The holidays are in full swing over here! And even though I have had the same Christmas decorations for as long as I’ve been writing this blog (read: a long time!), I still feel the need to share pictures of them every year. Indulge me! I’ve been decorating with these glittery ornaments for at least five years, and I still absolutely love them. Bonus that they are plastic, so a bit safer for the curious kiddos.
Our mantel is decked out with a lighted garland and our cable-knit stockings. I have never actually filled these, but this might be the first year I finally do it. Also, it seems that Land of Nod stopped making these, so I’ll have to break the news to Casey that we are done having kids!
We stopped at a local re-store shop a few weekends ago so I could go digging around for an old shutter. I had seen a cute Christmas card display using one so I thought I’d see if I could do something similar. I found a perfect shutter for five bucks, and so far I think it looks pretty cute!
We got our tree right after we got back from traveling to Atlanta for Thanksgiving. I think we got a really good one this year!! I had big fantasies about us all listening to Christmas music and wearing festive Christmas sweaters or pajamas or something, but that did not even come close to happening. Ha!
But we still had a lot of fun, which is of course, what actually mattered. Cullen was really into putting the ornaments on carefully this year, but Graham is at the age where he just wanted to rip them all off or eat them (which naturatelly infuriated Cullen). Thankfully now that the excitement of tree trimming is over, he hasn’t given the tree much attention since.
My favorite part of decorating is rediscovering all the ornaments I’ve forgotten about! My mom makes the boys adorable felt ornaments each year, and it was so fun to pull hers out and remember what she’d made them. Last year, it was a garbage can – to coordinate with the garbage truck I got for Cullen. He requested they be hung up just like this, and points them out daily.
Casey and I get each other ornaments every year too, and they usually end up being memories of places and things that were special to us that year, which is always fun to reflect on too.
Sniff – I still miss Old Town, especially this time of year ! I bet the lights on King Street look incredible!
Even the doggies have special representation on the tree!
Check out Graham’s first ornament from my mom last year! I think she is so crafty and creative (which was sadly not passed down to me).
I have little bits of holiday cheer all over, and it made me so happy to unpack all of these things and set them out for the next few weeks.
Last year I decided to do an annual Santa picture frame, and keep all the Santa pictures in there together with the most current one displayed. I was laughing talking to friends about this picture yesterday, saying I barely even remember it being taken. I feel like I was in such a newborn fog last year! Look at what BABIES they were!
I got a new garland to put on the steps this year, to replace the one I’d been using since the year after I graduated college (think 2003).
And my 2003 mistletoe is still going strong! You can never have enough kisses, right?
The year that Cullen was born, my aunt gifted us this advent calendar from Land of Nod. Last year, Cullen moved the Santa from space to space but he wasn’t really into it and I had to remind him of it each day. This year he is ALL about it!
I went an extra step this year and got gift tags that have a Christmas activity or project for each day. I planned it all out with my calendar so that things like “go to Snowflake Lane” fall on weekends so we can do it as a family. He is having so much fun that he actually remembers what day it is every day, and goes to be at night saying, “Mom, is tomorrow number twelve?” I love that he’s into it. Although he rejected my paper snowflakes and told me they didn’t have enough points. Apparently mine are too round??
This one is tonight!
Other advent activities so far have included making Christmas cookies…
And last weekend’s activity – go see the reindeer and Christmas trains at Swanson’s Nursery!
Graham is the perfect age this Christmas – he is totally into everything and wants to explore and be part of all activities. Which adds challenges of course, but it is SO fun and amazing to watch. He was obsessed with the animals, which has me so excited for spending many days this coming spring at the zoo.
We met Cullen’s best buddy there too, and he and Graham were accidental twins. Cutest kids ever, and not a bit biased.
This time of year just makes me so overwhelmingly happy. The weather is so gross and it is so dark outside all of the time, and yet these two sweet little boys make the holiday season so much fun.
This week, our Wednesday advent activity was a big one – go see Santa and get pictures taken on his lap! Cullen was thrilled and talked about it all morning. He was very specific that he was going to ask for a particular garbage truck (sigh) with side-loading trash cans, and let me know he would ask Santa if the truck’s front doors open or not (they don’t, so I hope Santa gave him the right answer!).
Graham is in a super-glue-cling-to-mama phase, so I knew he was going to be a tough sell. I felt his body stiffen the minute we walked in the door. Cullen trotted right up to the chair and said, “Santa, sure is rainin’ outside today!” Three year olds are SO RIDICULOUS! Cullen hopped up in his lap, and as predicted, Graham shrieked with terror the minute I set him down.
But a few squeaks of a reindeer puppet later, and we got a successful (almost) smiling picture! Check out the progression from Cullen’s first year to this year… He was 14 months old here, which is how old Graham is now (and I remember him crying right after this was taken).
Last year, both looking so different and so tiny. I look back at this now and wonder how I ever survived those first few months!
And finally, this year! Same exact Santa, and two very grown up looking boys. All I want for Christmas is for time to slooooow down just a little bit.
More holiday fun on the calendar this weekend, and looks like we even have sunshine in the forecast. Happy Friday to you all!