Wednesday, December 12, 2012

 This is the first year we waited so long to get our tree.  The kids were SO excited and couldn't wait to get one.  AND, this was the first year that they really had a say in picking one out.  It seems for years we had one sleeping in the car or it was too cold for us all to get out and pick one out.  This year the kids were really into it!

 We went to a lot in the city and were happy to find the airy and imperfect trees that we love. The kids on the other hand, wanted a fat and perfectly shaped one.  We compromised and found this one.
That night we built a fire, cranked up the Christmas music, and decorated the tree.  

The next morning our elf was hiding in the tree and a little train set was under it with a working electric train that we get to make go fast or slow with a controller!  
Oh Merry, Merry!  What fun it is!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

I have come to love the holidays again.  I mean really love them.  Having children will do that to you and having a pretty idyllic childhood rich with traditions this time of year brings it all back too...

We started the holiday season a week before Thanksgiving by being invited to a Christmas Parade Watching Party in downtown Milwaukee.  Friends of ours invited us and the apartment was absolutely fabulous with stunning views of both Lake Michigan and of downtown Milwaukee.

I snuck out of the house for a couple of hours on Black Friday just to feel a little bit of the holiday buzz.

Candycane, the elf, came back the day after Thanksgiving to stay with us during the holiday season.

We have reservations to have breakfast with Santa at the beautiful Pfister Hotel.

My sister bought me tickets to see Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for my birthday, we all can't wait to see that on our local children's stage.

I made it my goal to have my shopping done by Dec. 1st so I can devote the rest of the month to conjuring up some homemade gifts.

Greatly anticipated, advent calendars made their debut today!

We had our first holiday party tonight.

Our 5th annual Gingerbread Party is tomorrow afternoon.  All 14 families replied "yes" bringing a total of 25 kids!  It's always crazy but lots of fun.

Magnolia is writing a list to Santa.  Writing!  What a big girl.

I organized an online Secret Santa with my family members this year.  We haven't done a Secret Santa in years!!!

I found pickle ornaments at the dollar store which explains the old German tradition of parents hiding the pickle somewhere in the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.  The first child to find it in the morning gets to open the first present under the tree.  This tickled me so much that I sent them to everyone in my family to join in the fun.
(Crate and Barrel)

We have two Christmas performances to look forward to at both Magnolia and George's school.

We have candles in our windows and fresh boxwood wreaths hanging inside.  George built me some crazy red wooden trees for the urns on the front porch.  I bundled a variety of different greens for the window boxes and tied them with a burlap bow.  We put white lights on our tiny little apple tree.  It was a budget decorating job but it's weird and I kind of like it.

We unearthed a perfectly wonderful stand up freezer in our basement, plugged it in and it's humming just waiting to be filled with holiday goodies.

My sister is coming into town with her girls this year for Christmas.

We booked our annual after Christmas trip into Chicago at a fancy schmancy hotel.

It's a jam packed month and I love every minute of it.  Welcome December!