Merry Christmas Eve! Yesterday my mom, aunt, grandma, great aunt, and I went to holiday tea at the Pelican Hill Resort. Holiday tea with the girls is a tradition of ours and has been for as long as I can remember!!

When I was growing up, if we were in California for Christmas, holiday tea was at the Ritz Carlton in their old library. We loved it there and I love looking back at the photographs of Jessie and I, normally matching head to toe, as we posed in front of their gingerbread house villages and Christmas trees. Jessie and I would always get hot cocoa while the grownups drank tea or sipped mimosas!

Jessie and I always loved seeing the three-tiered trays come out with little sandwiches, yummy scones, and tiny chocolate desserts. We always loved how tiny everything was at tea and even though we didn’t drink the tea, we loved playing with the itsy-bitsy sugar cubes as we snacked on and tried the miniature treats! Jessie and I became quite the scone connoisseurs and when they were good, we would end up with extra orders and take-home boxes full along with as many little jams or containers of Devonshire cream we could carry. I could go on and on about how much I enjoy and love this tradition, and all of our family traditions. Tradition helps you feel at home and comfortable when events in your life cause change, and it always makes me smile to think back on all the memories we have from family traditions and the memories we continue to make each year as we do the same!

Since the Ritz Carlton got rid of their library, we’ve been on the search for a new go-to holiday tea spot and this year we decided to try Pelican Hill! It’s just five minutes from my grandparent’s house and it was beautiful!  They did it with a more modern twist and I loved each one of their foodie ‘sandwiches’.  Being honest, their desserts didnt wow me but the savory treats and scones to finish were incredible!!

Before we went to tea, us girls were busy making lefse and sugar cookies; two of our other traditions. Because my momma’s family is Norwegian, we have lefse every Christmas for dinner! It’s like a tortilla in a way and you fill it with potatoes and cod. Making and decorating sugar cookies are always so fun because you get to decorate as detailed or as simply as you want! Some years Jessie and I would be super detailed in our gingerbread men and snowflakes and others we kept it simple and instead would try to swirl all the different colors of frosting. I love the sugar cookie recipe we make and we’ve always used the same one growing up!!

A few of our other traditions include matching Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve (this has turned into matching onesies!), sticky buns Christmas morning, and going around in a circle Christmas afternoon to exchange and do stocking stuffers!!

I can’t wait for tomorrow and I am so thankful for this season. As stressful and hectic as it can become in today’s age, I love sitting down at the end of the day, as a family, and sharing a meal together to remember and ground us in the real reason for the season: Christ’s birth. There is abundant hope and everlasting joy in Him – two things I hold onto tightly as I wait to see Jessie again.

Merry Christmas everyone! Take the day tomorrow and remember what you are truly here to celebrate. Smile and hold your family tight as you indulge and enjoy all that Christmas brings!!

X+O,

Shaya