Habitually Chic®'s Logo  

Holiday Traditions

by habituallychic

11 . 29 . 09

I started decorating for Christmas this weekend and one of my favorite traditions is making pomanders. Pomanders are clove studded oranges, or in this case clementines since they looked better than the oranges at the store. They fill the house with a wonderful holiday scent and look pretty displayed with greenery and pine cones. I used to make these with my mother growing up and I’ve continued the tradition since moving away. What are the holiday traditions that you grew up with that you carry on today? Is there anything you’ve changed? Anything that you would never do again? I’d love to hear your stories!

Photo by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

Comments Closed

  1. Anna November 30, 2009 | 12:04 am

    Yup..we did the Pomanders each year..but I think mum went overboard as there were always so many pomanders under the Christmas tree…I think she was probably trying to create the “orange falling of the tree look”..but it didnt quite work 🙂

  2. Niki Papadopoulos November 30, 2009 | 12:09 am

    I love them too! They smell so good!

  3. Modern Traditionalist November 30, 2009 | 12:09 am

    Every year my father makes a traditional Julekake (Norwegian Christmas Bread) for breakfast which we wash down with champagne. It’s definitely one tradition I’m happy to keep!

  4. EAC November 30, 2009 | 12:54 am

    We do the Pomanders too, we just did them Saturday. I remember making them with my mother & sister to give to my grandmother, so this weekend when we went to visit my Mom I brought a bag of oranges & cloves and my Mom & I made them with my 4 year old. To make it easier for her, I make a pattern with a zester- then she can push the cloves in without a struggle. I place them on our mantle with evergreen boughs.

  5. Karena November 30, 2009 | 12:59 am

    Yea a great tradition! The clementines give it a different look!

  6. the NEO-traditionalist November 30, 2009 | 1:06 am

    Ohhh I am going to have to make some of these this year. You’re too chic : ) My favorite Christmas tradition is pretty cliche—listening to carols. We’re not “allowed” to start until after Thanksgiving, but sometimes I cheat and begin mid-November. I just adore the old Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole albums—they bring back so many childhood memories. Oh and lastly, LOVE that you have Suzanne Tucker’s book! She took me on my first trip to Europe when I was fifteen, but we’ll save that for coffee…
    XXX Kate

  7. maison21 November 30, 2009 | 1:28 am

    pretty! back when i was a lil’ decorator-in-training, my mom and i used to make those every year too. i haven’t thought of them in years but just looking at them brings the smell right back!

    i pull out my mom’s kosta boda snowball candles, and fill every bowl in the house with ornaments just like she did, but other then that, it’s not very much like my christmas’s growing up. my mom was huge on greens, and garlands and holly, but i like my xmas decor to be shiny and white and fake as can be…

  8. Kitty November 30, 2009 | 1:46 am

    i love making pomanders, too. except i’m not terribly crafty, and they always look like a 4 year old did them. nice presentation!

  9. holly goes lightly November 30, 2009 | 3:18 am

    balsam sachets made from antique fabrics & pine cones dusted with glass glitter — the glue gets everywhere, but the results are worth it!

  10. Sallie Ann November 30, 2009 | 3:56 am

    Oh, I definitely want to make some of these. Because I won’t be home much during the month, I bought a ton of Archipelago candles yesterday, and have spent today cleaning, putting up a tiny tree, sipping a bloody mary and making holiday cards. I arrive at my mother’s the weekend before Christmas, so I’ll have a whole week to decorate with my 4-year old niece. Can’t wait!

  11. ArchitectDesign™ November 30, 2009 | 4:25 am

    I always have to have a tree -no matter what -and buy at LEAST 1 new ornament every year 🙂

  12. Merilin November 30, 2009 | 11:30 am

    Since I’ve moved from Estonia (a small country right below Findland) to Italy, my Christmas has changed a little. In Estonia it’s all about peace and candles and being with your closest family/friends and people are VERY careful when it comes to decorating their homes and doing presents. They like to do everyhting by themselves.. Here in Italy though, it’s more about commercial things and only shopping shopping and shopping. That special nordic holiday spirit is absent and I kind a miss it. But still me and my mom try to keep our traditions like doing gingerbread house and decorating it and going ice-skiing.. simple things that remind me of real Christmas!

  13. Linda/"Mom" November 30, 2009 | 11:36 am

    * G’ morning, Heather! As FUN & DELIGHTFUL a pic you’re showcasing (oh, the pomander-making-memories!), I ALWAAAAYS love to see the books designers enjoy reading, too!

    Thanks! Best,
    Linda in AZ *

  14. jones November 30, 2009 | 2:50 pm

    Ohhh, yes we (I) have made pomanders–what a great idea; my neighbor has sour oranges on his tree. I think I’ll pick some for pomanders. They make good impromptu gifts, also. My favorite Christmas tradition is making rum/bourbon balls and nut balls-and hopefully there are some left by the time Christmas rolls around. Merry Christmas.

  15. Ivy Lane November 30, 2009 | 4:12 pm

    My favorite memory of Christmas is putting the decorations on the tree as a family. It was always such a fun afternoon..My Mom’s favorite part was putting on the silver tinsel. It was THE WAY she put it on…so perfectly…we all did the lower branches…not so perfectly! :)… another fun memory, baking the cookies with mom and decorating them with all the glitter sugars and sprinkles! Happy Holidays!

  16. Habitually Chic November 30, 2009 | 8:47 pm

    Anna – We never put them under the tree but that’s probably because we had cats and dogs.

    Niki – They have died down a little now but were very strong when I first made them!

    Modern Traditionalist – I might have to start that tradition! Sounds yummy!

    EAC – so sweet! I bet they look great!

    Karena – I actually like the smaller size. They look cuter!

    NEO-Traditionalist/Kate – I heard the Charlie Brown Christmas music in a store last week and it put me in the spirit! That one is my favorite! Can’t wait to hear the Suzanne Tucker story! I think she is friends with my friend Grant Gibson too!

    Maison21 – I think you need to make some just for old time’s sake! Can’t wait to see your white Christmas tree!

    Kitty – my first one was a little off so no worries!

    Holly Goes Lightly – I’m always afraid I will get glitter everywhere so I applaud your pine cone project! I bet they are very pretty!

    Sallie Ann – I feel like everyone is more excited about the holidays this year. It’s so much fun!

    Stefan/Architect Design – I used to do that but stopped. Maybe I should start again!

    Merilin – I spent New Year’s in Stockholm a few years ago and it was still decorated for Christmas. I can see why you miss that Nordic spirit! Glad to hear you are keepin the traditions alive evern though you are in Italy! Maybe they will be copying you soon!

    Linda – That’s only the tip of the book iceberg too!

    Jones – I always make toffee. Not sure if I have the energy this year. Cookies are sooo much easier!

    Ivy Lane – Decorating the sugar cookies is so much fun! We used to make so many of those and gingerbread men and women. Yum!

  17. Kristin McRea November 30, 2009 | 10:52 pm

    This year, I broke my tradition of making my tree “perfect” after the kids go to bed, and left all the ornaments just where they put them, about 2.5 feet high.

  18. TheCluelessCrafter December 1, 2009 | 4:28 pm

    I came back from the market this morning with an armful of oranges. So thrilled to make my first pomanders!
    How long do they last before they start to fade?

    Our tradition is to take a hay ride wrapped in cashmere and chenille throws. So cozy!