Hello Holidays

Hello!  I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend!

Though I’ve already done a lot to prepare for Christmas, the calendar flipping from November to December reminds me of all there is to be done (and enjoyed!!) this month.

First of all, we had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving.  This was the first time I’ve hosted Thanksgiving Dinner at my house and everything came together and was delicious.  My sister, Angela and her husband, Kyle and their cutie-pie son joined us for the day and we were SO GLAD they came.

This was my first time cooking a turkey (miss you, Mom!) and with such a small group, I opted for a turkey breast.  It turned out perfectly browned and with a delicious flavor.  I followed this recipe from Betty Crocker, substituting orange juice for the apple juice and rosemary for the thyme.  The rosemary made the entire home smell sooo good.

Another family tradition is layered rainbow jello.  Angela made it for Thanksgiving but I didn’t snap a photo.  I am making it in a week or two for our Church Christmas Party so I will post the recipe soon.

We played Capture the Flag outside for two hours and the kids were in heaven.  We also picked up a big newspaper at the gas station to browse Black Friday deals.  The pages were scattered all over the family room as the kids marked everything they loved.  We don’t usually do anything too crazy in the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy, but we did go out about 10 am Friday morning and scored a beautiful new Christmas tree.  We’ve loved ours for 10 Christmases but one section of lights had gone out so we found this one, normally $299, on for $239.

Our local Home Depot was out-of-stock so we grabbed lunch and made a little trek to the Centerville store to pick up the tree. (No way was I waiting for 10 days to have it shipped to our house–Christmas would be half-way here by then!!!)  The best part of the trip was seeing Angela and Kyle right as we were pulling into the parking lot and they were leaving.  What are the chances?!  That we were out shopping at the same time.  In their neck of the woods.  At the same store.  In the parking lot at the exact time.  It was awesome.  We waved.  And then called each other and marveled.

The home is decorated for the holidays and the lights are up.  Christmas is magical to me.  I’ve already logged some time sitting in the living room, gazing at the tree.  Sitting in the family room, cozied up to the fire.  Bundled up outside and across the street, looking at the lights on the home.

I love seeing the holidays through the eyes of my children.  I think I am as excited as they are.  The anticipation of giving is killing me.  I am so excited for them to be excited.  My oldest son was talking about an advent calendar and how he wished we did one.  Even my husband mentioned that he loved that as a kid, so it sounds like I have a project today.  I think I’ll try to do something simple like numbered bags for this year like this one from thirdfloordesignstudio:

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 11.59.14 AM

and then look into something more permanent for the future.  I’ve always loved the ones from Pottery Barn, but oh, so expensive.  This one is $200 I think and gorgeous of course:

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It probably doesn’t matter to the kids as much what it looks like, as the anticipation of opening a bag each day and being that much closer to Christmas.  A really easy one we’ve done in the past is filling in Santa’s Beard.  Just add a cotton ball each day until he has a full and snowy-white beard by Christmas Day:

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 12.51.43 PM

Well, I’m off to make an advent calendar and plan a birthday party for my son.  I hope you are having a great day and that you can make the time to slow down and enjoy the season.  Cheers!

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