Tuesday, February 12, 2013

First Married Christmas

Rewind to just one Christmas ago, Scott Maddux flew to Jackson, Mississippi, to be with me. 
I had to work the day after the holiday and for the first time 
I wasn't going to make it home for Christmas. 
There we were, in the deep South with no family to wake up to. 
It was just us -- unwed and not even engaged. 
All we had was each other and a small Christmas tree my grandma mailed to me. 
I still laugh when I think about this holiday. 
Never could I have imagined it. 
But, it was one of my all time favorites. 
I took him to some of my beloved southern spots, gave him the full Fox40 tour, 
and showed him off to the Clinton Ward. 
We opened presents from each other and our families. 
We made Christmas cookies and our very own Christmas dinner. 
We skyped with both of our families. 
That simple, small, country Christmas will forever have a place in my heart. 

What a difference a year makes. 
For our first Christmas as a married couple we were excited
 to make some of our own traditions. 
The first -- getting our very own real Christmas tree -- Manhattan style. 
Just a few blocks from our building there was the most charming tree lot on the sidewalk. 
We'd been eyeing it for a few days so the Saturday after Thanksgiving
 we went to pick one out. 
The guy in charge gave us his best sales pitch and before we knew it we were walking home and Scott was carrying this guy. 
Just call him Paul Bunyan. 
The things we do to save on home delivery. 

 Over the next few days, we realized the Whole Foods right next door to us was selling trees that were twice this size for a good $40 less. 
We got robbed. 
And we almost let the guy at the tree lot know it. 
Throughout the month when we would walk past that lot, we almost told potential customers to head south one block for a better deal. 
Nevertheless, we did love our tree and had a fun time decorating it. 

 We loved filling our small space with Christmas cheer. 
I enjoy our lights so much that they may still be up.
Are we turning into one of those red neck families 
that keep Christmas lights up all year long?
You be the judge. 
But for now, those puppies are staying. 
 And you know what, Santa did spot our studio. 

 One of my family's favorite traditions is making Andes Mint Chocolate cookies and delivering them to neighbors and friends. 
My mom is best at these cookies -- but Scott and I attempted. 
They didn't turn out near as delicious as hers, 
but we had a blast delivering milk & cookies to our friends and Scott's co-workers. 

Other traditions included:
-Buying Christmas pajamas for each other. 
-Reading Christmas stories each night. 
-We went to a White Elephant Party with some fun friends in our ward. 
-I went to a "Favorite Things" Party hosted by some lovely ladies I've gotten to know here.  
Each girl brought one of their favorite things to exchange white elephant style. 
It could be a favorite kitchen item, favorite hair product, book, etc. 
Such a neat idea to see what items people love. 
-My mom always bought each family member an ornament every Christmas representing something they did that year or a place they visited, etc.
She bought me a ring ornament years ago for the year I got married. 
That ornament finally made it on the tree this year. 
I think Mendi Sue was getting worried and had her doubts. 
Anyways, now each kid has a significant ornament collection to take once they leave home. 

I didn't realize making your own traditions and inheriting some would be this fun. 
What are some of your favorites? 
We want to add to our list next year. 

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