Tag Archives: ornaments

Front Of The Line

This past Sunday we went to the early mass and then decided it was a good day to go and see Santa.

Yes, we are that family that visits Mr. Claus before Thanksgiving.

But, please hear me out, I don’t put up any Christmas decorations and we don’t get our tree until the weekend after Thanksgiving. I just like to visit Santa at the mall before the crazy crowds hit and for lack of a better term, “get it out of the way”. I am also a creature of tradition when it comes to our pictures with Santa. We have been going to a Westfield mall to sit on his lap for the past 8 years. I cannot and will not break that cycle. I like to display the timeline of pictures every year during the holidays and I love that they are all from generally the same place {if you’ve seen one Westfield mall, you’ve seen ’em all} ~ obsessive compulsive, I know.

There was a mix up with the mall website and Santa and his elves….website said 11:00am and Santa had noon on his schedule. We were in line minutes before 11:00 and when it hit quarter after, I called the concierge and complained. She sounded surprised and got someone on it. At 11:30, Santa’s helpers casually strolled in and by this time several kids and their parents had lined up anxiously awaiting the man in red. They explained to us that they weren’t supposed to open until noon. UGH! We were not going to lose our front of the line privileges, so we waited.

I present to you this year’s adorable photo…

I went through their closets a week before and plucked these out instead of buying anything new this year.

Red and black plaid in her closet.

Red and black plaid in his closet.



We also have a tradition where we get an annual family ornament and the kids choose one and have it personalized with their name and the year. This way, when they are grown up and out on their own {don’t want to think about it} they will have a collection of ornaments from throughout the years to hang on their trees and be a reminder of childhood Christmases.

This year I {made} them both get soccer related ones since I like to try to have them pick something reminiscent of the past 12 months. Sometimes I cave and let them choose, but this time I put my foot down and they didn’t seem to mind since they both loved their first season of AYSO.

{photos of their ornaments to come}

Here is 2012’s glitterrific choice…


Even though we were eagerly in front of the line six weeks early, we still haven’t forgotten about Thanksgiving!

The turkey is in the brine, the pantry and ‘fridge are filled with side dish ingredients, the table is NOT set, but it will get there and the wine is chilling.

A very Blessed Thanksgiving from our family to yours.


We Knocked Santa Out

We went to the local Westfield mall this afternoon and dropped $27 and change for our annual picture with Mr. Claus.

This is one tradition that I just can’t stray from. We have gone to a Westfield mall every year since 2005 to visit Santa…they only {BELIEVE} for so long and as long as they do, we will do it the Westfield way. We have the last six years framed and display them up the stairwell each year. Our 2011 shot will be placed in a special frame on the mantel and then join the others up the stairs next year. I love to see how they have changed and grown each year…

We also picked up our annual personalized ornaments today. Again, another tradition that I just can’t give up. The {goal} is to have the kids get one that signifies something that they accomplished over the year ~ I had visions of a baseball one for Holden for his first year of t-ball and possibly a nice cross for Elliott to remember her first year of religious education classes {CCD}. Holden spotted a soldier in camouflage and Elliott fell in love with a cheerleader in a purple and white uniform….so that is what we walked away with. I guess you can only make certain decisions for your littles for so long.

It seems each year the kiosk changes up the company that makes the ornaments because the one I had my heart set on for the family from last year wasn’t there, but found one similar. I plan on doing another {tour de tannenbaum} so I will give you a peek at this year’s ornaments then.

 Knocking stuff out as it presents itself. I’d rather get it done early than wait until it’s too late and not get it done at all. Next weekend we’re hoping to get {the shot} for our Christmas cards.

So, what have you checked off your holiday list so far? Please tell me I’m not the only crazy one…..

Traditional Or Trendy?

As I am here putting certain things away and exchanging them for all things Christmas, I am noticing that I am extremely traditional when it comes to our holiday decor.

Lots and lots of red and green. Oh, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I do notice that I also LOVE holiday decor that steps out of the box…a themed tree, choosing a non-traditional color scheme and carrying that throughout the house, simplicity when it comes to decorating or completely over the top.

I am attracted to it all ~ tastefully speaking, of course!

But, our home is traditional…and I wouldn’t change it at all. A lot of our things have been passed down from generations, special gifts from family or friends or things that I have carefully chosen or kept throughout the years to bedazzle our nest during this magical time.

This is not to say that maybe when the kids are older and I have a little more time {and money}, I most likely will step out and dabble in something new. Maybe our traditional tree in the living room and a special themed tree elsewhere…choosing yellow, orange or lime green and building our decor from there.

There are literally a gazillion magazine spreads that I adore ~ here are just a few:

{all gorgeous images via}

LOVE the grouping of three skinny trees!

I’ll just “Keep Calm and Dream On”.

Speaking of “Keeping Calm”, check out what I made here:

I just need to figure out how to insert the candy cane image.

And speaking of tradition, nothing is more indicative of the holidays as peppermint!

Here are some of my current faves:

…and I haven’t picked these up yet, but you can bet they’re on the list!


How do YOU decorate for the holidays?


Skating into the holidays…

…one tradition at a time.

Turkey & cranberries, mashed potatoes & gravy, sweet potatoes & marshmallows, green beans & fried onions and apple crumb pie & whipped cream have all been consumed.

Sat in front of the fireplace sipping coffee and admiring the holiday decor in this month’s Coastal Living {drool} and jotting down oodles of festive recipes and beverages.

Annual family ornaments have been purchased.

And, yes, Santa has been visited……TWICE!

We’ve already had SO much fun and it’s all just started.

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.


I’ve learned that if you don’t scurry, take it all in early and enjoy EVERY minute, it’s gone.

Not gonna let that happen.

‘Tis the season!