Thursday, November 24, 2011

Holiday Traditions Guest post - Mark Kingsdorf

Today I introduce to you my friend Mark. He's a big time wedding planner out in Philadelphia, and he gets invited to speak at conventions of all sorts. He's a great guy. I met Mark and Chuck on our Disney cruise and they are precious friends to me. Rarely have I met two such giving souls. So happy to have him stopping by my blog to share some family traditions....
‘Twas the night before….

I’m so excited that Angie asked me to guest blog.

As a Master Bridal Consultant, I get to design fun events and help couples start their own family traditions – and most of my enjoyment of this comes from being raised in a family of people who LOVE celebrations and especially CHRISTMAS… so picking just one tradition for me will NEVER work.

For starters, my Mother LOVED Christmas – lots of decorations, going Christmas Caroling, homemade cookies, going to church on Christmas Eve, opening presents on Christmas morning…

We picked out our tree (ALWAYS a fresh tree) a few weeks before Christmas and it stayed outside tied up until Christmas Eve when we put it in the stand and left it for Santa to decorate – still one of my favorite holiday memories.

My mother was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer when I was 8 – so EVERY Christmas was special for us (I was blessed to have her for nearly 20 years after that diagnosis) so celebrating family and life is always a big part of our Christmas.

Giving back is a big part of the holiday season for me – every year I play secret Santa for a local cancer charity – I always ask for a woman with breast cancer who has small children and love to work with my family and staff to surprise them with a great Christmas. We’ve also done a holiday open house where we asked everyone to bring canned goods for local food pantry – we were OVERWHELMED With the amount of food friends and family brought.

My partner and I started a tradition where we buy a Christmas ornament every place we go – vacation, museum, amusement park…it doesn’t matter. And as we decorate the tree we get excited about the places we’ve been and the memories we have.

I really enjoy baking Christmas cookies, I make the BEST chocolate chip cookies and gingerbread men…one year in my 20’s when things were lean I baked 100 dozen cookies and that was what everyone got for Christmas…

One year when I lived in Washington DC, I had friends over for Christmas Eve dinner and was determined to start a new tradition with my family and friends. I made a Roast Goose (from a local farmers market) stuffed with black bread, sausage and apples – my friends LOVED it….but my family is less enthusiastic about trying this…

Bottom line is keep the spirit of Christmas alive with your own family traditions –( I REFUSE to abbreviate Christmas no matter how many times I need to type it) – we celebrate with good food, sharing with other, treasured memories and keeping family and friends close by and in our hearts…
Thanks again Mark for the awesome post. I cannot believe you didn't put your tree up until Christmas eve...and Santa decorated it?! And I think you should give me your chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Be sure to leave a comment with a hello to Mark! And if you're visiting Worthwhile Moments, thanks for stopping by!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my blog readers! May your heart be filled with gratitude the whole year thru.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

What a great post!! Puts me in the spirit of the season!! Mark is a great guy- a very special and giving person. Oh- and the tree thing- ME TOO! MY dad was the elf in my house. We went to bed with NOTHING done and woke up to MAGIC!!! My mother wasn't as enthusiastic- it was a sleepless night every year. But, to me it was a memory I will cherish all my life. Like Mark, I love Christmas and now with grandchildren, it is even better.