Sunday, December 17, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas...Day Five...Special Time With Special People

Welcome to the last Sunday before Christmas Eve, my friends. I hope today finds you happy, healthy, and filled with Christmas joy. Today I am sharing a few pictures from last night. We had a wonderful evening visiting with some very special people. Christmas parties and get-togethers do not have to be Pinterest Perfect. They can be cozy and simple. They can be games and cake after church and dinner.

Last evening we spent some fun time with my mom, my sister and her husband, and our dear friend Mary. We went to Mass. We attended a delicious Italian dinner our parish hosted. And then we headed home for some games and laughs and some delicious chocolate cake. It was simple. But it filled our hearts with love and joy. Just what Christmas should do.

These ladies are all about selfies!

And games. : )

Peyton used my mother's Christmas Tree cake pans to make this delicious cake for dessert.
And I set out my Christmas dishes...a gift from my grandmother long ago.

Today we will burn Bubbly Pomegranate, and I can already tell I am going to love it. 
It smells of berries and pomegranate.
But mostly it smells like Christmas.

Thanks for visiting, my friends.
Please hop on over to my Madison's and our friend Danielle's blogs and see what they are sharing today. You can find them here and here.

Have a cozy Sunday!
See you tomorrow!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas...Day Four...Delivering Goodies

Hello my friends! Happy Saturday! I hope today finds you warm and cozy and enjoying the preparation for the big day. Or at least...crossing things off your list. : )

Today I am sharing another of our family Christmas traditions...delivering our Christmas goodies to some of our special friends...nothing fancy or expensive, just something to brighten their evening and let them know we love them. This year we put together some hot cocoa treat bags, complete with Rudolph Hot Chocolate, mini marshmallows, candy canes, and Peyton's homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Last night after Steve got home from work, we loaded into the car and drove around town, delivering our treats. The Christmas music was playing and light snow was falling! We had so much fun together driving around looking at all the lights. When we had delivered that last package, we picked up a pizza, headed home, and watched Elf. It was a wonderful Christmas-y evening.

All ready to assemble...

And all ready to go!

Today we are enjoying our All is Bright Yankee candle.
To be honest, it is not one of my favorites.
It is a mix of citrus and musk.
But it sure is pretty!

If you would like to see what my daughter Madison is sharing today, you can visit her here.
And our friend Danielle is sharing her favorite Christmas traditions on her cozy blog here.

If you would like to join in the fun, please do!
And have a cozy day!
See you tomorrow. : )

Friday, December 15, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas ...Day Three...Afternoon Games And Cocoa

Hello my friends! And happy Friday! Today we are continuing our Twelve Days of Christmas series. Today I am sharing a picture of one of our afternoon game and cocoa breaks. We really try to slow down and embrace each and every day of our favorite season. One of the ways we do this is to take a break once or twice a week and play a Christmas game together.

Through the years, we have accumulated several of our favorite games in Christmas editions. Something about that makes them even more fun! Our favorites are Rudolph Monopoly, Scrabble Christmas Edition, and A Christmas Story Yahtzee. We have had those games for quite awhile. And we enjoy them every single year. New this year is The Grinch Christmas Bingo. I found it on Zulily, and we love it.

We usually play in the late afternoon, gathered at the kitchen table. It is just getting dark, the Christmas lights are glowing, and we are together. It is an easy way to slow down and spend time together. We usually have cocoa and cookies to make it even more special. Years from now, I imagine my children saying to each other, "Remember when Mom played Christmas games with us in the afternoon, and made cocoa too?" And that would be good. : )

We burned our third candle from our Twelve Days of Christmas book today, and it was one of my favorites. 

Home for the Holidays smells like Christmas. 
It smells of pine, cinnamon and spice.
I have burned this scent in my Christmas home for years.
As soon as we light it, we know Christmas has arrived.

Thank you for visiting my little space today.
Please hop on over to my daughter Madison's beautiful blog and see what she is doing on her third day in our series. You can find her here.

And I am thrilled our friend Danielle is joining us! You can check out her Twelve Days of Christmas here.

Have a cozy day!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas...Day Two...Christmas Pajamas

Thank you for joining me for Day Two of our Twelve Days of Christmas series! Today I am sharing something that may not be much of a surprise to you if you read here on a regular basis. I am speaking of pajamas. Which, quite honestly, make up a majority of my wardrobe!

One of our family traditions is "surprising" our children every Christmas Eve with new pajamas. It is something my sweet sister-in-law Sally did with her children, and I knew I wanted to do the same when we had our own. I loved the matching Christmas pajamas when my children were small! Eventually, they grew and began to help a bit with suggestions, and yet still acted surprised when we returned from Christmas Eve Mass, and running to their rooms, found their brand new, freshly laundered pajamas folded neatly on their beds. We continue this sweet tradition to this day.

One year, one of the kids asked me why I didn't have new pajamas for Christmas. And I answered honestly. I had never thought about it. As mothers, we think of our children first. Of their happiness before ours. The kids suggested I get my own pair of new pajamas for Christmas. And so I did. And continue to do so every year.

Last year I got myself a pair of Life is Good pajamas.
I liked them so much, I waited for them to go on sale, and bought a second pair!
They hold up well, and are so comfortable.

This year, I found the softest, lightest, coziest flannel pajamas!
They are from Gap. And I love them.
One of my favorite things to do these dark December evenings is to shower and put on my fresh new pajamas, before settling on the couch for a cozy evening.

Speaking of cozy, we are burning our second candle in our Twelve Days of Christmas Book from Yankee Candle. It is a new one for me...Mistletoe.
It smells of mistletoe, pine, and holly.
It is a softer lovely scent that fills our room with Christmas.

Thanks for joining me today, my friends.
If you would like to see what my Madison has in her Twelve Days of Christmas post today, please visit her here.

Have a cozy day!!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas...Day One...Christmas Cards

Well, here we are. Twelve short days until Christmas. How? I don't know, but I am determined to savor each and every moment as we anticipate the joy of Christmas Day. My daughter Madison asked me to join her in a series of posts starting today and continuing through Christmas Eve, in which we would each share a short, simple, festive Christmas favorite. I am excited to start today.

I know technically The Twelve Days of Christmas actually begin on Christmas Day. For the purpose of this series, however, we felt it more fun to begin today. And so I am sharing one of my very favorite Christmas traditions...writing out my Christmas cards.

This year marks the twenty-seventh year I have written out cards for family and friends. I treasure the time I spend at my table, Christmas music playing, mug of hot coffee nearby. I don't think of it as a chore, but rather as an opportunity to slow down and reflect. And to enjoy yet another cup of my vanilla coffee.

Today we begin burning our first candle from our Yankee Candle Twelve Days of Christmas Votive Set. It is Christmas Thyme. And it smells wonderful.

Thanks for visiting with me today. Please hop on over to my Madison's Blog to see what she is posting on her first day of The Twelve Days Of Christmas. And if you would like to join us, please feel free! The more the merrier!!!

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Red Nose, A Magic Hat, Or Several Kringle Elves?

We have many Christmas traditions in our family, including watching our favorite Christmas movies together each and every year. These movies all hold a special place in my heart. I remember watching them myself many years ago. I recall being so excited when we knew they would be coming on television. And we were always ready! Because back then, these precious animated Christmas specials were on once a year! This was long before VCRS or DVDS. If you weren't sitting on the couch in your family room at 8:00 sharp, you were out of luck.

These Christmas movies were a part of my childhood every single year. I can still picture the furniture arranged in our family room and smell the popcorn my mom would make. Even now, when the music begins, and the picture starts, I feel a myriad of emotions from excitement to sadness. Excitement because I can rewatch these special movies and relive the magic with my own children, and sadness because I am no longer that little girl, cozy and content in her house with her family watching her favorite holiday movies.

As I grew, I left those animated favorites behind. I am sure they were buried beneath all the movies, makeup, hairstyles, and drama of a teenager in the 80's. I may have even forgotten some of those special shows that had once defined Christmas for me. Yet, life has a way of coming full circle, doesn't it?

Once I became a mother...and once VCRS were invented...I found these precious movies again. And I rediscovered my love for them. I recall a young Madison totally in love with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. We sat and watched that movie over and over again. And I loved it. I still do! As more babies came, more favorites emerged. Through the years, those babies have changed, but their favorite Christmas movies have not.

Just this.
Rudolph will forever be my favorite Christmas movie.
I love it so.
We have a Rudolph Breakfast every year to begin our Christmas Break.
We have Rudolph Monopoly and Rudolph Memory games.
We have Rudolph plates, mugs and even stockings.
And I even know the words to every single song.
Just sayin'.
Who else chooses Rudolph as her favorite?
My Madison.
She, Steve and I are #TeamRudolph!

 Then there is this guy.
Rhett and Flynn both love Frosty the Snowman.
I am not kidding when I say I remember Flynn watching it over and over again when she was a baby!
Rhett too.
He used to watch it every single day when he was little.
So #TeamFrosty is Rhett and Flynn.

Finally, there is this one.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town is one of the lesser known of these classic Christmas movies.
In fact, when I first watched it with a young Madison, I only vaguely remembered it.
I always knew a song I loved...Put One Foot In Front Of The Other...but had no idea it came from this movie.
I also saw a part of it on DVD that was omitted from the television version so long ago.
Peyton has always adored this movie.
She loves it to this day.
She has a collection of wonderful things that I know she will someday carry on to her own family.
So #TeamKrisKringle is Peyton.

I know there are many, many more amazing Christmas Classics...some of which are very hard to find. Some of our other favorites? The Little Drummer Boy, Jack Frost, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Nestor the Long Eared Donkey, Leprechaun's Christmas Gold, and The First Christmas. 

I can think of few things as special as sharing these pieces of my childhood with my own children at this most magical time of the year. If you would like to start a new tradition with your children or grandchildren, I did find these at both Amazon and Walmart for under $20.00 each.

Have you seen any of our favorites?
And if so...which is your favorite?
We would love to know!!!

Thanks for visiting, my friends.
And thanks for indulging me in my love all things Christmas. : )

Friday, December 8, 2017

Random Photo Friday

I hope you are enjoying these December days, my friends. We are trying to capture as much Christmas joy as we can while keeping our days slow and cozy. Here is a quick look at the past week in our Christmas home.

Flynn and I took selfies while we waited for everyone else to be ready for Mass...

After the weekly on-the-way-to-Mass picture. : )

 Flynn was chosen to light the first candle on the Advent Wreath and she was so honored!
(This is actually a reenactment after Mass, because...reverence.)

Guess what? I won this awesome gift set from my-sweet-as-can-be hairstylist, Jodi!!!!
She had a drawing at Thanksgiving, and I won!

Not only has Jodi given me the best hairstyle I have ever had...she is the nicest young woman ever!
I have known her since she was as young as Flynn, and am so happy that she has followed her dream and now owns and operates her very own salon.
And it is beautiful.

Peyton was a busy baker last week!
She made this delicious jello cake after numerous requests from Rhett. : )

St. Nicolas visited us on his Feast Day...
And his chocolates were delicious!

My niece Nicole sent me this adorable, beautiful sign!
I was so touched because she knows how important cozy is to me.
She is a wonderful young lady who has three of the most precious littles ever.

And lastly, these two are back across the ocean safe and sound. 
They are working and schooling and enjoying all the beauty of Denmark at Christmas.

How will you be spending your December weekend, my friends?
I hope it is happy, cozy, and filled with lots of warm cups of coffee or cocoa.
Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

My Oldest And My Youngest

I love that my children love each other. I love that they are each other's best friends. I love that all of my children have special relationships with each other. The one I am enjoying watching now is the one between my oldest and my youngest.

Madison and Flynn are thirteen years apart. They have a special bond that continues to grow as Flynn gets older. They share a love of fashion, hairstyles and barbies. They also share a love of music and singing. They even text each other everyday.

Mothering is my vocation.
I am so thankful for that.
Being blessed with children when you dream of being a mommy is such a wonderful gift.
Watching those children grow and develop into loving and caring people is an even greater one.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Our Christmas Home 2017

Welcome to our Christmas home! Pour a cup of tea, coffee, or cocoa, grab a cozy throw blanket, and settle in. I'd love to show you around.

The kids' tree in the foyer holds their own ornaments, as well as some of my favorites from years past...

In the den, Steve's tree holds his favorites.


I have new ornaments for the family tree this year.
But I kept the candles I have had for twenty six years. : )

We spend most of our time in the family room, so I like to keep all the Christmas movies, books, and games nearby. 

 Little wooden tables hold special pieces with different themes...

Like these precious little ones Madison brought me from Denmark. 

The kitchen has touches of Christmas sprinkled about...

And across from the kitchen...the coziest spot in our home...

The hearth room is also where our little friend The Brownie lives. : )

Next to the hearth room...
The dining room...

Through the years, I have collected many sweet Santa decorations.
Every time I look at this collection, I smile.
You are never too old to believe in the magic. : )

Something else that makes me smile?
These new Christmas dishes I got this year...

I absolutely love them!
They are so pretty and well made.
And you know where I found them??
If you are looking for some special dishes, check online there.
They are very reasonably priced!

Some other special pieces I keep in my hutch and buffet...
Madison brought me the candle holder from Denmark, and the tins came from Nicolas' sweet mother Kirsten. Each of the past two years, she has sent me some delicious homemade Danish cookies!

Our kitchen table.
The old oak table that our family has gathered around to eat, visit, and play games for years.
So many memories. : )

Christmas touches in our room too...
Just to make cold winter evenings even more cozy. 

Lastly, our little mudroom...
With a reminder that this is indeed the most wonderful time of the year.

Thank you for visiting our Christmas home, my friends.
I would love to stop by for a visit with you!