A few of our favorite things

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We at The Teaching 2 Step would like to wish all of our readers and colleagues a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. We would like to share some of our favorite things from this time of the year with you. Family photographs, family traditions and more. We thank you for following us on this journey and we look forward to what 2015 has in store for all of us!

a few of our favorite things blog post.001favorite things images for blog post.002Its the most wonderful time of year, with lots of holiday cheer. I truly love spending those precious moments with my family. With every changing year there is always so much to be thankful for. I am delighted to share with you a few of my favorite things during the Christmas season…

I love watching the Hallmark Channel movies during the holidays, my DVR fills up with all my favorites. My little ones fill the DVR with their holiday movies and we watch them together with cozy blankets, usually there is popcorn too. We enjoy a little holiday baking. Cookies  are a favorite desert around here. I love finding new recipes and the kids love trying them. My mom has tons of cookie cutters so they always come out unique with icing and sprinkles. Then a favorite during the holiday is decorating the tree it brings us all together, with Christmas music blaring and hot chocolate, we pull out each ornament and reminisce about family highlights.

The Teaching 2 Step: My Favorite Things at Christmas Time

 

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Hello everyone! I have to admit, I’m not an over-the-top Christmas person. My husband and I buy gifts for the kids, and then decide on a set amount for ourselves. We buy our own gifts. For me, the best part of the holidays is resting and just spending time with my family. I commute eighty-five miles to work each way, so when I get a break I am plain ole’ tuckered out. Over the break, we will probably take in a movie or two. My son and I both really want to see Exodus.

We will probably make a quick trip up to Oklahoma to visit my mom and step-dad, my sister, and all of the nieces and nephews. (My goal is to take them some of their favorite home-made jalapeno jelly & apricot jalapeno jam-I need to get cracky-lackin’ if I’m going to get all of that made!). Pretty much my whole family lives in and around a small town (If you blink, you’ll miss it) called Wapanucka. It’s about two hours from my house and lies in the Chickasaw Nation. My mom’s family settled there well over a hundred years ago on land they received back when Oklahoma was Indian Territory. In fact they received their land as part of the Indian land grants.

Finally, we will eat, eat, eat. After that, I’m making some changes (New Year’s Resolution maybe?). My small family has a tradition of letting the kids pick what they want for Christmas dinner. One year they wanted bacon cheeseburgers, so that is what we made. This year they want a traditional holiday dinner with ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac & cheese, and who knows what else.

Like I said, we’re a bit laid back! I hope you and your families have a wonderful holiday season!

Merry Christmas!

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I love EVERYTHING about the holiday season. However, one of my all time favorite parts is designing our family christmas card. Before my daughter was born, I will admit, I was one of those people who put my dogs on our christmas cards (because they are so dang cute). Now that I have my sweet daugther I scour Pinterest for great ideas  and then play with them in my own way.  Here are the results from the last three years.T2S_favorite things post.001T2S_favorite things post.002

favorite things images for blog post.005One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is to ride the Christmas Train with my daughter. She gets so excited to see all of the lights and riding the train. I love just watching her. The look on her face truly brings me joy!

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My holiday traditions are fresh and new these days as this is my second Christmas with my husband as a married couple! This is also my first Christmas in our new home! There are a lot of changes this year as well since my brother (whom I am very close with) has moved across country and will not be home for Christmas. This is also my first year in about 6 years that I am NOT working retail! I get the next 16 days off from school and I do NOT have a second job, people! I am enjoying my fur babies, my wonderful mother, stepdad, and mother-in-law, my fantastic husband, all in my new home.

I am loving our tree and OUR ornaments on OUR tree. (Can you tell I’m fairly new to this living in my own HOUSE thing?!) ❤

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I am thrilled this year to begin a new list of favorite things and favorite holiday traditions that are my own. I’m sure these things will change when I have kiddos of my own one day, but for now, I’m going to enjoy my simple life and the simple pleasures of staying home for the holidays with my husband. Merry Christmas everyone!

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Wow…what a magical time of year!  Everything is rushed and life is moving at a faster pace.  All I really want to do is relax in the warm glow of my fireplace and sparkling Christmas lights.  Here’s a picture compilation of a few of my favorite things this time of year.  I hope this wonderful season finds you healthy and happy.Meredith Christmas

favorite things images for blog post.008My favorite thing to do in celebration of this time of year is go to the Christmas tree farm and pick out a tree.  It’s the same farm that I went to as a child.  So, finding a tree there with my family feels especially meaningful.  My boys love it because there’s fun tree carts to ride on (not sure if that’s technically allowed), hot chocolate, cookies, and even an autograph wall where we track our boys’ growth each year.  Getting a tree signifies the start of this magical time of year.

Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays and a fantastic new year!

Check out the fun we’ve had through the years (and how many years we got out of that blue coat!)…

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Living in South Africa, our Christmases are anything but white!  It is summer here and we spend our holidays at the pool or beach.  On Christmas day we go to my parent’s home.  It is a big gathering and all the in-laws are also invited – as far as I know, we will be 23 this year.  All of us milling by the poolside, eating a delicious roast lunch and then (hopefully, if the weather  permits) take a walk down to the beach to “make some space” for an feast of puddings on return.

Even our dog, Jack, gets into the Christmas spirit.
Even our dog, Jack, gets into the Christmas spirit.

I love baking and use this time of the year as an excuse to bake (and eat) lots of treats.  My daughter also loves being in the kitchen so this is our special quality time together. We have been so busy with trying new recipes that I think that this year is the year to give baked goods as Christmas presents!

Baking

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I couldn’t help but think of the lyrics to “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music while I created my list of a few of my favorite holiday things! Creating this list was a nice way to reflect on the season and how grateful I am for the abundance of good in my life . . . I am blessed with many truly good people, good moments, good memories, and good living! Wishing you a beautiful holiday season with an abundance of good!

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I am such a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas!Santa Garland

I decorate with cones and evergreens, and with things that take me back to my childhood.Hurricane Vase with Candle

After finishing up the last of my Christmas shopping, I’ll be sewing gift bags. I buy fabric on sale after Christmas and pack it away until the next year. Then during the week before Christmas (or sometimes the week after depending on how busy things get) I sew and sew and sew. I make simple drawstring bags in a lot of sizes.  Drawstring Gift Bag I do still wrap presents that I’ll be taking to our family celebration at my sister’s house, but the presents that we open at home will be in gift bags. They are such a time saver, and reduce the waste of wrapping paper. But they also bring a homemade touch to gifts and can be used again and again. I just give them a quick laundering after the holiday and pack them away with the other decorations. I have a feeling I’ve started a new Christmas tradition – one that I’ll be happy to see passed on. I hope one day they are pulled from boxes with love, as treasured as the decorations that have been passed down to me.

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Special thanks to The 3 am Teacher and Winchestor Lambourne for the wonderful clip art used in this post.

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One thought on “A few of our favorite things”

  1. SO fun to read about everyone’s favorites! I especially loved all the photos! Jill, your gift bags are beautiful! I try to give gifts in beautiful bags that can be reused, but bags become more expensive every year — your gift bags are a wonderful solution that will be used (and cherished!) for years! Thank you all for sharing!

    Like

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