CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

Today we’re each sharing our Christmas traditions!
LEAH
We’re in my hometown of St. Louis with my twin sister and my parents for the holidays. And while we don’t celebrate the religious aspect of Christmas, we truly appreciate and enjoy the spirit of Christmas. We’ve been marathoning Christmas movies and listening to music all month! My three-year-old, Ari, loves the “pretty lights!” and trying to spot “Olaf the snowman” from Frozen. Each year our family makes and decorates sugar cookies. This year, Ari took the reins and made a beautiful mess in the kitchen. 
-L
JENNI
Christmas has been an extra fun season for me this year because my daughter, Amara, is really taking notice of all that this amazing season has to offer. The lights, the trees, opening presents, Santa Claus, and more importantly, Jesus! We have done our best to soak it all in and make this season a stress-free part of our year. Christmas shopping was even a breeze this year! Whoop Whoop!
Every year, we go to Opryland Hotel with my husband’s side of the family. His birthday is on the 23rd, so it is a great way to celebrate. We have a nice dinner (The Old Hickory Steakhouse was this year’s choice) and walk around to look at all of the pretty Christmas decor. Then we take a picture in front of one of their poinsettia trees (complements of a complete stranger who does not know how to operate the focusing part of the camera). No complaints here though! We are just happy to get a shot! I always enjoy our conversations on the way to and from the hotel. We just get to talk about our year, encourage one another, and talk about our goals and hopes for the year to come. 
Tonight, we will drive to my dad and stepmom’s for our Christmas Eve traditional dinner. We get all of the cousins, aunts and uncles together and feast to our hearts’ content and exchange gifts (dirty santa style). My aunt is extremely serious about it too! haha. We have done this since I can remember, and it is always such a fun night. Then, Gabe and I are excited to come home and set up Amara’s gifts “from Santa” and set out some baked cookies. I can completely understand why my parents had so much fun doing all of this Christmas stuff with us. Seeing the happiness on little ones’ faces….. I might start crying  just talking about it ;). 
Merry Christmas Eve from the Patillos!! We are truly blessed, and hope that your holiday is filled with nothing but JOY!
-J

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