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Love It! Hate It! Holiday Edition!!

So with Christmas right around the corner I wanted to dedicate my make-up post to the things I love about the Christmas season!  I’m going to go with 12 things I love about the holiday season kind of like the 12 days of Christmas.

Love It!

1.  Cutting down the tree with my family!  You can read more about that tradition in this post on Holidays.  Nothing says Christmas in Virginia like cutting down your own tree 🙂  I love traditions!  Here is my sister and Dad loading up the Christmas tree onto the wagon.

Christmas tree being loaded up by family

2.  Different ornaments!  I’m not one to do the theme trees, they are pretty and I like to look at them but I prefer the trees covered with handmade ornaments and things that mean something to the family.  Maybe if I ever get to have two trees I might do one as a pretty theme tree!  My parents still have the ornaments my sister and I made as kids on their tree, there is one blue doily angel I remember in particular that has my head pasted to the body.  I think I was in 3rd grade when we made it.  My husband and mother in law pick out a new ornament each year to represent our life for that year and I love that tradition.  This year David sent me an ornament that has extra meaning this Holiday season.  It says, “Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is my Marine home”.  Very true…

santa-marine-ornament

3.  Yankee Candle Christmas Scents!  My all time favorite is Pumpkin Pie which is more a Halloween Thanksgiving scent but I burn it till it runs out which is usually around Christmas 🙂  Right now I have the following smells burning in my house, cookies, cranberry and balsam and fir.  I staged these appropriately, the balsam candle is in the living room so when you walk in the house you see the Christmas tree and smell the lovely balsam scent.  Next up is the kitchen where you will find a plate of cookies and the fabulous cookie smell from the candle in there.  For the dining room I went with the cranberry smell because I thought it was an appropriate all around scent!  Am I crazy to stage the Christmas smells in my house….quite possibly but hey I enjoy it 🙂

4. Snow!!!  My opinion that I expressed in last weeks Love It! Hate It! column was that if it is going to be freezing cold it better snow otherwise what is the point of the freezing cold weather, my friend Laura P .agrees with me too.  Mother Nature apparently reads my blog too and she obliged my request!  Thank you Mother Nature 🙂  I hear rumors of snow for Christmas but no one seems to know what is going to happen!  I think Mother Nature likes to keep us on our toes.  As a kid when it would snow the whole neighborhood would pour out onto the hill of Grundy Rd to sled down into the cul-de-sac where our house was.  We would be out there for hours!!  Parents would come out too sometimes and sled with us, I know my Dad was always sledding down the hill right next to us 🙂  We had this awesome Flexible Flyer wooden sled with the metal rails that had been my Dad’s and it was nice and worn in and would fly down that hill.  One of the neighbors would setup a station with candle wax for us to wax up the rails and go even faster.  When we were frozen solid we would go home to Mom and hot chocolate on the stove.  As an adult I keep looking for an awesome hill like Grundy rd so I can get out there with all the kids and sled right next to them.  David has video of me trying to sled through our yard on a plastic sled but it just isn’t quite the same 🙂  Someday my kids are going to have to fight me for the sleds!!

5.  Cookie Exchanges!  I was lucky to attend two cookie exchanges this year and I now have a box stuffed in the pantry full of cookies I’m trying not to eat all by myself.  Here is a secret I love love love any cookie with frosting, probably goes along with my cupcake obsession.  I made rum balls as my contribution and they were a hit at both parties!  The recipe I’m dying for now is the whoopie cookies my friend Sarah made, yum yum yum!!  I’d take a picture but I ate them all already…..they had icing what can I say, I couldn’t help myself!

6.  Holiday Decorations!  I blogged my holiday decor but the tree was not up yet so here is a photo of my pretty tree, I’ll have to take another tonight when it is pretty and glowy and add to this post.  I admit that it looks better when David hangs the lights but I gave it my best.

Fraser fir christmas tree with decorations

7. Christmas Carols!  I love singing Christmas songs at church and listening to Christmas music at home.  My favorite song is O Holy Night, I love that song.  It is so beautiful!  Every year my Mom will sing us our favorite carol on Christmas Eve before we went to bed, even now as an adult she will call and sing to us.  I always pick O Holy Night and now that I’m married and not living at home I cry when she sings it to me, I’m not sure if I just miss her or just the tradition of it all moves me to tears.  It is a tradition that I would like to carry on with my kids someday but I have a terrible singing voice so they might object 🙂

8. Legos!  Ok that may seem like it doesn’t fit but it does I promise!  I don’t remember what year it started but I remember my Mom saying that my Dad went out on his own to pick out a toy for me and my sister that was just from him.  Typically my Mom did all the shopping but he wanted to make sure we had a toy to play with that was from him.  It grew into a tradition that no matter how old you are you still get a toy for Christmas.  I love this tradition, just because I’m adult doesn’t mean I don’t want something to play with Christmas morning 🙂  The second Christmas David and I were together I got him legos as his toy and we spent all day at my parents house putting together his lego toy and quite a few of my brothers too!  After that it became tradition to give each other legos and spend time Christmas day putting them together.  We have a closet full of lego pieces now and the only time we play with them is Christmas day 🙂  We’ve talked about going big and getting the giant Eiffel Tower set but right now we stick to smaller scale stuff.  So for me legos are an important part of the holiday season and bring back a flood of happy memories!

9. Wrapping Presents!  So my sister Michelle can attest to this, my Dad never wraps presents he always drops them off for me to wrap 🙂  Oh and he always waits till Christmas Eve to shop so I would end up staying up till at least 1am to finish wrapping his gifts.  I even remember him dropping off a ton of presents at David’s townhouse when we first started dating so I could wrap them.  I love wrapping presents so it was never a big deal, it was just funny 🙂  This year I’m the one waiting till Christmas Eve to wrap presents, somehow my Dad wore off on me!

10. Holiday Food!  So Christmas is the time of year we always got a Honey Baked Ham and I made sure to pre-order ours this year.  We had traditional food at my parents house over the years like sweet potatoes with marshmallows, candied apples, deviled eggs and pumpkin pie.  When I met David though he took holiday food up to a whole new level, this year I will be preparing the traditional sweet potato casserole and Naomi’s baked mac and cheese.  These are two things that everyone begs me for the recipes to.  I’m very traditional though and always follow the recipe, David is the adventurous cook in this family.  I did look up a recipe for Paula Dean’s red velvet cake with coconut flakes so I’m going to try that out this year and see if it becomes a hit!  Wish me luck 🙂

11. Holiday Movies!  I love Scrooged with Bill Murray and A Very Brady Christmas!  What can I say I have low standards 😉  Don’t judge!  I’m also a fan of Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life, see I can appreciate the classics!  This year I got to see Santa Clause 3 and I was pretty invested when Jack Frost took Santa’s coat, I’m not gonna lie.

12. Christmas Eve!  I think I’ve talked before about how to me Christmas Eve is the pinnacle of the season for me.  To me the holiday season represents family and friends and time spent together in fellowship.  As a kid it was of course about the presents but the things I remember most are not opening presents Christmas morning but spending time with my family on Christmas Eve and the traditions that went along with it.  Traditions that I plan to continue for my family as the years go by.  Christmas Eve church service that ends with candlelight singing of Silent Night next to my grandparents, dinner at my house where it is loud and everyone leaves with a stuffed belly, the ringing of the sleigh bells signaling that everyone better get home because Santa is on his way.  Sitting on the couch with my husband with all the lights off except the tree and just enjoying the moment of quiet and peace.

Hate It!

1.  There is only one thing I hate this Holiday season and that is not being able to share it with David, I’m proud of my husband to be serving overseas this holiday but I miss him even more right now.

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