Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Celebrating NAMily this holiday season

It is no secret that the National American Miss Organization focuses on family values, celebrating family, and of course we are a family run organization, and we love expanding our family into our NAMily! And this time of year is all about celebrating and being with your family.

So, I thought I would share with you, our NAMily, how the Maples Family celebrates our holiday's and some of our favorite holiday traditions....many traditions that im sure, you all share, as well!
  • FOOD: Every night at 5:30 EVERYONE in the Maples family sits down together at the dinner table. The table seats 16 - and sometimes we still have to add chairs as we often invite friends - everyone is welcome!! So, Christmas time is usually centered around...FOOD!!!!!! We have the BEST family recipes - jalapeno corn casserole, green bean casserole, homemade pumpkin pie and homemade whipped cream, artichoke dip, crap dip.....I could keep going...and yes, even I do some cooking!!!
  • FAMILY & GIFTS: I have two older brothers, James and Justin, two sister-in laws, five neices and nephews, and of course, there's my significant other (who I'm sure you all know as one of the NAM Team Maples Associate State Directors), Ryan...and all of us all together have 5 dogs (Bear, Max, Molly, Bailey May, & Hannah Banana) who YES are considered just as a part of them family as anyone else. With so many of us, we choose to draw names and play secret santa. But not only do you buy that person a gift - you have to HAND MAKE them a stocking that depicts THEIR personality (ie - mine usually has sparkles, crowns, pink, leopard print, or anything super girly). We come up with CRAZY ideas for the stockings and it is usually the hit of the day.
  • DECORATIONS: We put up and decorate a 24 foot christmas tree in the family room...yes 24 foot!!! It's the guy's least favorite part of Christmas as it tends to be their big project. AND - as if that wasn't enough, there is still a tree in each of the other rooms of Kenn & Lani's house with decorations to match that particular room. All together there are 7 trees in their house. Lani is obsessed with Christmas Decorating!
  • REFLECTION: Aside from crazy hand-made stockings each year, my mom puts out "MY STOCKING." Every year, I add an ornament to the stocking that reflects that year - something I did, somewhere I went, an accomplishment in my life. Now that I'm pushing 30 - the stocking is too heavy to hang or to fill, but it gets set out every year and together mommy and I talk about each ornament and why it's important. It is hands-down my most prized possession.
  • RELATIONSHIPS: Growing up, on every Christmas, Lani would ask Santa for a Barbie doll...but NEVER got one. One Christmas, when Kenn and Lani were dating - he gave her a special gift. She opened it up and inside was a Barbie doll. Kenn said, "Now you have your Barbie, " and as he took out the engagement ring, he continued with..."and you have your Kenn." Since then, Kenn gives Lani a Barbie every Christmas - a tradition which was passed down to Breanne.
  • PRESENTS: Growing up, every Christmas, Breanne would ask for the drivable pink Barbie convertible...but she NEVER got one. Now she is holding out for a REAL pink cadillac convertible.
  • Breanne is STILL bitter about the pink Barbie convertible.

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