December 25, 2012

My Favorite Things - 2012 Christmas Edition

It's the evening of Christmas Day and again this year, I am grateful for such a lovely holiday with lots of family and friends.  We missed my brother & Jen lots, but we will be celebrating the New Year with them on a family ski trip, so it's totally OK.

Some of the highlights from our Christmas...

Tim Allen Christmas Movies (and a few others) - we start the season with White Christmas and end it with Christmas Vacation, but we throw in all the Tim Allen Christmas movies in between.  I love him in Home Improvement and I love him in Christmas movies.

The FOOD... seriously.  I've been eating the best food every weekend since Thanksgiving.  Even though we don't eat meat anymore, there was not a lack of food for us to eat.  My favorites this year included macarons, smoked salmon, egg bakes, cheesy potatoes, vegetable trays fit for a king and the cookies.  My mom hosts a cookie party every year and thanks to those wonderful women (see below), I am able to eat awesome cookies well into the New Year.


The kiddos help make this holiday so special as well.  It is so much fun watching them figure out what all the commotion is about.  

We helped Nicole "teach" at her church this weekend and the kids we worked with were 3 year olds.  They explained the Nativity and Jesus' birthday with videos, songs and books.  I had at least 4 kids tell me that they had never sinned.  

I was a little sad that we were only able to hang with my nieces for the two hours that they opened presents, but it is fun to see them tear through their new toys.  Having lots of family is a blessing, don't get me wrong, but I do feel like we rush a little bit to get everywhere.  I didn't get many pictures, but hopefully Holly did.  I sat in between Kennedy & Kenzy in their matching dresses.  Maddy seemed to really like the Minnie Mouse kitchen we found too.


Christmas PJ's are another chart topper for me.  I found the funniest Santa PJ's last year that were matching on the top & the bottom, but they only had an XL.  I bought them anyways.  Justin has built up a collection of Grinch PJ's which he loves.  We always sleep extra good on Christmas Eve with full bellies and awesome PJ's, so Christmas morning is always extra awesome in our house.


My dogs are like my children, so including them in the festivities is also quite important.  Our Christmas card is usually the easiest way to make sure they feel the Christmas spirit.  Here is what our card had this year (yes, we wrote a limerick):


They were also included in our Christmas morning brunch with my mom's family and they were quite a hit.



Last but not least is being able to bring a little extra joy to friends and family.  We stuck to a budget this year for the first time ever and it made life a little easier because we planned our shopping trips instead of random splurges.  The only unplanned item was the bagful of St. Paul Firefighter calendars we bought for my girlfriends... it was too hard to pass up.


Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

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Thanks for reading my ramblings. It makes my heart happy.