I know they’re all kind of mixed together, the traditions and reasons why I love the holiday season, but bear with me, I tend to write as though I am having a conversation with myself. I am not crazy, promise. I don’t talk out loud to different selves while I write.
Anyway, another tradition I love is all of the Christmas specials. A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Santa Clause is Coming to Town. I love them so much, that one year, I bought a couple of boxed sets that had those in them! With the exception of How the Grinch Stole Christmas which I bought separately, they were all in there. A Charlie Brown Christmas was actually in a boxed set with It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. So now the holiday movie tradition is to watch the Great Pumpkin on Halloween, CB Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving night. Of course, after hosting my first Thanksgiving this year, I almost slept through the whole thing.
While I was in school, Christmas break was a wonderful time to chill out, not deal with school and hang out with family. I loved that. Now that I am growed up, this will be the first Christmas that I don’t have 2-4 weeks off around the holidays. (I have 5 days this year, but I am perfectly ok with it, because it’s more than many others in the work force have and I am just glad to have a job at this point.) Those 4 weeks were mighty handy for our first 2 Christmases as a married couple. We spent a week at each family’s house, changing at noon-ish on Christmas Day. It worked out perfect.
We exchanged gifts just the two of us before we left to go family visiting in front of our tiny tree, and then we alternate whose house we are at on Christmas morning. For example, the first year we were married on Christmas we spent the week preceding Christmas, and Christmas morning with my parents and brothers. Then after a quick trip out to the grandparents’ house to see them and my Uncle and his family, we would head to the next town over to see his parents, sister and grandparents for the afternoon and the next week. It was really nice to be able to unwind and see everyone for a longer period of time than the 48-72 hours we would have otherwise on weekends home where we were trying to jam both families into a weekend, which is really hard when you’re as close to your family as we both are to ours.
It makes the holidays difficult, not being with our families as much as we would like this year. Both my sister-in-law and the older of my younger brothers now work in retail and the restaurant industry, respectively, so the time off they get is varied, and super hard to coordinate so that when my sister-in-law is at my in-laws so are we, and when my brother is at my parents so are we. Often they have the same time off as each other and we get them each for only 24 hours of the 48 they have off.
In spite of that little hitch of growing up, I still love getting to spend the holidays with family. We (Adam, Tesla and I) are all a family now, and so we are creating our own holiday memories too, which I hold equally as dearly!
When we hung lights outside on Friday, we tied Tesla up outside so she could wander around while we worked on our house.
I can't find the picture I took at night to go with it, so here is one that is pretty anyway! It turned out pretty good.
And we trimmed the tree...
All lit up!
See the pretty silver and white stocking? That one's mine :D
And hung a few light strands and garlands around the house.
Living room/TV stand
When we were living in Mount Pleasant, the apartment was oddly shaped so there were vast blank spaces. Well, around Christmas, I would have none of that. So I strung lights around the ceiling of the entire apartment. Hallway, office, living room, kitchen and dining room all had lights and silver garland strung up where ceiling met wall. On the entertainment center we don’t have any more, we strung a garland of fake greens twined with lights across the top. Fortunately, we were able to still use the same garland, but it’s a little bit modified to fit the smaller stand.
Basically, living in a smaller space has caused us to have a few strands of leftover lights, and A LOT of leftover silver garland. I could have strung them around the house along the ceiling, but it felt like overkill. I wanted it to be tasteful, but obvious, that we heart Christmas.
So, if you have any suggestions for what I can use the leftover lights and garland for, let me know!!
Happy Holiday decorating!