Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tis the Season to be Jolly!

Where have I been? I’ve been a busy little elf preparing for the holidays! Thanksgiving weekend I was able to put up all of the holiday lights and my 2 big & 2 little Christmas Trees.  Our tree in the Rec room contains all of the ornaments we have collected over the years, I love this tree.   I finally broke down and purchased colored lights a few years ago in all different sizes just for a fun change (I am generally a white-light nazi) which really compliments the assortment of mercury glass and keepsake ornaments we have collected together over the years. Each ornament I hang on this tree is a memory.  One our favorite traditions is to collect an ornament from the places we visit while on vacation as well as to purchase a special ornament for each other every year at Christmas.  This year we added several new ornaments to our collection: a mercury glass street car from San Francisco, the 2011 Harry Potter Hallmark Keepsake Ornament, a mercury glass Big Bird and a Christopher Radko snowy owl (a homage to Hedwig).  I also have my “Silver & Gold” tree that I put in the living room, this is Shawn’s least favorite and each year he tries to convince me to skip this tree altogether (and each year he fails miserably).  I like it, it is very pretty & elegant, looks beautiful in our livingroom but to Shawn’s point there is nothing sentimental about this tree. 
When I was going to school at University of Maryland, Shawn stumbled upon a little gem at CVS pharmacy; they were selling ornaments from the old claymation Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer movie, probably the ONLY holiday movie that Shawn really likes.  Over the course of that holiday season in 1999 he managed to collect every one of the ornaments.  To this day Shawn is very pleased with himself for completing the collection, therefore the only logical way to display them was to highlight them on their very own tree.  So, in addition to our 2 large trees we have a delightful little 4 foot tree that showcases his Rudolph and misfit toy ornaments.  This year I made a new addition to my tree collection, a cotton candy pink tree that looks lovely in “my” room.  I adorned it in a Sweet Treats theme, using candy and cupcake Martha Stewart mercury glass ornaments as well as some lollipops I found at le Target.

Somehow I was able to find time Thanksgiving weekend in between putting up the Christmas Trees and the holiday decorations (both inside and out) to order our holiday cards and write our family newsletter, this is hands down one of my favorite holiday activities every year.  Miraculously my cards were in the mail the first week of December!  For the first time in many years I didn’t br ave the black Friday crowds and instead opted for the majesty of Amazon for the bulk of my holiday shopping, for those of you who don’t have it, Amazon Prime is worth every cent and the free 2-day shipping was a life-saver last week! I even squeezed in an entire weekend of holiday baking; aside from the standard cookies I also reacquainted myself with another holiday staple in our house growing up, hard tac candy.  I used to love making this with my mom and decided that this year I would try and make it on my own.  By the end of the weekend I had 10 ½ pounds of hard tac candy in 10 different flavors, therefore for all of my friends living in the greater DC metro area there is a good chance you will be receiving a bag of candy from me as I really can’t imagine that we will (or should) consume this all ourselves. 
With today being Christmas, I am able to sit back and reflect on how busy the past 4 weeks have been for me with the realization that I didn’t HAVE to do any of the above mentioned activities; I don’t need 4 Christmas Trees, I could just send out store-bought cards, I definitely didn’t need 10 ½ pounds of homemade candy but I WANTED to do all of those things because that is what defines the holiday for me.  It reminds me of my childhood, my family and my friends.  I hope that your holiday season has been filled with joyous activities that added sparkle to your Christmas Spirit!
 Feliz Navidad everyone!

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