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Merry Christmas Eve, belles! From the bottom of our hearts, we want to wish you all the peace, joy, and love you can hold, and time to celebrate with the ones who matter most to you. Before we sign off, we wanted to share a few of our favorite Christmas traditions and plans…

North Carolina Christmas wedding by Meredith Perdue

Lara: My favorite family Christmas tradition is listening to the Alabama Christmas album. I have such great memories of singing each song as we decorated the tree or cooked a holiday meal. This Christmas, Ari, Grace and I will be here in Chapel Hill for our first Christmas with just our little family. Ari is on call on Christmas, so we are making the most of it! The following week, however, we are headed to Boca Raton to see Ari’s parents and then to my hometown of Pensacola, FL, to see my family. We are calling it the “Tour of Grandparents 2013.” Gracie is just excited to see all (13) of my mom’s kitties!

Nicole: My favorite Christmas tradition growing up was opening one gift on Christmas Eve. It was always holiday-themed pajamas for me and my sister. We’d wear them to bed that night, but not after choosing which cookies (we baked sooo many) we’d leave for Santa. This year, Taylor and I are trying to visit both of our families within his short vacation schedule. We’ll be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my mom and step dad and plan to FaceTime with the Tennessee family (my sister, my new brother-in-law, their puggie and the new in-laws). Then, we’ll drive to Taylor’s family in Virginia for Christmas night and his big family dinner the day after.

Lisa: I’m spending a very non-snowy Christmas in the Lone Star State with my parents and siblings. It’s hard to believe that this will be my last Christmas without Dave there! We go to Mass on Christmas Eve and then head home to break opłatek (a Polish tradition), eat a fish dinner, and watch the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol. My parents have watched it every Christmas Eve since they were dating! The tradition I’m perhaps the most excited for is one we started a few years ago while living in Qatar: Christmas dinner gumbo. Some friends from Louisiana shared their recipe with us, and it’s become a delicious holiday highlight for my family. Most of all, I’m excited to hug my parents, spend lots of time laughing with my siblings, and show my sister, Dana, my engagement ring for the first time!

Kristin: This Christmas Kyle and I will be making a cross-state tour to visit all of our family! A lot of food, fun, a few traditions (and some naps) will be sprinkled in along the way, including the 11th Annual Grant Family Cookie Bake-off. Being in my grandmother’s kitchen with everyone, baking and laughing, is always a highlight of the holidays. And since we will be in western NC on Christmas Eve, I will get to attend midnight service at the church where I grew up — which makes my heart swell. There is something magical about the church lit just by candlelight (it inspired my reception departure). With the way the holiday fell this year, we will have Christmas night dinner with my parents AND Kyle’s parents all sitting around the same dining room table.

Marissa: BDK and I traditionally alternate holidays with our respective families, and this year we were supposed to be in New Orleans with BDK’s family. My growing baby bump has us grounded, however, so we’ll be spending this Christmas with my family. We’ll have a big family dinner made with love by my mama, and then wake up to watch A Christmas Story in a pajamas all day long! As for traditions, we have a boatload! Since we’ll be spending Christmas with my family, we’ll head to midnight mass. Now, while we have done this tradition for as long as I can remember, it has become one of my favorites thanks to BDK and my sister. I swear, those two can’t sit through the service without getting uncontrollable “church giggles!” We blame it on the late hour! While this might sound like a funny choice for my favorite tradition, the memories of their laughter is something I never want to forget!

Emily: I’ve actually already completed 1/3 of my Christmas this year — John and I traveled to Minnesota last weekend to see our new niece and celebrate with my parents and sisters! We’ll be on our own for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and then we’re back on the road this coming weekend for Christmas in Connecticut with John’s family. I have so many favorite Christmas traditions, but my favorite from my childhood in New England is probably tramping through the snow to select a tree, cutting it down, and then decorating it with my whole family. Of course, it wouldn’t seem like Christmas without a candlelight service on Christmas Eve, something that’s always been my favorite way to celebrate.

Merry, merry Christmas, friends!

P.S. We’ll be back on Thursday to finish out the year with our Best of 2013 series!

emily Written with love by Emily
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Merry, merry Christmas, dear belles!

Photo by Abby Jiu

Yes, Christmas is still a day away, but since we’ll be wearing pajamas, opening presents, eating delicious food, and spending time with our families on Sunday, we thought we’d offer you our best wishes today. From all of us to you, have the most wonderful, magical, love-filled weekend!

P.S. Tune in next week for a look back at some of our favorites from 2011, all of the winners of our 12 Days of Southern Weddings Christmas giveaways (yahoo!), and a sparkly New Year’s Eve wedding!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar kissdresses reply

    In the season of joy I present my sincere wishes and kind thoughts. May the kind of New Year outshine all the rest !!

  2. avatar Jessica H reply

    Can’t wait. Merry, merry Christmas to y’all!

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Ho, ho, ho! It’s that time again! Time for the SW ladies’ annual Christmas photo with Santa, that is. Why yes, we do gather our whole office and arrive at the mall with festive attire in tow. Why yes, we do wait in line with mothers, fathers, and small children. Why yes, we do awkwardly jostle over who will (or will not) sit on Santa’s lap. And the result?

Brilliant. This year we were actually slightly legitimate, as we had Lara’s new baby Grace along for the ride! In case you’re not familiar with our smiling faces, that’s Editor in Chief Lara (with Grace), Director of Advertising Whitney, and Editorial Assistant Nicole in the back, with Assistant Art Director Sierra and Art Director Emily in the front. The only gal not pictured in Marissa, who joins in the SW fun remotely from Florida or other parts of the world where her baseball player husband’s travels take them.

Also, following tradition, we wanted to share our Christmas wish lists with you. In case, you know, anyone out there’s feeling generous :)

Whitney would like a beautiful leather bag to tote her laptop to and fro the Southern Weddings office, a Jonathan Adler mug to feed her coffee addiction, and a Kate Spade planner to stay organized in the new year.

Sierra would like the perfect pair of leather riding boots, the Carly earrings from Kendra Scott (since she couldn’t win our giveaway!), and a classic black crossbody bag.

Nicole would like a sparkly dress in which to celebrate New Year’s Eve, a new teacup so her old favorite can get a break once in awhile, and a new laptop! (“It’s time,” she says.)

Marissa would like a shiny gold dress, a glittery laptop case, and a logo cuff from Tory Burch. As the remote member of the office, she would also like to put in a request for a private jet :)

And I would like a set of these tortoiseshell glasses, the perfect pair of cowboy boots, and a Southwest gift card (we’ll be doing a LOT of flying next year!).

Tell us: What are you wishing for this Christmas?

P.S. Our 2010 visit to Santa!

emily Written with love by Emily
7 Comments
  1. avatar Kailey Michelle Events reply

    look how CUTE you all are! Love it :) Merry Christmas ladies. Be blessed xo

  2. avatar Becky reply

    Merry Christmas and a blessed new year to you ladies! I love the website and blog!! Keep up the good work!

  3. avatar Lara reply

    I’m reading this in bed with Grace sleeping on my chest. Just had to tell y’all I love you and our pic. Merry Christmas!!!! Xo Lara and Grace

  4. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Dozens of cookies have been baked, presents have been wrapped and the Southern Weddings ladies have visited Santa. That’s right. We stood in line with mothers and children for the chance to get our photo […]

  5. avatar Katherine reply

    Nicole, I just got that glittery gold dress from ASOS and it is EVERYTHING and more in person :)

    Happy Holidays, ladies! And thank you again for putting out quality (and gorgeous) content again and again! xo Katherine

    • avatar Nicole reply

      Katherine, I really might have to follow suit and buy it, too, it looks gorgeous! Have a wonderful holiday season and thanks for those kind words :)

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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