Christmas 2017

This year was pretty great for Jake and I. We had a great time hanging out with both of our families and had some great food. We also got some pretty fantastic gifts.

 

The biggest and most generous gift we received was from my parents. They bought us a lovely kitchen aid stand mixer. I have wanted one of these for years and since moving in with Jake, that want has just grown.  Especially because my guilty pleasure is watching the British Bake Off. Here is the beauty!

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Jake got a really cool marble salt crock from my parents. It is absolutely gorgeous and Jake loved it.

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Jake also had the bright idea to ask for chocolate milk for Christmas. So my brother being the lovely person that he is bought him a TON of different chocolate milk.

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The best gift of the day though was from my dad to my mom. He got her a beautiful diamond ring. They have been together for 30 years this year and the engagement ring that he got her had to get cut off of her hand when she broke her hand a long time ago. It was so great to see her reaction over this ring.

 

Overall, Christmas was pretty fantastic! Hope yours was lovely too!!!!!

Christmas Traditions

 

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday of the year. My family has always made a very big deal out of Christmas. And not just about getting gifts, but about being together during the holiday season. Our whole house would be decorated inside and out and I absolutely loved it.

 

Growing up, from the ages of 4 to 12 ish, it wasn’t Christmas unless we were in Michigan. We had a house in Michigan that we would spend almost every weekend at in the winter. We would go snowmobiling and sledding and just be with family and have the best of times. Some of my best memories are from Christmas time in Michigan.

 

We we stopped going to Michigan as much, my grandparents would come down to us every other year or so. When I was in high school, we had the chance to go to Walt Disney World for Christmas. That was amazing and that became a new kind of tradition for us. We have spent three Christmases there since. Even though that doesn’t seem like much, it seems like we should always be at Disney for Christmas. It is such a magical place to be at anytime of the year, and Christmas is simply perfect there.

When we are home for Christmas, as we have been for the past couple of years, we get together at my parents house and open presents together. As my brother and I both have two separate families to visit, we typically meet at my mom’s in mid morning and hang out until early afternoon.

 

This year, Jake and I are spending Christmas Eve night with his mom’s side of the family after we go to church. We will spend Christmas morning together at home and then go on to my parents. We will have Christmas dinner with his family at his parents house.

 

Hope you all have a lovely holiday filled with family and good times!

Gingerbread House Competition

This has become one of my favorite traditions that my family started a few years ago. All of us girls, friends and family, get together and decorate gingerbread houses. We try to have an impartial judge to name the winner in the end. This year it was my brother. So while we were all decorating, Pat was upstairs.

 

This year we had six different houses and nine people decorating. Plus we had three kiddos running around, well one is too little to run but he sure looked cute all day!

Here are some pics of the decorating fun!

Here are the final results. Pat picked Alysha’s wonky lighthouse to win… We thought he was joking but that’s Pat!

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After decorating, we all exchanged the delicious cookies that we had prepared.

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Christmas Decorations

I absolutely love the holiday season. I always have and I always will. My favorite part has always been decorating our house and baking cookies!

 

This year I put my tree up wellll before Thanksgiving, but I just didn’t care about waiting any longer. Jake and I borrowed one of my mom’s trees to use in our house so that we didn’t have to go out and buy one and I put it up once we got home. We didn’t actually decorate it until a few days ago though…

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I wish we had more decorations to put throughout the house, but we are on a tight budget for the next few months, so no money to buy loads of Christmas lights. Sad face.

 

So since I couldn’t go over the top at my own house, I decorated mom’s. And believe me, we went over the top. And the sad part is, we didn’t even use all of her decorations. And we didn’t even get some of them out of the garage…

So we started by putting the tree up and fluffing it out. We waiting a bit to put the ornaments, but the tree was up and ready to go.

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From the tree, we started decorating the mantle and the curio cabinet next to the fireplace. We used a bunch of mom’s little things and cookie jars to decorate the mantle. And in the cabinet, we put some of the more fragile elements. Next, I took a strand of lights and wound it around the things on the mantle to give it some color.

Next we started on the stockings. And yes, I say started. My lovely mother has 39 stockings. THIRTY – NINE. THIRTY – NINE! Why she has that many, I will never know. But we started working with the Disney ones first. The classic Mickey and Minnie stockings went up on one wall and we put the other character stockings along the banister by the stairs. The villains stockings went up by the door where no one can see them. Rude. They are my favorite. We then found our old stockings from when I was growing up. The ones that are so old and have been used for so many years that they are actually falling apart slightly. We hung those on the tv stand. Then we hung our two stockings for my first family dog by the fireplace with the Pluto holders and the other dogs went on the closet door.

After this, we took some Mickey lights and hung over the window by the television. And another strand along the bottom of the tree. We then moved on to decorating the tree. The tree is decorated with entirely Disney ornaments. The only other thing on the tree are some red bulbs to fill in the tree a bit. The Disney tree is absolutely lovely. I think it looks better this year than it ever has, but that is my own opinion!

After the tree, we hung lights around the big window in the kitchen and put up mom’s Thomas Kinkade Disney Christmas tree up on the counter. After this, I looked down the hallways and it just needed something since we had done every inch of the main living area. So, I got out the ladder and hung lights along the ceiling. They looked so much better than I expected. We also decorated every door in the hallway and the bathroom.

I’m telling you, by the time we were finished, it looked like Christmas threw up in my mom’s. But it looked AMAZING!!!

Sugar Cookie Sweat Shop

This past Saturday, we got to really utilize my mom’s new kitchen for the first time. When my parents were designing the remodel of their new house, having plenty of room to make cookies was a must. Baking cookies is a holiday tradition in my family that I absolutely love. We started a bit early this year, but these sugar cookies are incredibly time consuming, but they are SO good.

 

So, my aunt Shelly came in from Newark and my sister-in-law came over and we all worked together to make 3 double batches of sugar cookies. Now we did not bake all of them yet, but we did roll them all out and cut them so that we could freeze them and bake them closer to Christmas. It took all day but it was a blast.