Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting in the Holiday Spirit

I love the Christmas season.  So it makes no sense why I procrastinate getting ready for it more and more each year.

As a kid, my parents were always on top of it.  They went all out, indoors and outdoors.  We used to spend the day after Thanksgiving getting everything ready.  My father and brother took care of the outside, and my mom and I took care of the inside.  We put up multiple Christmas trees, mom set up her winter village scene, and we hung garland everywhere we could find room for it.

I always looked forward to the time we spent as a family while getting our house ready... blaring Christmas CDs over the stereo system, looking through all the handmade ornaments that had been made beginning in our preschool years, putting the first fire in the fireplace, and setting up the nativity scene so we could say goodnight to Baby Jesus each night before bed.  The Christmas season at our house was wonderful.

When I went to college, I lost the privilege of decorating the house.  Mostly because my parents wanted it to look festive when I came home for Thanksgiving.  So, by the time I got home, all the work was already done.  I didn't do much of my own decorating during the college years because there just isn't much room to decorate in a dorm room.

Last year, in my first year of adulthood, I contemplated not decorating at all.  I had just started my first job, and had spent all my savings on boring things like furniture, dishes, towels, and classroom supplies.  I didn't leave room in the budget for Christmas decorations.  Thankfully, when my mom came up to go shopping on Black Friday, she generously offered to purchase my first Christmas tree and all the decorations that would go on it.  Furthermore, she offered to stay with me and help me decorate it.

Thanks, Mom.

This year, I decided to be a big girl and decorate all by myself.  I purchased a few new things, and I wanted everything to be ready before my family visited last weekend.

I got a few new things for my table...

I got a few new ornaments...

Dusted off the old star...

And bought all new things for my mantle.

It's still not exactly how I want it to look, but I spent way too much money on decorations.  It's good enough for this year, though, and I'll plan to get some more things next year.

I finally forced myself to wrap the presents that remained under the tree in Target sacks and boxes.  As it turns out, I much prefer the wrapped present look.

When I woke up on Saturday and looked out my window, this is what I saw:

At first, I was not thrilled.  I am notsomuch a winter person, and all I could think about was how the season of bundling up to go outside was upon us.  Worse yet, the season of indoor recess for my 6th graders is upon us.

On second thought, I was kind of excited to see the ground slightly covered in snow.  Elie, my best friend from college, was hosting a Christmas cookie decorating party, and the snowy day made the cookie decorating party seem more festive.

I took no action shots while at Elie's, but I did take pictures of the final products.  I am not very creative, so using frosting to make cookies cute is not a strength of mine, but they turned out OK...

Elie and our friend Claire were much more creative with their cookies:

Claire even made some Husker-themed cookies!

So finally, with the decorations, the presents, the cookies, and the snow, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.  Here's hoping you and yours are enjoying the preparation as much as I am.

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