Oh how I love this time of the year! December is the month I want to move the slowest and somehow it's the one that moves the fastest. In a blink of an eye it's over. This year it literally felt like P had her last day of school before Christmas break and the next day was Christmas Eve. When in reality it was…oh, I guess it was only 4 days and for some reason I thought I had a full week. No wonder I was so discombobulated. Anyway, fortunately, I take lots of pictures. It always helps to make the season feel a little longer as I browse through all the images.
Here are a few of how we decorated and things we did.
I bought a new wreath! For five years I've been trying to buy this Smith and Hawkens red, curled wood wreath at Target during the after Christmas sale but it's always sold out. This year I decided to celebrate the house's new colors by buying the wreath at the beginning of December. I love how it looks. The red really pops against the grey and white. Add a red poinsettia and shazam! Tis the season!
Our glowing frosty made his appearance again with the blinking snow flakes. I stepped it up with new red string lights to coordinate with the red wreath. I need to figured out a better method of hanging the lights. I bet they'd look more "professional?" if they were straighter.
This is also the time of year when we light our fireplace almost nightly. I love seeing the stock pile of wood in the wood ring…and then some. I had to post this picture because it's the first year the wood ring is sitting in front of a nice white wall. No patches, no awful beige color, no weird texture. Just clean and white.
The girl's tent took a beating with the winds this fall. The fabric was ripped off so I tossed it but I was too lazy to take down the entire tent. Then one day I got the bright idea to string lights on it and it's been the most magical thing ever! The kids love it! We love it so much I think we might leave it up throughout the year.
I put the rest of our white Christmas lights on the ground by our fence. The view from our dining room as you look out towards the pool is so lovely right now. This pictures doesn't do it justice.
I should add that the reason I decorated the backyard was out of pure guilt. We have so many strings of white lights…purchased at MY request when we first moved in. But my vision has changed and I felt guilty for buying the strings of red lights. I thought if I used them for something then I wouldn't feel so bad about buying more lights because then I'd feel that I HAD to buy more lights because I ran out. Silly. Crazy…I know! But look at the magic that came from those crazy guilty thoughts!
Our tree in it's 8 foot magical glory. Dave taught the girls how to make snow flakes. It became an on-going holiday craft project. They've been taping up the flakes on the wall behind the tree as they make them.
Our holiday cars get pinned on a line strung across our chalk wall. I love getting holiday cards. I almost didn't send any this year because I was so tired and overwhelmed. But then I felt kind of selfish about getting and not giving.
This year the girls look like this! P is 6 and Gis 21 months.
We had fun with our chalk wall. I still love that wall!
P and I made these teacher gifts. The succulent wreaths were fun, and a little hard to make but well worth it in the end!
P's belief in Santa is a crap shoot every year. When she was younger she totally didn't believe in him and now that she is older she seems to believe in the magic. This was the first official year that we did the Elf on the Shelf. I'm not sure but it feels like P believes in Santa in theory but not in practice. She placed cookies out for him but she knew all the gifts that were gradually appearing beneath the tree were from us.
G had no interest in opening gifts, even if they were for her. She liked using the wrapped boxes as starting blocks more than as fun items for her to play with. I'm sure this will be the one and only year she feels this way.
Our table setting ready for breakfast morning. We're still playing around with what kind of traditions we want to have. I made a sausage, kale and mushroom breakfast strata but I'm not sure I want to make that every year. We went to Mass at 7:30pm on Christmas Eve and it was a big mistake. G cried and made too much noise the entire time and P fell asleep. Should have been the reverse. Next year I think we need to have our big dinner on Christmas Eve, have a breakfast while opening gifts and then go to Mass in the afternoon. We're learning as we go and making new traditions of our own.
Hope your holiday season was lovely, magical and full of good company! xo