fHappy New Year, dear readers- new and old! I apologize for my disappearance after the holidays. The day after Christmas I got really, really sick and did nothing but lay in bed for nearly four days. Then Dan got sick. And then it was New Years. It's been a bit crazy ever since, but I'm catching up with my little shop and blog. It's about time and I've got lots to share.
I wanted to thank all who participated in the Sew Mama Sew giveaway! I had so much fun reading your comments and thank you for sharing your favorite holiday traditions with me. I think I might be incorporating some of them into our holiday festivities in the future! I love your comments so much, that I wanted to share them with you all. Maybe you'll adopt one or two as your own tradition.
But first, I should officially announce the winner. Heather, comment number 40, was selected via the Random Number Generator. Heather was notified immediately after the contest was finished, but I figured I should make it official here as well. (Heather, your necklace in the mail and should be on your doorstep any day now. Again, thank you for your patience!)
Favorite Holiday Traditions from Helen Ethel Studio readers:
My favorite tradition is our annual Christmas Breakfast! It is a nice time together and always filled with wonderful treats! - Jingle
I love attending the Festival of Lights in Lyon during the holiday season - Sarah
Every Christmas we all go to the midnight church service on Christmas Eve - it's so magical! - Gill
We make fudge - and give bags of it to everyone we know!! - Second Chance Tan
We have one that involves pouring over all the pictures we took during the year and picking the perfect one for our Christmas Card. The discussions are lively!! - Spontaneous Threads
No idea what my favorite holiday tradition is, but some include our elf Noel that visits us in December and surprises the kids with a new hiding spot or other fun things each day. I also love baking and making goodies to give with gifts. And a personal favorite has been making a move to mostly handmade items for presents. - Kelli @ Gohn Crazy
Lighting the advent candles every night, and making and decorating cookies! - Kristi
Lighting the advent candles every night, and making and decorating cookies! - Kristi
I love putting up the tree and the daily count down on the advent calendar! - Nancy
My favorite holiday tradition is any type of Secret Santa giving. Drawing names at work, adopting a family, angel trees...I looooove them all. :) - Daydream Kate
That is so pretty and unique! After Christmas my mom and I get together and cut up all the cards we received and make new ones for next year! - Esther
Most of all, I love decorating the tree! It's such a great group project and seeing the ornaments you haven't seen in a year is like saying hello to old friends! - Jenna Z
I usually host all the celebrations at home, but my mother and my mother-in-law are the ones who do the cooking. I love having all my family around me. - Oso
My favorite tradition is cutting down our Christmas tree! - Amy
What a beautiful necklace! I enjoy listening to Christmas music while decorating the tree. - Sandy and Cosmo
One of my favorite holiday traditions is Black Friday shopping with my mom! - Ashley
Beautiful necklace - thanks for the chance to win. I love the cookie baking (and eating!) - Ellen
My favorite holiday tradition is opening stockings on Christmas eve. - Jen
I watch 'Love Actually' with my partner every Christmas Eve :) I still love it! - Jasmine1485
I love baking and decorating Christmas cookies! - MissMary
I make Rocky Road candy and give it to friends and neighbors - Jeanni D
After all the running around is done, my husband and I get to snuggle up on the couch and watch Love Actually - my favorite movie. It's a quiet, cozy tradition that I love. :) - Burrito
We have a tradition of giving a special ornament to each of the boys on Christmas Eve. - Lora W.
I like the end of the day when me and my Mum get home and relax in front of the telly with a bottle of champagne. - Shevvy
One of my favourite traditions is writing advent calendar postcards to friends and recieveing one in return - that way we catch up with each other before the Christmas turmoil starts. And on the plus side we al get several advent calendars to open a window each day. - Strandkorbtraum
My favorite traditions are making Christmas cookies and watching holiday specials on tv. - Enbartlett
So beautiful! I love your work! My favourite tradition is cutting down the christmas tree in the woods behind our house. - Susan
Wow that thing is beautiful! My family plays board games for the holidays. - Angie
One of my favorite holiday traditions is caroling with 'chosen family' at the (nursing) homes of elderly and sick family or friends of the group. We've been doing it since I was a girl more than 30 years ago. - Holly U.
My favorite tradition is christmas eve with family. eating, visiting and wearing the kids out so they will sleep. thanks for a great giveaway - CMEH
Advent calendars filled with chocolates to count down Christmas. Thanks! - Kimberly
We go out for dinner together every year in an other restaurant. - Baukje
Our family tradition is reading every afternoon, with tea or cocoa and biscuits...in German we say: gemütlich LOL
A group of family friends and my family get together and bake/decorate cookies. We've been doing it since I was two, so it's definitely a tradition that we all look forward to. - Kess
After dinner, my family and friends all go out and watch a movie. Then we head back to my mom's house and eat leftovers and watch the guys play poker!! - Sarah W.
I love doing an Advent calendar for my kids every year! - Heather
I love getting together with family and friends and celebrate Christ's birth! Making cookies, croquettes and olibolen. - Ash and Geoff
One of my favorite holiday traditions is to do my Christmas baking cinnamon pecans, chex mix and toffee. - Robbie
I love painting cookies with my mom and sisters while listening to Christmas music and recalling funny stories. - Shayla S.
I send out real Christmas cards, scads of them!! - Katina
We started a new tradition this year with our children. We hand made our own advent calendar which has been a wonderful success. I also made each child their own personalised felt bouble. Cant wait till next year to do it all again!! - Steph
I love baking cookies with the kids. - Ann S.
We always have a Christmas party. The whole family invites their friends (that includes my parents and siblings) so there's people of all ages having fun. :) - Alessa
I like going to the German-language service at the local Lutheran church with my father - it's the one thing just the two of us do together. - Dang and Blast!
At Christmas we always spend lots of time putting up our tree and decorating the home. - Knitgirl66
My favorite holiday tradition is our various advent/countdown calendars. - Amy B
My favorite holiday tradition is cooking up some homemade caramel corn! - Duff
My favorite holiday tradition is making a big batch of marinara with my mom for Christmas eve. - Kate
My favorite holiday tradition is eggnog on Christmas Eve with are family. Your necklace is beautiful and my provincial colors. - Jeane
As for my holiday tradition, they change some based on what directions my family is moving. But my mother made a special dish and I like to make it each year, to anchor me to some continuity. And I like to have my children over, share some food and play a game together. We all enjoy the shared fun. - Michelle
My family is just starting traditions this year, we're doing 3: advent calendar, Christmas Eve church service, and my newest fun thing, which may become my favorite (I'm not sure since I just got the fruit loops tonight after the kids went to bed): making fruit loop garland for the tree! - Caren
Enjoying the lights - Ballardquilter
Our tradition is to cut down a homely tree, drag it home and burden it with decorations that threaten to tip it over. We do it year after year, and I must say, I love those little Charlie Brown trees. - The Sewing Dork
I like to eat The 12 Grapes at midnight on New Years Eve. If you can eat and finish them by 12:01 you are supposed to have good luck for all of the new year. Yay! - Lemony Lucy
The first Monday of December my family goes caroling and take goodies to friends - Hwscutie
We have a Jesse Tree we put ornaments on every day during Advent. - Laura
My favorite tradition is going to see The Christmas Revels performance in Cambridge, MA -- I just so happen to be going tonight, and it will truly kick off Christmas for me! - The Hungry Crafter
On Christmas eve we make rum balls, go to church, then come home and watch "It's a Wonderful Life." I can't wait. Merry Christmas! - Anne