Christmas at the Bradshaw House

© Nicole Bradshaw Photography 2015; Christmas at the Bradshaw House; Farmington Wedding Photographer, Farmington Family Photographer, Gallup Wedding Photographer, Gallup Family Photographer, Flagstaff Wedding Photographer, Durango Wedding Photographer

Christmas is my favorite holiday- but, not for the reasons that you may think. I love that this is the time of year when people slow down, when work becomes less important and family takes the spotlight. I love that I get to give people gifts, making them happy- even if it is for a few brief moments. But, most importantly, I love the traditions that my family has developed over the years.

From the time that I was a small child, we've always had Christmas at home. Now that I'm older, I realize that I'm one of the luckiest people in the world, because my grandparents live right across the street from my parents' house. Every Christmas morning, they'd come over to our house, and we'd open presents around my mom's HUGE (well it was huge for a six-year-old) Christmas tree, and then we'd have pancakes and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Of course, my brother and I had woken Mom and Dad up at the crack of dawn. Now, my parents come over to my house, so that my boys can have Christmas at home.

Another one of our traditions is that every year, we all get one new Hallmark Christmas ornament. My mom started this tradition when she and my dad got married, and kept going all through my childhood. After I got married and moved out, I didn't have to buy ornaments for my first tree, I already had them! Now, mine are getting retired in favor of my sons' ornaments.

A more recent tradition is that we spend Christmas Eve with my in-laws. Most of the grandchildren on Justin's side are several years older than our two boys, so they let the kids open their presents on Christmas Eve. It works out, because then we don't have to choose who to spend the holiday with (we love both sides of our family equally). 

A few days after Christmas, we usually head out to Justin's Aunt Polly's house for another Christmas celebration with his mom's family. It's great to see everyone- usually this is the only time we do get to see everyone. Our kids are once again spoiled with more presents (they think having 3 Christmases is the greatest thing EVER).

I love that I get to spend so much time with my family during this time of year. I love catching up with them, seeing how much the third cousins have grown (they're still kids), and shopping for the perfect ornament. I hope that y'all have an amazing Christmas, and I look forward to seeing you next year!