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#1 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What are some of your very simple traditions for the fall and the Holidays?

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#2 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 12:56 PM
 
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I love these threads! This is my favorite time of the year!

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#3 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 12:59 PM
 
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my boys are young so we're still in the early stages of developing our family's traditions.

our favorite thing to do in the fall is go for walks and collect the colorful leaves from the ground. we have a favorite neighborhood maple tree that turns brilliant red, so that's our main destination on our walk (most leaves here turn yellow, some orange, so this tree feels special).

we eat pumpkins and winter squash like crazy, probably a couple times a week. also sweet potatoes and other root veggies - otherwise it just wouldn't be fall!

our nuclear family does thanksgiving at home, which is nice since most holidays are a big rush around to be with other extended family. people are welcome to drop by. we have a tofurkey (extended family eats meat, so it's nice to have exactly what we want for this meal), molasses green beans, and mashed potatoes with a beet or two in them which makes them look amazing. we also put up our tree (a pink tinsel tree - matches the potatoes!) and decorate it on thanksgiving. that's pretty much our only christmas decoration as christmas is more a cultural tradition for us than anything else (we don't share the religious beliefs behind it). thanksgiving is also the big day when i finally get to start playing christmas music in the house, lol.

through the second half of the fall and into winter, i keep a lot of evergreen stuff in the fresh flower arrangements (always have one on the table and often there is a second, smaller arrangement made from whatever isn't wilted out of the previous week's vase). since we have a fake tree, that makes it feel yummy and wintery in the house.

i'd love to start doing solstice as a family too. not sure what we would exactly do so i'll have to watch here for everyone else's ideas!
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#4 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am really low key and we dont really have traditions cause every Christmas i've been popping out little's for the last several years. LOL.

I am much more organized this year.
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#5 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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PINK mashed potatoes!?!?!?! SOLD!!! I have a 3 yr old who is so fancy she would knock your socks off. LMAO.

I want to do solstice also....carefully thouh as most of my family are Christian and I need to not freak them out too much. (Dh too. )
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#6 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 01:19 PM
 
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We pick apples a few times every fall, and make apple pie. And pumpkins and pumpkin pie too.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#7 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 02:13 PM
 
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Sigh, see...I miss this stuff! There are only a few things that I miss, and fall actually was pretty nice (up to a point) living up north. Now, in the deep south we don't really see that. Our fall is different. Wonderful, but different!

I do buy cider AND I make the best cinnamon sugar buttermilk donuts you've never tasted! There was a cider mill up in MI that DH and I visited a few times during our courtship. They stopped making their own cider when the pasturization law went into effect up there...so they no longer exist because they were so small scale...but still I have good memories.

So much that one time four years ago I made the buttermilk donut recipe off of my mom's old donut making funnel (which she had shipped to me). And, I tossed them in the cinnamon sugar and DH said "that is it" and indeed it tasted exactly like the fresh ones from up in Michigan!

So, cider and donuts here!

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#8 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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subbing to get ideas. christmas is cultural for too - dd & i love, love, love the decorations!

i'd also like to do a simple solstice thing so dd could be involved & hopefully my very negative husband wouldn't say anything.
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#9 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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Oh, I love this stuff. Our fall traditions include a trip to the "pumpkin patch" to get pumpkins, go on a hayride, etc. This year I also want to go to the solstice celebration at Pacific Spirit Park. At Christmas time we go on the Christmas Train at Stanley Park and visit Father Christmas and ride the vintage carousel at Burnaby Heritage Village. We love baking and (of course) eating and we go to the weekly farmers market till the end of October.

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#10 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 04:02 PM
 
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i just had a fun idea (for our family anyway, but thought i'd share!) for solstice. i remember last winter when ds was asking why it was so dark in winter, why things stopped growing, where the animals were, etc. we had already been talking about why sleep was important for our bodies to grow and heal and for our minds to hold on to the things we learned during the day. with that in mind, we talked about how winter was like night for nature. trees are sleeping, fields are sleeping, lots of animals are sleeping . . . and we all need rest. so maybe a fun solstice ritual/tradition would be to "tuck" things in for winter (around our yard), saying goodnight and maybe leaving little comfort items around so they'll have sweet dreams.
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#11 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 04:17 PM
 
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I feel like our traditions are just "normal" stuff, but since "normal" varies so much, I'll list them anyway.

Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving: Pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, leaf collecting, baking things like pumpkin bread, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and decorating the house with things like leaves and pumpkins.

Winter/Christmas: Santa stuff (visit at mall, write a letter, hang stockings, put out a plate of cookies), baking a wide array of cookies and candies for gifts and guests (our family favorites are Russian teacakes, chocolate crinkles, and fudge), buying/making/wrapping gifts for friends and family, driving around in neighborhoods where everyone decorates to look at Christmas lights, hanging lights of our own, decorating the tree while drinking apple cider and listening to carols, decorating the house with things like snowmen and reindeer, letting the kids open one gift (always new PJs) on Christmas Eve just before bed, baking something great to have on Christmas morning (like homemade yeast cinnamon rolls -- yum!), waking up super early to open stockings and make coffee, opening gifts in our PJs, spending most of the day lounging around home so the kids can enjoy their new toys, then going to my ILs' for Christmas dinner.

One of my decorations is a huge, tall glass vase that I leave on the mantle all year and just fill with different stuff every season. So for fall I fill it with small pumpkins and gourds, then for Christmas I fill it with a mixture of pine cones and colored ornaments. In the spring and summer I'll fill it with things like apples and lemons. It's really pretty, and so easy to do! I also like to take down our usual wall art and replace it with Christmas stuff so that our house looks dramatically different. Like we take down the aspen print that's over the mantle and replace it with a big wreath, then we take down the landscape print that's by the dining table and replace it with our advent calendar. It just makes everything seem fresh and new and special.

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#12 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 04:21 PM
 
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PINK mashed potatoes!?!?!?! SOLD!!! I have a 3 yr old who is so fancy she would knock your socks off. LMAO.

I want to do solstice also....carefully thouh as most of my family are Christian and I need to not freak them out too much. (Dh too. )
Yes PLEASE PLEASE give the recipe for the pink mashed potatoes!! My DD is OBSESSED with pink and she loves mashed potatoes but I suck at making homeade ones I am embarassed to admit.
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#13 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 04:33 PM
 
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we call them mashed pinktatoes. (we make it other times too - i mean, nothing says easter like pink food, right?) i'm not exactly a recipe person, more of a little-of-this, little-of-that. so.

boil your potatoes with two or three peeled beets. when the potatoes are done, the beets are done too, although the beets will be firmer than the potatoes. drain.

while the potatoes and beets are in the colander, i put my other stuff into the pot. this could be any combination of whatever dairy products i have in the house: milk, butter, sour cream, occasionally cream cheese or parmesan or whatever . . . i'm disgusting. i just guess at amounts. salt, pepper, however you normally do your potatoes. if i have fresh herbs, i might saute some in butter or oil and then add the rest of the dairy.

when all that is mixed, put the potatoes and beets back in and mash, or be lazy and mix with a hand mixer. the entire batch of potatoes will turn pink (a nice perky pink, not a sick, dull pink) and there are little chunks of beets which are an awesome jewel tone in there. so fabulous. we all love it.
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#14 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 04:38 PM
 
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for beet haters, i give you mashed p'carrotoes.

sub 5-6 carrots for the 2-3 beets. while draining, saute garlic with butter, salt, pepper and a good pinch of dill. then add milk/sour cream etc. then mix it all up. mmm.

i rarely make mashed potatoes without other stuff in there.

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#15 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 04:40 PM
 
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we call them mashed pinktatoes. (we make it other times too - i mean, nothing says easter like pink food, right?) i'm not exactly a recipe person, more of a little-of-this, little-of-that. so.

boil your potatoes with two or three peeled beets. when the potatoes are done, the beets are done too, although the beets will be firmer than the potatoes. drain.

while the potatoes and beets are in the colander, i put my other stuff into the pot. this could be any combination of whatever dairy products i have in the house: milk, butter, sour cream, occasionally cream cheese or parmesan or whatever . . . i'm disgusting. i just guess at amounts. salt, pepper, however you normally do your potatoes. if i have fresh herbs, i might saute some in butter or oil and then add the rest of the dairy.

when all that is mixed, put the potatoes and beets back in and mash, or be lazy and mix with a hand mixer. the entire batch of potatoes will turn pink (a nice perky pink, not a sick, dull pink) and there are little chunks of beets which are an awesome jewel tone in there. so fabulous. we all love it.
THANK YOU!! That sounds delicious!!! And not to hijack the thread but if anyone else would like to share their yummy cinnamon roll; pumpkin bread; donut etc. recipes I would be very happy. I don't have many traditions as DD is usually with her dad for the fun stuff but I could use help.for the bit of time we spend together...you guys have all given me many fun eating; fun; decorating ideas thanks!!
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#16 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i just had a fun idea (for our family anyway, but thought i'd share!) for solstice. i remember last winter when ds was asking why it was so dark in winter, why things stopped growing, where the animals were, etc. we had already been talking about why sleep was important for our bodies to grow and heal and for our minds to hold on to the things we learned during the day. with that in mind, we talked about how winter was like night for nature. trees are sleeping, fields are sleeping, lots of animals are sleeping . . . and we all need rest. so maybe a fun solstice ritual/tradition would be to "tuck" things in for winter (around our yard), saying goodnight and maybe leaving little comfort items around so they'll have sweet dreams.
oh I LOVE it!!! Darn it nothin really dies around here (FL) LOL.



Pink mashed potatoes ROCK!
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#17 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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I dunno...I think awesome food suggestions is right on target for the theme of the thread...

:

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#18 of 31 Old 09-11-2009, 07:29 PM
 
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Closer to winter time, we go for a family walk after one of the major wind storms to collect boughs for christmas decorations.

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#19 of 31 Old 09-13-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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I am definitely trying those pink mashed potatoes.

One of the things I love the most about fall, though I'm not sure I'd count it as a tradition, is piling up the fallen leaves and jumping in them and throwing them and crunching them.

One of our Christmas traditions is that we have sweetbread and grapefruit for breakfast. My mom started this and now I do it. We also each get a word puzzle book (or something more suitable for the kids) each Christmas. It's a nice and relaxing way to spend some time. Another thing we do once the weather gets colder is to do jigsaw puzzles together.

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#20 of 31 Old 09-13-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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Hay ride to the pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin, apple picking, carving jack-o-lanterns, walks in the woods to crunch the leaves. Mmmmmm, I can't wait to start!

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#21 of 31 Old 09-13-2009, 10:59 PM
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Our neighbor grows pumpkins to sell, so we walk down there and pick out pumpkins from the pumpkin patch.

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#22 of 31 Old 09-13-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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#23 of 31 Old 09-13-2009, 11:46 PM
 
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DS is still young (3 next week) so we are still building our traditions, but we've got a few favorites already. Pumpkin Spice muffins, ds is already asking every morning when we can make pumpkin spice muffins. The Frog Tent- we have a kid sized frog shaped tent that we set up in the living room during the colder months, and we put blankets and pillows in there and snuggle up inside with warm drinks and good books on rainy days. I love to warm some water on the stove with cinnamon sticks, cloves and couple slices of an orange, it makes the whole house smell fabulous, everyone loves that smell. We love to go for walks in the rain and jump in puddles and collect things to turn into art projects (leaves to glue onto paper, pinecones to make tree ornaments or table centerpieces, etc). And we love love love christmas music around here, so I learned a few of our favorites on the guitar, and everyone gets an instrument (ds has a set that has cymbals, a tambourine, woodblocks and a harmonica) and joins in. We spend a lot of time cooking, baking, and hanging out with family in the fall and winter.

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#24 of 31 Old 09-14-2009, 12:05 AM
 
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halloween - after ToT dd and i take a mug of hot chocolate and walk around the neighbourhood. we are night people. then we come home and with candles do a ceremony to honor all our family members who have passed away.

winter - we do more solstice rather than xmas stuff. solstice we always go for a short or long hike - in nature. for equinoxes we join the drummers under the full moon night by the river.

xmas dd loves all the hustle and bustle of people running in all directions - so she loves going to the mall to observe. we volunteer a lot so do a lot of stocking stuffing.

we do a lot of walking around the neighbourhood and other neighbourhoods with pumpkin milk to see the lights.

we decorate so many trees for others that we have almost stopped decorating our tree. no more energy for that. it is v. simple.

taking a walk when the streets are empty first thing in the monring on xmas and TG day have become a tradition. just something special about seeing the city sleeping.

the key for us is of course spontaniety. i think that's our most important tradition. not planning anything. lets do .... and the idea - aaaaaaaah what the helll lets just do it. like having a bar of chocolate for bfast. in fact some of our holiday mornings have been v. amusing. by afternoon wiseness creeps in and we say - ok never again are we eating a whole bar of chocolate for bfast ever again.

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#25 of 31 Old 09-14-2009, 12:31 AM
 
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This is my favorite: sometime during Thanksgiving weekend, we make tree ornaments. Sometimes we make play-dough, cut or sculpt things, and paint the next week after they dry. Sometimes we bead things. Once (only once; the boys weren't impressed with this one!) we made little potpourri sachets with pretty ribbons. We've used those little wooden craft pieces plus glue and paint to make ornaments. We've made ojos a time or three (always a hit!). This year, SS wants to make dream catchers, so an NA friend is going to teach us how to do that. I LOVE our crazy Christmas tree with all those years of unique ornaments. Guaranteed there's not another like it anywhere on earth!

Oh, and here in NM, you have to have posolé for dinner on Nochebuena (Christmas Eve). Yum!!! We love to put out luminarias, too, though we don't go crazy with that (though it's just wildly beautiful when a whole neighborhood has gone all out!); we just line the walk up to our front door as the invitation, then set an extra place at the table for dinner. Very old-fashioned Southwestern traditions, I know, but that's what I like about them. Those old traditions are so far removed from the modern craziness of holidays that it's impossible for me not to appreciate them.

I love the idea of observing the Solstice instead of or alongside Christmas. There's something so poignant about recognizing the beginning of winter, which is a family season (since traditionally, in many climates, we would all come in from the outdoor work and be together until spring).

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#26 of 31 Old 09-14-2009, 12:36 AM
 
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We make shrimp and grits for breakfast every Christmas Day morning.

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#27 of 31 Old 09-14-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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i need to add apple picking & a visit to a pumpkin patch to our traditions! there are two apple trees in our neighbor's back yard, and last year they just left them. i should ask if they're going to pick them this year, or if we can.

we normally get pumpkins from a big mess of them out in front of a church nearby that they do as an annual fundraiser but an actual pumpkin patch sounds way more fun.

oh yeah! there is a corn maze about half hour away that i took ds1 to when he was a toddler and i was pg with #2. maybe we should do that again. hmm - thanks for all the inspiration!
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#28 of 31 Old 09-14-2009, 02:57 PM
 
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I love fall and the holidays!

We will be apple picking, attending a fall festival, and doing LOTS of baking. I usually do a baking weekend where I do a bulk of my holiday weekend. I get a nice bottle of wine and bake, bake, bake! By the end of the weekend, my house smells like cloves, ginger, and chocolate! DH always loves this weekend.

We're start a new tradition this year when it comes to ornaments. We are taking DD (16mo) to a Christmas store and letting her pick out one ornament to go on our Christmas tree. We plan to do this every year, and I am excited to see how her choices change!

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#29 of 31 Old 09-14-2009, 06:31 PM
 
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We're start a new tradition this year when it comes to ornaments. We are taking DD (16mo) to a Christmas store and letting her pick out one ornament to go on our Christmas tree. We plan to do this every year, and I am excited to see how her choices change!
When I was growing up, my grandma bought me an ornament every year, and when I moved out and decorated my own tree I had some lovely ornaments to get me started. My mom does the same for my kids. So this will accomplish the same thing, because who wants that first tree to be covered in nothing but impersonal stuff from the discount store? The rule in my house is, handmade ornaments belong to OUR tree, but all gift ornaments go on our tree for now and go with you when you're grown.

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#30 of 31 Old 09-14-2009, 06:35 PM
 
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We go to the pumpkin patch every year and pick a pumpkin. DP and I started doing it when we first got together. And yes, we took our 9 day old daughter to pick a pumpkin last year. In fact, that's where we got our first family photo

Me with my baby girl Maeleigh (Oct 08) and My (step) baby girl Whren (May 05) in Heaven with her mommy .. And introducing our little JuneBug (June 10) We heard the !!!
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