This is the advent pocket quilt my mother made for the girls when they were small. Isn't it beautiful? I don't put it away with the rest of the Christmas things in the attic, so we can get to it as soon as advent begins. My 3 girls used to squabble a bit over whose turn it was to take an ornament out of its pocket each day, but this year my youngest does it herself before breakfast (I guess the older two are not as possessive of it as they used to be...). Below is a close up of the tree and some of the cute buttons and little toys she stitched on. It's one of those favorite family traditions.
And here is the big tree! We finally had time to clear a spot in the living room and make the trip into the attic to get down all the boxes. As you may have guessed, it's artificial, and it's pre-lit, so we don't have to go to the store or to a farm to get one and then spend an hour or more carefully stringing the lights. It makes for a much quicker, less stressful (and less grumpy) family activity. The tree pretty much looks the same from year to year - I don't buy whole new sets of ornaments in bizarre color schemes like some of the magazines suggest. We stared off with a core set of ornaments, some of which were wedding favors at our own wedding 19 years ago. We started the tradition of buying an ornament wherever we went on vacation, so we have quite a number of those on there, and for years we would take a trip to a local shop with particularly nice ormanents and let the girls each choose one for the tree. By now, we've got quite a collection!
Here is the ornament from our vacation this year to Herkimer Diamond Mines and that area of upstate NY. I wrapped the largest crystal in brass wire and put all the little ones into that tiny bottle, then tied them together with a nice red ribbon. What Christmas traditions does your family have?