Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I love Christmas decorations. The tackier the better, imo. Usually I like to play the elegant, tasteful, sophisticated card, but not for Christmas. Christmas, especially when you have kids, is time for the kitschy and cute. And so I have a fiber optic snowman, LED stars, a Packers Santa flag, and a stuffed moose with jingle bells on his antlers, amongst lots of other junktastic stuff. My rationalization is that I've got a boatload of kids, so they can each take a few of their favorites (which, by that point, will have sentimental value to outdo the cheese factor) with them as they start their own houses. I put out my Christmas china in the hutch, and lit that - I usually forget to put lights in my hutch, but because of all the glass and mirrors it's actually super pretty. Hero set up my Christmas in the City village (and this year, I'm the one that broke a piece) on the piano - she's been promised that when I'm old just because she puts in all the work of setting it up. The artificial tree is in the living room and is loaded to the gills with assorted ornaments and gold garland. My Caribbean-themed tree is in the living room. This year we opted for a Grand Fir instead of a Noble, just because I fell in love with this particular tree on the lot. It's not as tall as we usually go for, but it is so incredibly full and gorgeously shaped. We lasted all of three days watering it, so now it's officially on the look-but-don't-touch list. The outdoor lighting/decorating is still a work in progress, but the final touches (cords and grapevine deer) should be up and running tonight.

Monday, December 5, 2011

To the Thanksgiving Snobs

I'm one of "those" people. I decorate my house for Christmas, at least partially, before Thanksgiving. It doesn't mean I'm an ingrate. It doesn't mean I don't like simple, non-consumerist holidays. It's a matter of logistics., I don't have Thanksgiving at my house, ever. That holiday is the sole province of the in-laws. Which is totally fine by me. Until I have a bigger kitchen and double ovens, I have no desire to juggle the Thanksgiving feast. But, because it's never been my thing, I have no Thanksgiving decorations. So, when it's time to put away the Halloween stuff, out comes the Christmas stuff. It's a long process, and I try to split it up a few bins at a time. The Christmas trees went up the weekend after Thanksgiving, so at least that's something for you early-Christmas haters ;-P. The kids "help" with the decorations, but the end result is highly suspect, as you can see by the first picture.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Thanksgiving to (Not) Remember

I have zero pictures from Thanksgiving. Mainly because I was too busy disinfecting our home from the vicious stomach bug that wiped us out, one or two at a time, the week of Thanksgiving. It started with Colin on Sunday night, progressed through James, then the baby girls got it on Monday, the older three came down with it on Tuesday night, with Allegra still being down and out over actual Thanksgiving, and then I wrapped it up by getting violently sick on Friday night. Thank god for small favors at least - I made it through Black Friday shopping LOL. It was icky, icky, icky. We're all fully recovered by now, but we lost an area rug that we just cannot get the smell out of, yuck! I *think* it was a lovely Thanksgiving dinner by James' family, but honestly I don't remember too much. We had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, yams, gorgonzola and pomegranate salad, bread, cranberry-marshmallow salad, cranberry sauce, scallopped corn, frog's-eye salad, waldorf salad, parsley biscuits, cheese-stuffed and proscuitto-wrapped dates, whoopie pies, apple pie, pumpkin pie, and sangria. We ate just fine - those of us that could stomach it anyways!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Toy Heaven

My kids love Christmas for the toys before they even get to open a single present. We've accumulated a small collection of Christmas toys, and rather than wrangle them all year round, I put them away with the Christmas decorations and the unveiling of the Christmas toys becomes a huge deal every year. This was Elle's first year to really get into it, and boy is she ever. She loves the books, Little People sets, nativities, wooden train set, and stuffed animals. Unfortunately she's not so good with keeping the "no-Christmas-toys-outside-the-living-room" commandment, so we'll have to see how many pieces we're down by the end of the month.