get the kids dressed prior to baking ;o)

There are three very special food traditions for me at Christmas: Jewish Apple Cake, Christmas Morning Muffins, and a Birthday Cake for Baby Jesus.  The first is a very old family recipe that was given to my great grandmother, or great great grandmother, or someone way way back.  You know this is an old recipe when it includes beating for TEN minutes - many modern recipes have forgotten how amazing things taste when they take time.  It also includes all the great stuff like cups(plural) of oil, tons of apples, and lots of sugar.

The Christmas Morning muffins are something I will never be able to 100% re-create just like my mom's - because she has no true recipe... it is half of one recipe mixed with half of another and then you go by feel... but the most important thing is that it is filled with Jam and topped with a crumble topping.  And every year we eat them for breakfast while reading the story of Christmas from the Gospels.
The Birthday Cake for Baby Jesus is a tradition that my Grandmother started and my Mom carried on.  I haven't made one yet, but as the kids get older I am sure I will.  It is always a dark chocolate cake covered with chocolate ganash.  It is our reminder in the midst of presents and stockings and yes, too much sugar - that we celebrate because Christ was born.  That this is our remembrance of His birth and the greatest gift that he brought for us.


While all of these traditions are about food, my fondest memories are of the time spent in the kitchen creating each of these items.  Giggling as my mom tried to remember the exact muffin recipe, making a mess with flour and eggs, pealing bushels of apples, getting our hands elbow deep in suds to wash up the mountain of dishes.  The best recipes take TIME to create - and so do the best Relationships, and the best Traditions.

*My daughter is wearing the Pocket PJ's by Blank Slate Patterns.  These are a great brand new pattern that can be made of flannel, cotton, or even fleece for the pants.  The cuffs, pockets, and placket give tons of room for playing with fabric choices. (I love this Flannel from Whindam Fabrics - It is the Let It Snow Flannel - sooooo cozy!)  I added some ric-rac to the cuffs for a little something extra - it made me think of snow drifts.  The placket may take a tiny bit more time to create - but the instructions are perfectly detailed and it gives a very professional look to the set - something I love about all Blank Slate Patterns.  I know that I will be making more of these, and possibly some as Christmas Presents this year!!!

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The child-free among us may think they're a mythical beast.. but believe me my friends... the car-seat screamers are very real. You know the ones. You strap them in nice and safe, and suddenly the limbs flail wildly and the lungs erupt with angst. I happen to have 2, myself. So when it came time for our young family to make hard decisions about holiday travel, we unanimously voted to stay PUT. 

Yup. We go NOWHERE for Christmas. 

...Sort of.

We actually go lots of places, from the comfort of our couch. Like... Whoville, for instance.

 No Grinch here!

No Grinch here!

Growing up, we started a lot of Christmas Eve "traditions." A few years we tried stringing popcorn on thread. (But, if you know me, you can probably guess why that didn't work out. Nom nom nom!) Sometimes my dad would break out his keyboard and play some holiday carols. But always, ALWAYS... there were the movies:

A well worn VHS of a holiday claymation special (featuring the California Raisins, of course), Ralphie and his lamp, and of course, the annual trip to celebrate Christmas with the Who's.

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Now that I'm a mother, I'm excited to curl up with own Cindy Lou and enjoy catchy carols and the reminder that true meaning of Christmas extends beyond the gifts and decor that one can cram on a sleigh. 

 But uh... if you try to make off with her gifts, you'll have to get past her first. 

But uh... if you try to make off with her gifts, you'll have to get past her first. 

 And she's TERRIFYING.

And she's TERRIFYING.

I whipped up these super cute Cindy-inspired jammies just for the occasion! I modified the Elke dress. It was my first My Childhood Treasures pattern and I LOVED it. It came together so fast, and it was a sinch to modify to maxi length. My original vision included the bow as part of the Cindy-Intercepts-Grinch-At-Post-Office-And-Gets-All-Wrapped-Up reenactment... but my husband seemed less than enthusiastic about tying our toddler up with ribbon and Christmas lights. Something about model cooperation.. blah blah blah... #buzzkill

She *loves* them. Like, wouldn't-take-them-off-in-the-morning kind of Love. And honestly.. it was so much fun seeing her scampering around in them that I wasn't prepared to fight her on that ;)

 Shhh! It's show time!

Shhh! It's show time!

 Happy Holidays, folks! Wherever you are, or wherever your television takes you. :) 

Happy Holidays, folks! Wherever you are, or wherever your television takes you. :)