Happy Advent!

Lovely.As can be imagined, I have been so busy that the holiday decorations simply had not happened yet. The holidays have always been a wonderful time for me but this year just looked bleak. Add to that my stupid new curtains. After three years, I finally ordered custom drapes for the living room. It took four months, but they arrived and the decorators hung them for me. In the photo to the left, you can see that they don’t…meet…in the middle. Groan. How can I decorate a tree in front of a window where I may have to take the drapes down? Grrr. Humbug. So I asked my mom to help me decorate and play with Ainsley while Carlton and my dad went to a ball game.

Mommy, stop taking my picture!(side note, thought train derailed) Ainsley’s hair has been much calmer lately, until she fell asleep right after her shower. Rock-adoo, cockatoo! The look on her face only adds to the overall effect.

Due to the weather, my sister and her family camped at our house. As we played with babies, my brother, out for some sneaky holiday shopping, decided to stop to see us. I decorated the tree listening to carols and chatting with my siblings and mom. It was warm and happy and I enjoyed putting up the tree for once! I usually do it alone (by choice). They weren’t actually helping me, but the chatting made it so enjoyable. The best moment might have been when my brother decided to help by throwing ornaments at the tree and that was where they had to stay. It was hilarious. That poor little reindeer looks like…well, it looks like it hit the tree at high speed. Splat!

I tried to explain to my siblings (one looked at me like I was nuts) that having all the kids there made the house feel alive. It was so great to me. It looked like the floor had spewed a bunch of toys and I didn’t care. I love having family and friends around.

Awww.Sunday was calmer and quieter. I missed all the commotion. Here’s Ainsley in her hand-me-down clothes (Colts games means she wears blue!), sucking her thumb in her sleep. It was so quiet that she was asleep in the foyer.

Thanks to Amy for the meme- I love lazy blogging!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? It used to always be beautiful coordinated paper and bows. Now I reuse gift bags or don’t wrap at all (greener that way).
2. Real tree or Artificial? I have only had live trees when my parents were cutting the volunteer trees in their yard. My artificial tree is tall and thin, and I spent two solid days stringing thousands of lights on it the first year I bought it, in 1999. I’ve kept the strands on it every year and it makes life a lot easier.
3. When do you put up the tree? I always try for the weekend of the beginning of Advent, but it’s usually behind schedule.
4. When do you take the tree down? Christmas doesn’t end on Christmas day! The celebration after the day is when the true meaning is discussed, not just presents.
5. Do you like eggnog? I adore it. I like the stuff you buy, but even more, the homemade “Crème Noel” that my husband makes. One year, we got high-tech and tried to use my beer chiller to chill it. That custard was not as thick! Food science at work. Anyway, a little nutmeg on top and it’s the best eggnog in the world.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I honestly don’t know.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Definitely. I truly believe that this season is to remind us of the whole world preparing for a savior.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My father-in-law.
9. Easiest person to buy for? My brother. He enjoys anything, as long as it’s thoughtful.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Neither!
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? It was a White Elephant gift, but it was a pair of used, rabbit fur earmuffs. Gross.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? None. I think that I might finally watch A Christmas Story just to stop people from saying “you haven’t seen that yet??”
13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, but only if the new recipient would really love the gift.
14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Egg nog and my mom’s wreath cookies.
15. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear. Though I may have one small colored light tree for the kids.
16. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night. When sung well, my eyes well with tears at the thought of what it must have been like.
17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel. Ugh. I love the visits, but wish the family were closer.
18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Only if I sing the Rudolph song, and even then I sometimes say “Donner” twice.
19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We used to open one gift on Christmas Eve, and it was always our Christmas pajamas. Lately it’s just whatever gift my parents want us to have that night. It’s so fun to sit around and chat after Mass, just being together.
20. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The fact that so much of the real meaning is lost. I went to the mall for the first time in ages and was assaulted by a bunch of junky gifts by retailers. Sad.
21. Favorite ornament theme or color? My parents started me on a tradition of one ornament per year. I now have Carlton’s, too, so we have a special tree for our kid ornaments and Ainsley’s first ornament.
22. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Sort of all year. I am not a big shopper; I’d rather give/receive less and spend more time cooking and being together.
23. What do you want for Christmas this year? Not much, though the length of my Amazon list begs to differ!
24. Angel or star on top of tree? Angel. The one on the big tree at my house is very well-coordinated with the ribbons/ornaments.
25. What do/did you leave for Santa? We left cookies and milk, and often letters. My family and I had a debate about Santa this weekend. I’m more in favor about telling my kid about the wonderful tradition of Santa, but not pretending that he’s real. Obviously, in a family as traditional as mine, that causes raised eyebrows. But that’s OK. I’ve always been the weird one anyway.

4 thoughts on “Happy Advent!

  1. Well, your answers make mine seem cheap and consumerist! 🙂 I’m glad you have found a reason for the season. For me, it’s more about family and memories. I wish for all creatures a peaceful time and meaningful moments, whatever everyone’s differences!

  2. Thanks for the comment in my blog.

    Earth Balance is simply the name brand of a margerine.

    I use it specifically because it’s a vegan margerine that has no animal products (almost all other margerines contain whey or casien – dairy products).

    You have a lovely blog, I’ll be back to check it out…

  3. Amy- thanks for the nice comment! I always feel like: if people as different as you and I are can be such good friends, there’s hope for all the world. Corny, yes, but I really feel that way. I like learning from your perspectives.

    Tofu Mom- thanks for the tip on the margarine. I love your easy but elegant recipes!

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