Blog Archives

Winter Decorating

The moment leftover turkey and mashed potatoes find their way into the fridge after Thanksgiving, I shift into gear for Christmas and start decorating. The trees go up, the Advent wreath comes out, there’s garland about, snowmen, ribbon and a new wreath on the red door.

These decorations are out and lit during the whole holiday season, all the way until New Year’s Day when it’s time to move on from Christmas and hang a new calendar. Once all the festive Christmas decorations are packed away in the attic, the house kind of looks kind of sad. In order to avoid the 60 to 0 switch, not everything that goes up at the end of November is Christmas-centered.

Most often, my wreaths aren’t Christmas-specific, that way I can leave them up all winter. This year, I opted to make a pine cone wreath for the front door using the scented pine cones that were stashed after Christmas 2011.

Bonus: Our entry smells like cinnamon and vanilla!

Snowmen, snowflakes and inspirational words (joy, peace, hope, love) are also perfectly acceptable (to me) all winter, along with the metallic accents, so they stay long after the trees and stockings go away.

Sorry that I didn’t take any in-progress pictures, but if you want to make your own here’s how I made it: Read the rest of this entry

Santa! I know him!

I had my picture taken with Santa for the first time in my life last night.

I’ll give that a second to sink in….

It gets better. Not only did I get to have my picture taken with Santa, I found out that we’re related.

Okay well sort of related, I married his son.

No Friday Five today. I was far too tired last night to write anything.

Why was I tired?

Brad and I left right after work and headed to his high school to surprise his younger brother at his Christmas choir concert. I hadn’t had the opportunity to see my new-ish little brother perform before so it was a good time. We got there early when the students were having a break between shows. The videographer (my mother-in-law) snuck us in before the doors opened and the look on Brian’s face when he saw us was worth the price of admission (and we did get tickets to the show).

The choirs were excellent! The favorite song of the evening was Fruitcake.

My brother-in-law wasn’t the only family member performing on stage last evening, my father-in-law played the role of Santa. He was kind enough to stay in costume after the show so that I could get my first-ever picture with Santa along with many others who wanted the photo op.

I suppose some day if my husband takes over the family business, I’ll have to relocate to the North Pole. (And people think Cleveland is cold!)

– – –

We’re doing all sorts of family festivities this weekend including what has become an annual trip to Gervasi Vineyard with my in-laws and then having Christmas with my mom. What are you up to this weekend?

Related Posts:

Big sister pride

It’s beginning to look like Christmas

Tradition and memories

It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas!

I was really excited to decorate our new house for Christmas, so of course I must share it with you! I was originally going to share this on Friday, but I took my remaining vacation day of 2012 and finished my Christmas shopping and got myself fitted for contacts, so I didn’t get to posting.

So for a little Monday cheer, here are the trees!

The 3-foot college tree remains:

The 6-foot everything tree: Read the rest of this entry

Is there anything new?

On my last post, Scott commented about holiday music and the super-sized doses we get of it, which pretty much voiced something I’d been thinking of since late October.

On November 1st, a local radio station switched to all holiday music, all the time, which made me consistently hop over it until after Thanksgiving. I grew up in church and to this day, many of my favorite Christmas songs are hymns.

I feel like there are thousands of new songs that come out every year, but there aren’t really any new Christmas songs. Am I wrong and just missing the new songs?

Here’s one of my favorites. I remember listening to it early, early Christmas morning while driving home from the 11pm Christmas Eve church service.

Are there any particular holiday songs that stir a memory in you?

Related Posts

Tradition and Memories

Leftovers

Bring it on 2012

Holiday Love/Hate

There’s just something about the holiday season that seems… magical I guess. But every year there are things that raise the stress levels to the max that result in a love/hate relationship with the season.

Love

1. Decorations. Everything looks so pretty during the holidays and as outside gets dull and dark the color and sparkle that comes along with the decorations we put up are very welcome.

2. Seasonal smells and tastes. There are some candles that can only be burned this time of year just like there are some treats that can only be baked this time of year.

3. Anticipation. I feel like there’s so much to look forward to for each celebration.

4. Time with family. There’s a huge family focus on the holidays and I can’t say I’d have it any other way.

5. Rest. I feel like we get a much-needed break at the holidays then a fresh start for a new year.

Hate

1. Travel. Teleportation would be a welcome development to ease holiday travel. Driving here, there and everywhere can be exhausting and expensive. Thankfully, we don’t have to fly for holiday visiting.

2. Scheduling. It’s tough to balance when to see people, trying to equitably split time with each side of the family is absolutely impossible. Not to mention trying to see friends too.

3. Crowds. There are at least twice as many people at stores and restaurants this time of year. I don’t know where they call come from!

4. Traffic. This is indirectly related to travel and crowds. Not only does it seem like there are more people on the road, driving skills and attention behind the wheel do down the toilet this time of year.

5.Cold. Snow and ice are pretty to look at, but I’m not a fan of anything else they bring with them. Once the holidays are over… we know that winter is going to be in full force.

What about you? Anything about this time of year that makes you love it, hate it, or both?

Related Posts:

Leftovers

It’s Sugar-Free!

Make the Season Bright: Holiday Blog Hop 2011

Tradition and Memories

I ran across this list of Christmas Eve traditions.

I was shocked to see that one of my family’s was top of the list with a few elements of the other traditions. When I was growing up, there would be a present for each of us that was marked with a star on the gift tag. That was the Christmas Eve present. After arriving home from Christmas Eve church service, we would light the last candle on our Advent wreath and open the starred present. Inside each present was a pair of Christmas pajamas. We would all change into our new PJs and spend some time together as a family before heading off to bed.

On Christmas morning, we woke up in our brand new pajamas and gathered in the living room. Someone (usually dad) would read the Christmas story from the Bible then one of us kids (usually my brother) would pass out the presents. After presents were opened, breakfast would be eaten and we would spend the day playing with our gifts.

I remember one year I received the game Don’t Break the Ice and I played it all day with anyone who would sit on the floor and play it with me.

Read the rest of this entry

Make the Season Bright: Holiday Blog Hop 2011

The Make the Season Bright: Holiday Blog Hop 2011 is a blog event where bloggers invite our readers to take a holiday tour of homes through our blogs. On this stop, you get to the the K-Couple home all decorated for the holiday season and find out a little bit about how we’re handling the holidays as newlyweds.

Welcome to Our Home

Our winter wreath made from upcycled wedding leftovers

Read the rest of this entry

Christmas Shopping

In the past, I’ve been proud of my ability to Christmas shop for people throughout the year and am usually finished with my major shopping by the 1st of December. This year is very different.

I held off on buying Christmas presents for most of the year because it was our first Christmas as a married couple and productive working citizens instead of “poor college students.” I thought it’d be easier because I’d have Brad to help me out and I’d be able to expand the Christmas shopping budget. Although those things are true, Christmas shopping is much more difficult this year.

I put it off too much. Because of delaying the start of shopping, I feel much more rushed this year because I didn’t do any shopping in the rest of the year. We still have several people on our list to find gifts for.

There’s not enough time in a day. Neither of us consistently leave work at 5:00, we stay until the job is done. Then Brad has an unpredictable commute home so we never know when we can start shopping on weekday evenings. And our weekends during this season tend to fill up quickly.

It’s weird. Shopping this year is weird for many reasons. I don’t go shopping without Brad most of the time because I don’t always see things and think of which of his family members would like it. We were shopping last week and he saw something that I would have never looked at twice and said, “Don’t you think my great-grandma would like this?’ She definitely would like it, but I wouldn’t have thought about her when I saw it. I may be a part of the family, but I’m still learning about little likes and dislikes. It’s also weird (and a little tough) because every single time I go shopping, I see at least one thing that would have made a great present for my dad. For Christmases past, he had been a tough person to shop for. It’s funny how you see things that would be perfect for someone when you no longer buy them presents (for whatever reason).

Online shopping isn’t my thing. You may have started thinking while reading my excuses list above: she should just shop online. Online shopping is fantastic! If you know what you want to give someone. But if you don’t have a clue, like me, seeing things sometimes makes it easier to pick something out. That and I tend to think too much.

Other notes about gifts

If you are on our Christmas shopping list, rest assured that, even if it’s purchased close to the wire, it was pick out with you in mind. Also, if I wrap a present for you, I selected wrapping paper and a gift tag that I think you might like. Lots of care and thought goes into gift giving.

Is Christmas shopping easy for you?

Related Posts:

Our first Christmas

It’s the thought that counts

 

It’s the Thought that Counts

I’ve got to admit that I’m sick of hearing the raging debate about whether you should say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” to people. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know we don’t want to offend people, but either way people are going to be offended.

There’s really no way around it.

Our Christmas card from last year

Yes, I celebrate Christmas. And yes, to me it’s a religious holiday.

If someone says “happy holidays” to me, I’m not going to jump down their throats about a “secular greeting” or reply “Merry Christmas” to them. They expressed to me that they want me to have a happy holiday season… so I take that as an all-in-one greeting to cover:

– Thanksgiving (yes “happy holidays” greetings start in November)

– St. Nicholas Day

– Advent season

– Christmas

– New Year’s Day

(And any of the holidays within this time period that I celebrate. There are several holidays packed in the November-January time period!) Read the rest of this entry

Our First Christmas

This Christmas will be so different than any other Christmas I’ve had for many reasons, the main one being that it’s my first Christmas as Mrs. K!

I’ve always loved putting up the Christmas tree and remember as I was growing up the certain ornaments that were really special. My family did the traditional “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments and we each had a special ornament, my mom and dad had a special ornament also for their first Christmas together.

Last year's Christmas tree in my college apartment

As a new wife, I wanted us to have a special ornament for our first Christmas together. Did you know that there are a lot of cheesy first Christmas ornaments? Read the rest of this entry