It's Never Too Late to Start a New Family Tradition

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My house is a certified disaster area, I've started the new year 7 pounds heavier than I did the last and there's little doubt that my girls are gonna be little monsters today from staying up waaaay too late last night, but that's not gonna stop me from enjoying this day w/ my family. Though I have many of the usual new year's resolutions swirling around my head (be a more patient parent, exercise, organize, craft more, etc), this is first and foremost in my mind, especially in light of the recent tragedy in Connecticut: to enjoy the precious time I have w/ those I hold closest to my heart - my family.

Every year, for some reason, it seems like life just gets busier and busier, especially around this time of year. Each year I tell myself, I'm going to try to slow things down and really enjoy every minute, but no matter how hard I try, time just flies by. It's just the nature of the season and for me it starts at Halloween and then life just whizzes by until BOOM it's Christmas!

Happens the same every year. As Halloween approaches, I start thinking about decorating and costumes. Then comes Thanksgiving, where we often end up hosting one family or another - or both (which I LOVE) but it all takes time to plan, shop, clean and execute. Then comes the craziness of the Christmas season. Decorate the house, Christmas tree ops which definitely comes in stages: get the tree, put lights on the tree, decorate the tree. These things take more time, too, and the tree ends up sitting idle between the various stages. Usually the girls get tired of waiting for me to do the lights and they take it upon themselves to start decorating it, like they did last year when they decorated the tree w/ all sorts of bugs, lizards, snakes and what have you. I actually loved it and was sad to have to take 'em down to finally put the lights on.

This year, I decided to make a big event out of the tree decorating part. Told myself, you know, it's never too late to start a family tradition. So I dubbed this "The Taylor Family Tree Decorating Party". Decided the best time to have it would be on a weekend afternoon, starting around 2-3pm. With our busy schedule of traveling, visiting guests, soccer practices/games and various other scheduled events, literally the ONLY slot we had was one Saturday afternoon, about 3 weeks before Christmas.

I got super excited and computer crafted some invitations and slipped them under the girls' doors the night before. You can bet the girls were super duper excited when they saw their invitations in the morning. Big Sis got up first and walked right over hers several times until we finally had to drop a hint. Once she read it, she excitedly ran into  Little Sis' room to wake her up and share the good news. Little Sis, still wiping the sleep out of her eyes, smiled and quickly got busy picking out her "fanciest party dress", as did Big Sis. I have to say that this was definitely my favorite part. :)

So, without further ado, here are some pix of the First Annual Taylor Family Tree Decorating Party. We all enjoyed spending this special time together. The girls seemed to enjoy every bit of it, from the tea-type lunch and snacks and treats to the much awaited tree decorating. Even though life was busy (Little Sis came back from Soccer practice 10 minutes before the start of our party and we had to take off for Disney on ice about 30 minutes AFTER the party), we were somehow able to take a sweet break from the business of the holidays and enjoy the special family time.

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Served for lunch and snacks were:

  1. Applegate Ham and Cheese Santa Sandwiches on Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread
  2. Papa Spuds' Carrot sticks w/ ranch dressing
  3. Cuties (oranges)
  4. Annie's Organic's Mac and Cheese
  5. Pringle's White Chocolate Peppermint Potato Chips: weird, yes, but had to give them a try!
  6. Snowflake sugar cookies w/ icing made from organic powdered sugar from Trader Joe's (apparently, organic powdered sugar isn't as white as snow!)
  7. Hi Hat Cupcakes

Only thing out of the ordinary here that may warrant a specific recipe is the dipped cupcakes: Martha Stewart's Hi-Hat Cupcakes. They were really quite yummy, but I have to warn ya, that icing was a bit of a pain to make (you know, Martha-style)!! Also, I used some Homemade Magic Shell (from another post) that I already had on hand, instead of using Martha's, but I'm sure hers is quite tasty, too. :) Feel free to shoot me a comment if you'd like more details on anything you see pictured above.

And finally, the actual tree decorating part!

And here was the very first present under the tree. From Little Sis to her Big Sis, whom she loves so dearly. I peeked. It was a Polly Pocket. So sweet and unexpected. :)

Wishing you all the happiest of New Years!! Hope your 2013 is filled with nothing but lots of joy, love, fun and lots of good food! :)

Can't wait to do it again next year!

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

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1/2/2013 Update: Added Hi Hat Cupcake Recipe and photo. :)


Mellow said...

What a beautiful family party! I love that you did invitations and festive foods. The pictures are great and your family is beautiful!

J said...

Hi! I'm visiting from Diana's link party. I enjoyed reading about your adventures, and I think you really do get a lot done despite all the distractions during the early to late fall holiday season! Very cute children!

Diana - FreeStyleMama said...

You are's not too late. I've started some over the past year or 2 and while I feel like my oldest missed out for many years, he still enjoys many of the things we do.

happyvballgirl said...

Thank you so much for the sweet comment you left me. So nice of you to stop by! :)

happyvballgirl said...

Hi J! Thanks so much for reading it and I so appreciate your sweet comments! I do try get a lot done in that short period of time but sometimes I feel i'm trying to move so fast I end up spinning my wheels in one place! lol! :)

happyvballgirl said...

Awww, that's sweet. :)