home for the holidays


It is no secret: Christmas is my most favorite holiday of all. There are so many reasons this holiday is special to me. First, it’s the time of year Christians celebrate the birth of Our Lord and Savior. Second, it’s a time of memories and traditions. I grew up doing the same thing every Christmas since I can remember.

Every Christmas Eve we would go to my Grandma Sadie’s house for snacks and presents. All the adults would bring presents for all the kids and the adults picked names for gifts. Usually the day of my daddy would take me over there early to play with my cousins and “help” grandma and Aunt Kathy make some of the goodies for the evening. By “help” I mean help taste and makes sure they were safe for consumption. (I’ve always been good at that. 🙂


So everyone from my daddy’s side of the family would gather at my grandma’s house and we would watch Christmas movies and my cousins and I (when we were little) would put on a Christmas play. My cousins hated this! But somehow I got them to do it. Everyone hated watching…but I thought it was the best thing ever.

After eating and opening presents and some listening out for Santa we would head home and go to sleep.


I would usually wake up SUPER early on Christmas morning. (My poor parents.) Somewhere between 2:00 and 5:00 a.m. I know…horrible. But the rule was I had to go get my parents before going to the living room. I’d go see what Santa had brought and then we would open presents from under the tree. Then my cousin and I would call each other to share what we had gotten.

People began coming over for brunch at my parent’s house around 10:00-11:00 a.m. We’d eat and eat and eat…and then spend the rest of the day playing with our new toys and watching more Christmas movies.


What I’ve described above isn’t really all that “special”…eating and hanging out…but it was terribly special to me. There’s nothing like fond memories to cheer my soul along. So that’s how I remember Christmas. I’m so glad I have so many things from my Christmas’ past to continue traditions today even as a military family. I feel like we just have to create some of our own traditions now especially since my grandma is no longer around and much of the family is separated by distance at the holiday.


home for the holidays

My tree is topped with my grandma’s tree topper. I thought it was lost, but we found it when we moved back to Savannah as we were unpacking Christmas decorations. My mom also brought me all my wooden ornaments from my childhood. I was so excited to place them on our tree this year.

home for the holidays

This will always be a special ornament for us. The FRG (Family Readiness Group) gave it to us one year as a gift…I believe it was 2006 or 2007?? No matter when I got it, I’ve kept it in a special box to keep it safe each year.

home for the holidays

This ornament was given to us at the 3rd ID Christmas party just before my husband joined the unit this year back in December of 2017.

home for the holidays

This is one of my favorites because it was picked by Jacqueline at a gift exchange when we were at West Point. Everyone wanted it, but when it came time to choose from the other gifts, no one would take this one away from the cute two-year-old. I tell her the story every year, and she loves it. Plus, my husband spent a lot of time at Most Holy Trinity helping Father Donahue.

This is one of the many ornaments my in-laws have given us. (My husband is from New Hampshire.) I love them because they remind me of some of my favorite New England things.

home for the holidays

This little Christmas tree is reminiscent of the ones years ago, and my husband gave it to me for my birthday. The sweet little snow family around it has been around since I can remember, though a few had to be added because when I was little it was just a daddy, mama, and baby. Our family is bigger than mine was growing up, so we had to have extra made…and now we have too many. lol

home for the holidays

These teapots are fairly new. I purchased them when I hosted a table at a ladies Christmas tea at our church. The glass Christmas trees have been around since I can remember. I love them.

home for the holidays

This candy Christmas tree is awesome. I seriously love this thing, and have no idea how old it actually is. Every year, my cousins and I would help my grandma put it out for Christmas. By helping, I mean we helped eat the kisses.

home for the holidays

This is Santa…this is the “leg lamp” of my marriage. (If you’ve ever seen “A Christmas Story” you’ll catch that reference.) My husband hates this Santa, but I’ve had him since I was four or five years old. He’s special, and he goes up every year.


I hope that I’m helping my kids create memories and holiday traditions. We can’t do the same things we’ve always done because times change, people move, and loved ones leave this earth. But I hope my children cherish these memories we make just as I cherish my childhood memories.

I couldn’t help but think of the Bush Family today. In fact, that’s what inspired me to write this blog today. Barbara Bush passed away less than a year ago, and former President Bush hadn’t been without her for Christmas in over 70 years. People had the sweetest memories of him, and his son gave the sweetest eulogy. They weren’t “extraordinary” or “presidential”, but a memory of a man who loved his wife and family. This Christmas will probably be very difficult one for the family without them their, but they have beautiful memories to carry them through the holiday season.


So Merry Christmas to you all. May you have a blessed and wonderful holiday season. Make sweet memories for the future.

Until next time…

hot n fit mamas club, kelley bouchard

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