As we count down to Christmas, every Friday members of the Chronicle Books staff will be sharing their holiday traditions, night before Christmas rituals, and Santa photos along with recipes and crafts to keep you in the holiday spirit from now until December 24th.
We just ended our My Night Before Christmas Photo Contest. Thank you to everyone who entered and voted. The winner will receive $150 of personalized gifts and a stocking full of holiday surprises! You can view the gallery and winning photo here.
Plus, keep your children entertained with free personalized Christmas Activity Pages. Personalize, download and print a coloring page and letter from Santa—made just for your child.
And here are some more Christmas rituals and memories from the Chronicle Books staff to get you in the holiday spirit.
Gift Tag Gag
We tag our gifts with clues as to what’s inside. So a cookbook might be, “To: Lara, From: Julia Child” a bathrobe, is tagged “To: Max, From: The Dude” or a bottle of cologne is, “To John, From: Giorgio Armani” (Lara Starr—Publicist, Children’s Books)
Christmas Eve Tradition
Every year, my family has a Night before Christmas tradition that is my favorite family event all year. It starts with making the hour and a half drive out to my great aunt and uncle’s house which is located near the Idaho/Oregon border (I’m from Boise). When we get there, we’re greeted by the smell of homemade Mexican food and joyful calls from family and friends who come together just once a year. The event is so special, even a friend from Florida makes it a point to come up every year.
While we wait for dinner to be ready, we snack on jalapeno poppers and chips and guacamole and catch up on the past year’s events. Covering the stove and counters and filling the oven are pots of green chili and red chili, baking dishes of chili rellenos and chicken enchiladas, a crockpot of simmering beans, double boilers warming two kinds of tamales, and huge, fresh flour tortillas. The best part? It’s all homemade, with the exception of the tortillas, which come from Mexico and are shipped to us by family who live in Arizona (these are the good ones with only four ingredients: flour, water, lard, and salt). My family may be paler than the inside of a pinto bean, but coming from the southwest has brought forth a talent for making traditional Mexican dishes sure to bring tears to the eyes and steam from the ears.
After dinner, everyone gathers at the table and has desert while I read aloud a Christmas book I get every year from my mom and dad. Past favorites have been A Cajun Night Before Christmas, How Murray Saved Christmas, and Santa’s Snow Cat. I’ve also read aloud a story I’ve written for the occasion.
When it’s all over, we go home, usually driving through falling snow and singing Christmas carols with the radio. (Danielle Blenker—Editorial Intern, Children’s Books)
And finally, enjoy one of my favorite poems from our bestselling book I Could Pee on This by Francesco Marciuliano. Enjoy!
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Visit MyChronicleBooks.com to find one-of-a-kind personalized books and gifts for the holiday, including Night Before Christmas!
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