Making a Tradition – 2011 Advent Tour

Posted 1 December, 2011 by Trish in Life / 49 Comments


I was so excited to sign up for the Holiday Advent Tour event again this year–that is until I realized that I was assigned Day 1. No pressure or anything!! BUT IT IS A LOT OF PRESSURE! What will I write about? I’ll have barely done any shopping at that point, I’ll be lucky to have my decorations up, I won’t have baked a single cookie, I’m not sure I’ll have done anything holidayish.

I’ve participated in the Blogger Holiday Advent twice before–the first time I shared the Christmas Village tradition and the second time I shared the Bake Day tradition. Growing up we always had holiday traditions which made this time of year so much fun but also memorable and special. Since this year will be my first Christmas a mother, I’ve started thinking a lot about family traditions and how they begin.

Because Scott and I have spent all of our married Christmases running around town(s) to visit all of the family households, we haven’t had much time to ourselves to begin our own holiday traditions. Honestly I’m not sure that we’ve ever spent Christmas morning in our own bed? So now that this year we are three, my hope is that we will eventually have traditions to call our own–whether adapted from traditions that Scott and I had as children or adapted from traditions that I have seen others adopt, or complete organic traditions.

I’m currently working on a Christmas quilt. Many of you know that I’ve been participating in an Online Virtual Quilting Bee and when I found out that November would be my month to send out fabric, I knew that I wanted to send out Christmas fabrics. I think Scott is tired of me gushing about how one day our kids will run to get the Christmas Quilt so that we can snuggle under it while reading Christmas stories. Sadly the quilt won’t be finished this year, but it should be ready to go for next year.

Below are a few squares that I’ve made along with the squares that I’ve received back from the other Bee members. The big squares are 12.5″ and with five packages still outstanding you can see that this will be a big quilt to cuddle under! Can’t wait. ;)

What special holiday traditions do you have? How did those traditions come into shape?

Happy Holidays!!

49 Responses to “Making a Tradition – 2011 Advent Tour”

  1. Rob

    Your holiday quilt will always be something to treasure. I still have my great grandmother’s Hawaiian quilt that she made almost 100 years ago. It’s been in the Kauai Museum and now I use it during the summer months. Many of my holiday traditions have changed over the years. There’s always holiday baking. I still use mom’s recipes that I grew up with. Happy Holidays!

  2. There are the odd occasions when I miss having a cold Christmas, and snuggling up together under a quilt to read stories does sound fabulous!

    We are working hard at creating traditions, and for me, a huge part of that is doing this Virtual Advent tour.

    Thank you for your support, and for being brave enough to go first!

    Oh, and I totally remember your Christmas Village post from a couple of years ago!

  3. I love the sock monkey fabric! So cute.

    We used to travel to family for Christmas before we had kids. Now we make it a point to stay home that entire day and just enjoy it with our little family. Sometimes we’ll travel to family the day after, sometimes not. Growing up we were always travelling between family and it kind of drove me crazy. It’s wonderful to spend Christmas day with extended family, but I find it difficult for our kids. It’s fun to start making traditions.

  4. Oh my! Trish it is going to be beautiful. What a gorgeous idea. I wish I had thought of something like that when the girls were little. I can’t wait to see what it turns out like.

    One of our Christmas traditions is for the girls to buy a new decoration each for the Christmas tree. Each year we go to the big garden centres and they pick one new decoration to go on the tree. The girls love it and look forward to it now. .

    We are also trying to set up a tradition where the whole family go to pantomime the weekend before Christmas. Just sets it off nicely.

  5. When I was younger I went through a stage where I used to make quilts. I haven’t so much in later years, though. I think this one sounds like a fantastic idea.

    I hope you have many of wonderful Christmas traditions. I can relate, though. We also tend to spend the holidays everywhere else, so we have no traditions of our own. I think the only thing I can really say is a Holiday tradition is this Advent tour. :)

    Thanks for joining in!

  6. Because Jason and I moved up to Wisconsin not long after we got married (about a year), for most of our first Christmases we were pretty much on our own. His parents lived up the road from us, so we always went over either that day or the night before, but we had Christmas morning to ourselves. It was nice, because my family has SO MANY TRADITIONS that I wanted to pass on to my kids, and Jason had a few too, so now our Christmases are filled with a mixture of both of our traditions. Now that we live in Texas, we have a lot of family to visit, but we still always have our Christmas at home first. :)

    I think I should write up a post about our traditions…

  7. I think that’s an awesome tradition to start. We had several traditions when Vance was growing up. We always took a night out to go look at Christmas lights. We would invite friends to go with us and then we’d have everyone in for hot chocolate and a Christmas carol sing along.

    Since it was almost always just the three of us at Christmas and many of our friends were busy with family, we always went to see a movie on Christmas Eve – usually a Christmas movie, even when he’d outgrown them.

  8. That is an absolutely beautiful quilt and a wonderful tradition for you to start!

    At this point, our Christmases include driving across the province to visit both of our families – quite hectic! But I hope one day we can start a few of our own traditions.

  9. This is gorgeous! And you are right – you and your family will scramble under that quilt for Christmases to come!

    Our traditions have gotten a little re-invented as we now travel to TX to spend it with my brother and his family but I have some special ornaments that have become a tradition (more to come in my advent post!)

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

  10. What a cheerful and festive quilt! (of course I especially love the owl square!) I bet it will be something Elle will remember getting out during the Christmas season and snuggling under while drinking hot cocoa and listening to Christmas music or watching Christmas movies :)

  11. Your Christmas quilt is sure to become a treasured keepsake. It is going to be gorgeous – actually, it’s already gorgeous!

    We started a collection of ornaments for each daughter the year they were born and have added to it each year. They chose their own when they got old enough. The year is on each one and I tried to put names in, too. We have quite a collection now – from Cookie Monster, Belle, ballerinas, field hockey and basketball players, a mini grand piano, and even a hot dog! It’s so much fun to reminisce when they come out each year.

    Another holiday tradition, now fallen by the wayside, was making matching Christmas nightgowns or pajamas for all of us. They girls always decided on the Christmas flannel and pattern. Dad even got boxers!

    I know you’ll have a wonderful first Christmas with Elle forming your own holiday traditions.

  12. I like the Christmas quilt squares! So very colorful and festive!! I think it is always neat after marriage and kids to start setting up traditions that you want to do, taking some from both of your growing up years, and then making some new ones and as the kids grow too, that helps make new traditions as they can do more, participate in more, etc. I hope you and your family have a very joyous Christmas season and day!


  13. What a lovely quilt. I am envious of such a talent.

    Your first Christmas with the little one will be special no matter how you plan to celebrate. Traditions will develop over time, this year just enjoy every moment.

    Happy holidays.

  14. It’s kinda strange being so far from my family- I haven’t had Christmas at home in 10 years!- so all the traditions we have tend to be with Mike’s family. I did make us all stockings (not so happy with LE’s and it’s a serious battle in my head between making a new one and having her stocking change) because in my family you have one stocking, forever. I’m seriously worried that I might have to work xmas eve night and miss putting out cookies, and I am so bummed to think about it!

  15. *Rob – Ooooh, I’m absolutely in love with Hawaiian quilts. I bet your great-grandmother’s is a treasure. And passed down recipes are the best—we have several that we make every year as well. Thanks for the visit today.

    *Melissa – We spend a lot of time with family as well during the holidays—it’s especially great when out of town folks can all get together.

    *Marg – It certainly would be different having Christmas in the summer when you’re used to winter! And thank you so much for hosting the tour with Kelly. It’s always so much fun every year to see everyone’s different take on the holidays.

    *JNCL – Thank you for visiting and your compliments on the quilt. I can’t wait to put it all together.

    *Kristi – I couldn’t resist those sock monkeys. I also picked up some cute Grinch fabric this weekend that I can’t wait to incorporate. I understand what you mean about the traveling for holidays. Because we were always so far from our extended family growing up, we didn’t do a lot of traveling for Christmas holidays. Both my parents live close to me, which I love, but when our kids are older I would like to foster some of our own traditions. Hard transitions, huh? ;-)

    *Vivienne – I’ll definitely post pictures of the final project but I’m afraid the quilt won’t be finished until next year. Eeep!! ;-) I love your tradition of picking out ornaments for the tree! I might have to implement that one! I’m not familiar with pantomime—will have to look that one up.

    *Kailana – I’m trying to convince Caribousmom to lead us in a Blogger Quiltalong! Ha. This Advent is a wonderful tradition and I’m so glad that you guys have continued to host it throughout the years. Always so fun to see what everyone else is doing.

    *Leeswammes – Thank you Judith. The nice thing about this quilt is I just had to cut up the material and send it off to everyone else to sew. I’ll still make several more blocks to get it up to size, but it definitely cuts down on the work!

    *Amanda – It’s nice that you guys were able to bring your family traditions together! And yes, you should definitely write up a post with your traditions! I love hearing about different people’s ideas.

    *Bermudaonion – I love that idea of going to see a movie the night before Christmas! And who is ever too old for Christmas movies? ;-)

  16. *Court – Your Christmases sound a bit like ours—driving all over the place in a mad rush to fit everyone in. On the one hand I love it but on the other I look forward to waking up in my own bed this Christmas (even though we’ll have company). Hope your holidays are lovely this year.

    *Rhapsody – JILLLLLLLLLLLLL!!! YOU CAN DO IT. ;-)

    *Nymeth – The owls is my favorite as well. Unfortunately it wasn’t the material I sent out so I don’t have any more to use. Trying to find the pattern online!

    *Booksync – Texas, huh? Whereabouts? ;-) I look forward to hearing about your ornament tradition—I’ve already picked up a few ideas in the comments on this post!

    *Laura – Yes, love love love the owl fabric—been trying to find more online. One day I will convince you to quilt…one day…

    *JoAnn – I LOVE the matching jammies idea, though I can see how it would fall to the wayside. My sisters and I gave my mom so much flack for buying us matching jammies for our one pre-Christmas present. But now that I’m a mom I can totally see myself dressing our kids up in matching outfits. Think I’ll borrow the ornament idea as well.

    *That Corgi – Thanks for visiting Betty! It is a very neat thing to incorporate old traditions and create new traditions that sort of evolve over time. I look forward to doing this more with my little family.

    *Rikki – It won’t be the fanciest of quilts but I think it’ll be a fun one when all finished. Thanks for coming by!

    *Suzanne – Thank you for the wishes–I know that this year will be a lot of fun and that next year will be even more fun. ;) Hope your holidays are wonderful!

    *Lisa – That’s how my mom was when she moved away from home, too–30 years away from her parents for Christmas. Honestly I think it’s a SHAME that stores are open on Thanskgiving and Christmas Eve. Seriously. :(

  17. What a beautiful quilt! I’m sure your kid(s) will have wonderful memories of snuggling with it and watching movies or reading books.

    Thanks for sharing and have a Merry Christmas!

  18. WOW! the quilt is REALLY neat. From someone who can’t sew but should (I had sewing lessons once) I get jealous of people who are doing these crafty things. I just have so many unfinished other crafty things I hesitate to add another project type crazy to my house.

  19. Hi Trish – I love your quilt! It’s so bright and cheery, and fun! What a lovely tradition to start. And please do take my mother’s idea of making advent calendars. She used cats in the background of one because my daughter is crazy for them.

    I hope you have a lovely holiday with your new baby, and hubby, all together, making new traditions together. Happy holidays to you!

  20. What a really beautiful quilt. There is a series of books by the author Jennifer Chiaverini about Elm creek, a fictional quilting haven. One of the series is the Christmas Quilt. A really beautiful quilt.Perhaps next year you’ll be able to snuggle under it & read the Christmas Quilt?

  21. Oooooh, that quilt it going to be so gorgeous!!! Can’t wait to see it finished.

    Oh Trish, this is going to be such a fun and special Christmas for you!!! :D

    We have so many freakin’ traditions, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. :P

  22. cat

    I am loving that quilt! Heck, I’m already eager to come over, run to get the quilt and snuggle for stories – and I don’t even know you! (I promise I’m not a creepy stalker.)

    I tend to dictate the traditions in the house to my husband, who kindly humours me. Though one thing that did start off by accident was how we always get each other a new ornament as a gift for the day we put up the tree. Our first tree together year we both surprised the other with a new ornament and it’s stayed like that all these years!

  23. Meg

    Um, are those Christmas sock monkeys on your awesome quilt? I die.

    My boyfriend’s mom (I almost typed mother-in-law — whoops! Jumping the gun) is a quilter and does beautiful work. She made me a sock monkey quilt for my birthday this year and it’s become one of my beloved possessions. Your children will absolutely come to treasure this quilt!

  24. Your quilt is beautiful! I am so impressed that you have been able to virtually connect with quilters in such a creative way. Congratulations with nearing the finish line on such a neat holiday item!

  25. I have several family quilts – one made by my grandmother, one by my aunt and one made about 75 years ago by an unknown relative. They are all treasured possessions, but I especially love the one my grandmother made for our first home. I promise you Elle and your future children will love those quilts (and probably fight over them — eeks). Wonderful post!

  26. I just remembered I have *four* quilts and I had to come back to share the story of the fourth. When my sister and I were dividing possessions from our mom’s house, we came across this bright pink quilt that my sister dubbed “The Pink Monstrosity”. She kept trying to foist in on me in exchange for one of the nicer quilts. Finally, I said I’d take it off her hands but the truth is . . . I like it. It’s kind of wild looking, but Grandma made it and anything Grandma painted, crafted or handmade is special.

  27. Um, hello! This is going to be amazing! What a fun idea for a quilt…I’m making a mental note for the future.

  28. The pressure…ack!
    Great post. Love the colorful quilt squares. Now that you have Elle I’m sure you will develop your own traditions. If not this year then as she gets older.
    AS for me my traditions have changed over time. Still have cookiepallooza (three days of baking) but now I have the annual knitting day in December. My knitting posse from work, we take the day off and go over the one girl’s house and knit all day. It’s just three of us, and it’s something we look forward to every holiday season.

  29. Oh — I love LOVE your Christmas quilt! Sadly, I have not done much with my quilting interest, but perhaps I can renew that in 2012.

    My holiday traditions tend to involve baking in the kitchen: gingerbread houses, bishops bread, chocolate covered pretzels, M&M cookies, decorated cutouts. And then there is the Italian vigil on Christmas Eve. This year I am trying to scrapbook Holiday Recipe albums for each the girls (my two daughter plus soon-to-be daughter in law). It has been a fun labor of love :)

  30. Oh your Christmas quilt will hold beautiful memories for years to come, my favourite square is the cute owl one :)
    Have a wonderful Christmas establishing your own traditions with your new little family member!

  31. Les

    Beautiful, beautiful quilt! What a special treat for your little babe to snuggle under in the years to come. Christmas is so much fun with little ones and it sounds like you and Scott are going to build some loving traditions for your family.

    When my daughter was younger, I would buy her a special Christmas book to add to her collection. We’d read every one each year. I haven’t parted with them yet (I’m waiting until she stops moving 2-3 times a year!!), so I read one every day, beginning on December 1st. I should probably start adding more to my stacks since eventually I’ll have to pass hers on to her.

    I know you’ll have fun this holiday season, Trish. It’s such a fun time with little ones.

  32. I’m so glad you shared this, Trish! The quilt is going to be BEAUTIFUL!!! I’m working on my own Advent post and am also thinking lots about building those new traditions.

  33. First of all, the quilt! oh.em.gee. Swoon :) I really would love to learn how to quilt. Someday, when life isn’t so hectic. I have found that over the years traditions develop. You will find what works for your family. Elle’s first Christmas! How exciting.