Christmas, Decorating, Elf on the Shelf, Life, NaBloPoMo

November Blog Wrap Up

Well, I (sort of) made it: 30 posts in 30 days (well, more like 27 posts in 30 days, but who’s counting???)

So on this very last day, I leave you with a summary of the month, that didn’t make the blog.

The Elf Is Back on the Shelf

He arrived the Sunday after Thanksgiving and has already been into lots of mischief. I have a love/hate relationship with this Elf. I love being creative and making him do fun things every day, however, I hate when my “Move Elf” alarm goes off every night (and occasionally after I’ve fallen asleep on the couch!). One BIG benefit of the Elf is that Little Mister pops out of bed each morning to look for him (instead of waxing on each morning for 20 minutes how it’s not fair that he has to get up and go to school), and is dressed, fed, and teeth brushed 20 minutes before we need to leave for school.

I leave with this Elf Inspo from years past (our elf was masked in 2020 because, well, COVID):

We Decorated for Christmas

In lieu of sharing my entire living room Winter Wonderland, I leave you with one of my favorite nooks: My Ode to Boston.

I Have Completely Abandoned Any Thoughts of Eating Healthy

Who wants salad when it gets cold? Not this girl. And who can stay on track with so many reasons to have a cocktail, the multitude of cheeseboards I’ll encounter, and the ease of ordering take out instead of cooking because truly, online shopping is exhausting.

This is my favorite fried chicken sandwich from Mikro Depot, who also happens to have the very best french fries in the universe.

I mean, COME ON.

We Have Officially Become a White Board Family

I never imagined I’d succumb to the white board, let alone hang it on my refrigerator; but, here we are. Even with one kid and barely any type of sports or extra curricular activities, our white board is filled with appointments, reminders to return library books, and notes when we are eating the school lunch (LOVE the days I don’t have to make a lunch). My favorite part of the white board is when it’s gleaming – all empty and clean – and awaiting it’s monthly mark up.

I’m the Note in the Lunchbox Mom

It’s me, the Mom putting notes in his lunchbox or snack bag every day. Sometimes I wish him a good day, sometimes I draw a silly picture, and other times, I make Mom jokes:

Made that one up myself!

I Tried to Enjoy the Small Things

Whether it was reading an extra book in bed with Little Mister (and not writing a blog post for the night), or keeping the dogs outside a little extra on the morning walk to enjoy the sunrise, I tried to be present and in the moment. I think that’s my New Year’s resolution this year: be more present. Make more time for what’s important. And to clean out the hall closet.

This beautiful scene is literally in my backyard.

If you read even one of these posts this month, I hope you laughed a little, found a new favorite thing for yourself, or maybe tried a new recipe. Cheers to the end of blog month – and best wishes for a happy holiday season!

Christmas, favorite things, NaBloPoMo, shopping

2021 kk’s Favorite Things

In years past, my Favorite Things list was sparkly, colorful and fun! After the last two years of working at home, entertaining ourselves at home and not really leaving home, my Favorite Things have become a little more…practical for life at home.

It seems I could also call this edition of Favorite Things: “L.L. Bean, Take all My Money” or “Cozy Clothes That Hide Muffin Tops”.

All photos are from retailers’ websites.

L.L. Bean Sweater Fleece Coat

This Sweater Fleece Coat may look familiar as being on last year’s list because it WAS. And I LOVE IT SO MUCH that I want another one, this time in gray. It is warm, the perfect length to wear with leggings, and doubles as a coat on not-too-freezing days or afternoons by the fire pit. BONUS: it comes in Petite!

L.L. Bean Scotch Plaid Flannel Hoodie

We all need to channel our inner Eddie Vedder. I love the pattern on this plaid, more ladylike than lumberjack. And I am a big fan of the full zip…plus it has pockets!

L.L. Bean PrimaLoft Packaway Hooded Jacket

This is the type of jacket I’m always looking to put on, but I don’t yet own. Lightweight yet warm, and easy jacket to wear walking the dogs or running errands. I love this Foggy Blue color – and so does everyone else, apparently – since it’s backordered until February!

L.L. Bean Stretch RipStop Pull On Fleece Lined Pants

Fleece-lined pants. That is all.

Ok, enough L.L. Bean…

Cuddl Duds® Flannel Sheets

Is there anything worse than climbing into a bed with cold sheets in the winter??? I LOVE flannel sheets. Pair them with my electric blanket and I am in heaven. I have a problem with buying only gray clothing, so of course I love this gray plaid pattern. Bonus: these sheets are crazy on sale with Black Friday deals this weekend.

LOFT Relaxed Sweater

The other day I went to put on a sweater and I realized that I only have like 2 sweaters. It’s hard to find a warm sweater that isn’t so thick it makes you look like the Michelin Man. This sweater is thin enough to not add bulk, and loose enough to wear something underneath if it’s really cold. I love the soft blue color.

LOFT Stitchy Scarf

Yes, I am going to knit my own scarf; however, in the meantime, I need to keep my neck warm! I already have this scarf in the light pink color and it is so soft and warm that I put it on to go out and ended up wearing it inside and all day. You will not be disappointed.

Spanx Velvet Leggings

Spanx has the best leggings. I love my camo pair. These velvet leggings are a little dressier. They used to come in a beautiful cranberry color but it has already sold out! But you can’t go wrong with classic black. These tend to run small, I usually size up!

Rothy’s Loafer in Camo

I have two pairs of Rothy’s (both sneakers) and I am in love with them. You will not find a more comfortable shoe, especially one you can wear without any socks. The loafer is a little dressier, and not only am I a sucker for camo, but check out that orange stripe on the back. Perfect all around.

Mer-Sea Catalina Sweater

I already have this sweater in 2 colors, but honestly, I love it so much I’d take a third! It’s lightweight and you could wear it anywhere. It’s great for traveling because it comfortable and roomy. And today (Saturday) is the last day of the Black Friday sale where it’s 30% off! Only time a year it goes on sale!

No matter how you shop – in person or online – be safe and have fun! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Christmas, cooking, Decorating, Elf on the Shelf, Entertaining, NaBloPoMo, thanksgiving

Why Am I So Behind This Year?

Yesterday, a family member asked me what they could bring to Thanksgiving. My first thought was like, ‘I’m not even thinking about Thanksgiving yet,’ and then my second thought was, ‘Wait…Thanksgiving is next week?’

Next week!

Last year at this time, the house was already decorated for Christmas, but last year was “Because, COVID” so pretty much anything was acceptable. This year, Mr. KK has given me the firm “not until after Thanksgiving” rule for Christmas decorating. So I patiently wait until Black Friday to change over our house…

Do I feel so behind this year because last year I was so ahead of the game? Did not leaving the house and having zero social life mean that I was able to kick start the holiday season? I feel like I had more gifts bought, more meals planned, more holly jolly going on.

Next weekend our little elf on a shelf arrives, his annual journey down from the North Pole, the weekend after Thanksgiving, with a box filled with goodies to kick off the holiday season: Christmas jammies, a new Christmas book, and a Christmas ornament. And, of course, the start of Elf Shenanigans for the season.

And don’t get me started on holiday shopping. I have about 3 gifts purchased, and zero ideas for everyone else.

It’s not only the feeling of being behind on the holidays, it’s the feeling of being behind on life in general. Was I always trying to juggle this much? Did I always feel this overwhelmed? Was preparing dinner every night this much of a dreaded task? (Likely, yes.) When did we start wearing all of these clothes that needed washing? How are we dirtying so many dishes? Why is the countertop constantly covered in piles of mail and ‘stuff’? And why can I never find the time to clean up/put away/wash anything?

If I was waking up early to overthink my life before, it’s in overdrive now. Mentally making lists for gifts, recipe planning for holidays, thinking through an email to send for work, remembering to send in Little Mister’s library book on Tuesdays, and his homework on Fridays.

It’s apparently time to start thinking about Thanksgiving, a mere week away; appetizers, side dishes, desserts…holiday cocktail! And right after turkey day, turn around and do it all again for Christmas…and including a mischievous elf, a man in a big red suit, and FINALLY…Christmas music.

Christmas, Decorating, Target

Target Has All Of The Things for Christmas Decor

All of the photos here are from Target.

This time of year is when some of my most favorite things convene into a perfect storm of bliss: Christmas, decorating and Target.

Last year (also known as ‘The Year with No Rules’), I decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving because it makes me happy and last year sucked big time. Plus, I was spending so much extra time in my house, I wanted pretty things to look at 24/7.

This year, Mr. KK (sort of) put his foot down that I was to not decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Which I heard as, “You have extra time before you have to decorate, so you should buy more stuff!”

Personally, I can’t wait to start decorating because I am running out of hiding spots places to put my new decor purchases.

If you haven’t been to Target yet this season, prepare yourself. Their holiday offerings are on point.

The minute you walk in you will be greeted by Bullseye’s Playground (formerly known as the Dollar Spot). During the holidays, they have great items like gift bags, gift tags, little houses, greenery…all for $1, $3 and $5. I have a love/hate relationship with Bullseye’s Playground; I love how cheap and cute everything is, and I hate how fickle the inventory is. I stalk Instagram accounts that showcase holiday finds, and I am SO JEALOUS of how awesome Targets are in other areas of the country.

And now, for the good stuff. No matter what your holiday decor theme is (or even if you don’t have one!) there is something for your home at Target. I’m obsessed with little houses, red trucks and bottle brush trees. And Target does NOT disappoint.

My Favorite Target Holiday Decor Finds

Light Up Trees, $10+

Target light up tree

These trees come in 2 sizes, and are a perfect way to light up your decor. I have a similar version of these trees that I put in a bookcase where I don’t have any lighting and it lights them up so nicely! (NOTE: I will also be purchasing these this year!)

4-Pack Bottle Brush Trees in Pink, $5

You can never have too many bottle brush trees, that’s my motto! And I love that there are a few different styles of trees! I can’t wait to add these to my collection.

Metal Truck with Tree, $10 (medium size)

I love, love, love the truck trend. In fact, I have an entire side table dedicated to red holiday trucks in our living room. And only $10 for the medium is a great price!

Metal Bus with Tree, $20 (large size)

If you get the metal truck, you have to get the metal bus to keep it company. How cute is this??

Ceramic Tree in Charcoal Gray, $5

If you have a more modern decor or a darker color palette, this little ceramic tree is perfectly understated! I would mix this with cream and gold decor items of different textures.

Pom Pom Wreath, $20

If you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional wreath, this is it! It’s so colorful it can go in almost any room, and would be especially amazing in a kid’s room or playroom!

Christmas Tree Colorful Tree Skirt, $30

If you get the colorful wreath, you need the colorful tree shirt! If you’re like me and you have more than one Christmas tree, this is a great skirt for the secondary tree, wherever it may be!

Tassel Tree in Teal, $10

Oh my goodness, I need these funky trees! They also come in red, purple and light blue. Going for glamorous, these are your trees!

Modern Wood Tree, $15 (small size)

These sleek, neutral trees will blend into any decor. They would be great on a mantel, mixed with other tree types in a cream and gold color palette.

Antique Table Top Tree in Gold, $20 (large size)

These three dimensional trees are the perfect accent, and would go beautifully with the modern wood tree above.

Ceramic Houses, Assorted prices and sizes

I mentioned my affinity for little houses – wood, metal, ceramic – and this little collection makes a cute little village. The glitter roofs add a special sparkle.

Paper Decorative House, $10

I can’t wait to add this sweet house to my paper house collection for the top of our living room built ins. Best part is they light up!

Trio of Winter Birds, $10

I have a few of these birds (the Fall version is out in my bookcase right now!) for Christmas but I love the red and pink outfits on these three. I’m sure I could fit a few more birdies into the decor…

Faux Fur Wreath, $15

Glam, glam, glam! Who doesn’t need a feather wreath in their lives??? Honestly, this could stay up year round!

Metal House Stocking Holders, $30 (4 pack)

How cute are these?? If you have a little house theme, these are the perfect addition to your mantel.

There you have it, all of my Target Christmas favorites. Stores have had limited stock, but everything is online! For your late night/early morning shopping!

Christmas, NaBloPoMo

How to Buy a Christmas Tree

Every year we go out on the weekend after Thanksgiving to get our tree. And this year, since we decorated the house so early, it was hard to wait until after the turkey was cooked to bring home that Frasier fir. But even I knew that getting a tree earlier than Thanksgiving was a recipe for a dried out tree disaster.

This year, because it’s 2020 and nothing is remotely normal, it was almost 60 degrees on the day we went out for the tree. That’s about 30 degrees warmer than normal. Little Mister, who is a creature of habit and Type A personalty, insisted on wearing a winter hat (and one that was way too small) because he wears a hat to get the tree every year. I tried to explain global warming to him, and that it was too hot for a hat, but he insisted on wearing it and then complaining to me that he was sweating. Kids are awesome.

We went to our usual tree place, which is actually a local produce store that gets a shipment of precut trees each year that are fresh, well-shaped and reasonably priced. Because even though I love Christmas, I won’t spend a fortune on a tree. (Also, we usually get more than one tree so I need to be smart about my tree dollars). And I will not be trudging out into a field to cut down my own tree because I’ve been there and done that, and for me it’s completely overrated.

Here are the steps to getting a Christmas tree, according to KK:

  1. Get a real tree. I know artificial trees are a better financial investment in the long run, and there’s no mess, etc. But a fake tree – no matter how expensive – will never be mistaken for a real tree. Real trees are just imperfect enough. Plus, no scented candle can replicate the spicy piney smell of a real tree in your home.
  2. Be picky. Years ago the family joke was how long my mother would take to pick our her Christmas tree. She would evaluate at least 20-30 trees before deciding. I’m picky also, but I can pick out a tree in 10 minutes and be in love with it.
  3. Look at all angles. In most homes, one side of the tree is going to face a wall. Use this to your advantage! Very few trees are 360 degrees of perfection. Wonky branches? Gaping hole hear the top? Funny shape on the left? Put that side to the back. No one will know.
  4. Measure! If it were up to me, we would get a 10 foot tree each year, even though we only have 8 1/2 food ceilings. That’s why Mr. KK comes along, to bring me back to reality. We also use his homemade measuring system, when he stands next to the tree with his arm straight in the air. If the top of the tree and the top of his hand are the same height, the tree will fit in the house. Works every year.
  5. Don’t feel pressured. Some places have workers who want to follow you around and pull out the trees for you to look at. Try and avoid this at all costs. Not only is it awkward picking out your family Christmas tree with a stranger, I am forced to say not-so-nice things about their trees in front of them. (No one wants to hear they have scrawny trees).
  6. Use decorations to your advantage. Lights and strategically-placed ornaments can make or break a tree. Admittedly, some trees are beyond salvation, but twinkly lights and themed ornaments can really go a long way.
  7. Don’t settle! If you don’t find a tree you love, move on. There are a million trees out there, you will find yours.
  8. Be prepared to compromise. I love big, fat trees. Mr. KK likes more tapered, thinner trees. And I feel badly that every year he has to concede to a perfectly fat tree because they are the best trees around.
  9. Make a fresh cut. If you cut down a tree, be sure to bring it home and put it in water right away. If you bring home a tree but you want to let it “settle” outside for a day, that’s fine – just make a fresh cut so that baby will start drinking water once you put it in the stand.
  10. Accept the fact that come December 26th, you will hate your tree. Well, you won’t hate the tree itself (unless it has completely gone the sh*t) but you will hate the idea of your tree, and the fact that you have to take the tree down, put the ornaments away, and clean up. Even for someone who loves Christmas as much as I do, come the day after, I’ve already written the holiday off.

I’d like to say that we got our tree this weekend. However, we did not. After going to two different places, we didn’t find our perfect tree. Plus, at each place, we had tree workers following us and asking if we liked certain trees. I didn’t want to be rude, but when I go shopping for clothes, I don’t have someone following me around asking if I like a certain sweater, and if I don’t why not. Christmas trees are a personal preference, so please, kindly back away.

We’ll be back on the hunt next weekend, I know my perfect tree is out there!

Christmas, NaBloPoMo, shopping

A Whole New Day After Thanksgiving

It used to be, that Black Friday meant kicking off the Christmas season with shopping. I’m not talking about getting in line at 3am for a TV. The one time Mr. KK attempted to leave the house at the crack of dawn for a good price on a TV, he got up and dressed and when he got into the car, it wouldn’t start. So he came back upstairs to bed.

For me, the day after Thanksgiving was simply the start of the Christmas season: Christmas music, Christmas shopping and Christmas decorations. I loved going shopping and seeing everyone carrying bags and smiling. If I’m being honest, about the half the gifts I would buy would be for myself; I would shop with the “one for me, one for them” mantra.

When Mr. KK and were first married, we would make a day of Black Friday. We’d get up early – but not too early – and head to the mall, and then an outdoor shopping center. The whole day would be planned around where we’d go for lunch. So, basically, we’d go for lunch on Black Friday and maybe buy a gift or two in the process.

The first few years after Little Mister was born, we’d bring him with us. We’d strap him into his stroller as we perused Crate and Barrel and West Elm, stopping at the huge kids’ section in Barnes & Noble to feed him and let him play for a bit and stretch his legs.

Eventually, Little Mister reached the age when it was less productive and fun taking him with us on Black Friday. So I started shopping alone or with a friend. It was still all about the feeling of the holiday, and it put me in such a good mood. I still planned the entire day around lunch.

THIS year, however, like everything else in 2020, Black Friday was off. Instead, gifts were bought online. Movies were watched. Pajamas were worn until after lunchtime. Cupcakes were eaten for lunch. Cocktails were had before 5pm. Our Elf arrived.

Masks are worn at the North Pole too!

Our house has been decorated for over a week, so Thanksgiving was a bit of ‘holidays colliding’. This weekend we’ll get the tree, and pray that the puppy doesn’t knock it down, eat the ornaments or pee on it.

The alarm to move the elf has been set, and the season has officially started!

(Perhaps the pajama-cupcake-eating part of Black Friday can become the new tradition, because I can totally get behind that!)

Christmas, Elf on the Shelf, NaBloPoMo

Guess Who’s Coming to Town?

I think we can all agree that this year was lacking in the “awesome” department. And some people may be thinking that the last thing they need right now is the arrival of…The Elf.

Here’s….Jack!

I may be in the minority here, but I’m actually looking forward to the little bastard’s arrival. If nothing else, it will give me something to look forward to at the end of each night: finding a new creative spot for our little Jack to land.

Don’t get me wrong, our elf will be abiding by CDC guidelines, and he will be wearing a mask, and he will keep a respectable distance from Little Mister. I will not be “quarantining” him in a glass jar or box, but instead embracing all of his “elfness”.

Of course this year, we have the added element of BRUNO, king of getting into everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if this puppy took down the tree AND ripped Jack to pieces. Guess Jack will need to stay up high this year.

To me, the Elf is a sign of normalcy. And if there was ever a year that needed normalcy, it’s this one. Our Little Mister is already missing so much in his life – school, friends, going places, etc – that I couldn’t imagine not having his little elf come entertain him.

During the days leading up to Christmas, the Little Mister practically jumps out of bed every morning (score!) and the first thing he does is look for Jack the Elf. After he finds him, he runs to his advent calendar to see what Jack has put inside the little drawer (oh, the advent calendar with the drawers that are just TOO small for most toys!). Little Mister wakes up smiling every day.

In our house, Jack makes his arrival on the day after Thanksgiving. But the surprise is that he can come at any time. Usually there’s a knock at the door, and we find a package on the steps addressed to Little Mister from the North Pole. Inside the box is a note from Jack, a new pair of Christmas pajamas and a Christmas book. And while Little Mister is opening his gift, I sneakily hide Jack somewhere in the house – so he can go and look for him. And how excited is he to find Jack in a place that we’ve been in all day but now he’s there!

Last year Jack had quite the shenanigans…and I’m sure this year will be no different.

So the countdown is on…3 days until the Elf arrives…masked up and ready for Christmas mischief!

Christmas, Gifts, NaBloPoMo, shopping

It’s Here! KK’s Favorite Things 2020

If you asked me 6 months ago what would be on my “favorite things” list, I likely would have told you a strong cocktail and some alone time.

(And, if I’m being honest, I would still take either one of those things, no gift wrap necessary).

But now, I’m in full holiday mode. In fact, today Little Mister and I decorated our house for Christmas. In a text to our family I told them: “The only turkeys you’ll see here on Thanksgiving are the ones ON the table and sitting AROUND the table.”

Christmas, I’m ready for ya!

And while I quickly learned this year that I literally need nothing, it wouldn’t be a month of blog posts without my favorite things. As a family we’ve decided that we’re not doing crazy gifts, so this list isn’t meant to make anyone go out shopping (I’m talking to you Mom and Mother-in-Law!). This is simply me, sharing things that I find comfort in during the craziest year I’ve ever been alive.

KK’s 8 Favorite Gifts Things in 2020

  1. Fuzzy Beanie from Banana Republic

While I have a hat I love (and can pull off), I’d like to branch out a bit. I’m quite particular about hats: they need to fit snugly and not give me a weird-shaped head. This beanie from Banana Republic is a soft cream, and looks like it’s warm as well as fashionable. Also, I like having the option to pop on a hat for unexpected Zoom video calls.

2. Sip by S’well Wildflower Tumbler

Move over, Starbucks! We have perfected the vanilla iced coffee in the KK household! Now, I need a new tumbler to enjoy my tasty concoction in each morning! I love anything by S’well, and this tumbler will not only keep my coffee cool, it will look pretty while I sip from it on my video calls.

3. Feejays

Let’s face it: who wears real pants anymore? Work from home chic plus a cold New England winter means warmth over everything. Feejays are pants AND socks, all in one. Put them on, you’ll never take them off.

4. Rothy’s The Chelsea Sneaker in Black

While I don’t have a pair of Rothy’s, I know from friends that they ridiculously comfortable. And I am in dire need of a new pair of high top black sneakers. And since comfort is the name of the game. these are the perfect solve.

5. LL Bean Sweater Fleece Coat

Warm? Check. Pairs well with leggings? Check. Acceptable for video calls? Check! Sign me up! I don’t imagine I’ll every take this off once I put it on!

6. Braided Apple Watch Band

I got an Apple watch for Mother’s Day this year and it’s the first time I’ve ever committed to wearing a watch. I love it! And this stretchy watch band will add the perfect pop of pink.

7. LL Bean Cozy Pullover

Do you think LL Bean is short for Ladies Love Bean? (LL Cool J joke…anyone?). Because kk LOVES all of their cozy tops. Plus, they come in petite, and beautiful colors like this teal…double win! Plus, thumb holes!

8. Sunbeam Heated Blanket

When I was little, I slept with an electric blanket on my bed. Then, there were stories of electric blankets catching on fire while people slept, and then electric blankets disappeared for a while. So between when I was 8 and right now, I would just a fleece to bed to keep warm. BUT, electric blankets are everywhere again…and one needs to be on my bed, pronto.

Happy holidays!

Christmas, Decorating, Pandemic, shopping, Target

Today, I Busted Out of the House

This year, I’d like to skip right over Thanksgiving and dive antlers first into Christmas. I mentioned this constantly casually to Mr. KK who replied, “It’s not even the middle of November.” Well, seems the Grinch came early this year at least!

It goes without saying that this year is unlike any other year we’ve experienced. I remember being on a neighborhood walk in April and a house was decked out in holiday decor, with 3 different Christmas trees in the windows. Everyone’s mantra is basically, “Because, 2020.” And I’m totally down with that.

As COVID cases continue to rise, schools move to remote learning and states threaten to shut down, I saw my opportunity for one last hurrah before the sh*t really hits the fan. I took the day off from work to run a few errands on a weekday to avoid the crowds. And, in true KK style, I made sure I was at the stores waiting for them to unlock their doors for the day.

After being the envy of the entire country all summer, this is what CT looks like now.

My agenda for the day included Target, Homegoods and TJ Maxx. I broke my Target hiatus in the summer, but I haven’t been to Homegoods or TJ Maxx since before last Christmas. I was looking forward to a day of me, wandering down empty aisles with a highly-sanitized cart.

Before I left the house this morning, Mr. KK lovingly said, ” Have a great day off today! Buy everything you want, but remember that we already don’t have any room for more Christmas stuff in the basement! Love you!”

Talk about a pep talk.

I spent the morning in my glory, wandering aisles and perfecting my anti-social behavior of avoiding all other humans (except for the cleaning aisle at Target, where they were restocking Clorox Wipes; you’d have though they were handing out winning lottery tickets). I wasn’t even there to Christmas shop – as a family we talked about not really going crazy with gifts this year (what do you get for the person who doesn’t leave the house?) – but instead to hoard bottle brush trees and wooden houses from Bullseye’s Playground. Mission accomplished!

You can’t have too many mini trees is my motto!

And, because Mr. KK has so wonderfully reminded me that we didn’t have any storage room for additional Christmas decor, I smartly purchased a nice red bin to store all of my new Christmas! Problem solved!

I spy dog toys!

While it felt good to be out, between my hat, mask, glasses and Airpods, I’ve never been so decorated from the neck up. I got my fix of Christmas Inspo (and a few small gifts) and headed home. I spent the rest of my rainy day off on the couch with Mr. KK, Little Mister, Rocco and Bruno watching a movie. Which was better than any shopping trip.

Christmas, Decorating, NaBloPoMo

Trading Turkeys for Trees

(Second to last day of NaBloPoMo)

FINALLY!

I can stop shame-listening to Christmas music in the car along and blast Burl Ives and Mariah Carey proudly in the house!

The Thanksgiving decorations are down, and I’m ready for the 47 bins of Christmas decor to make their way up from the basement! Today we got our trees, and those will go up in the stands either today or tomorrow. One full day getting acclimated to the house and they can be decorated!

Today on the way to get our trees, Little Mister asked me why I like Christmas so much.

“Is it because Santa comes and you get lots of presents?” he asked me.

“No,” I told him. “It’s because Christmas is magical and it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. And we get to have lots of people over our house all season long to visit us. We make cookies and have parties and stay up late and eat yummy foods.”  And because I get to buy lots of presents for people!

December is by far the busiest and craziest month of the year. Between work and family, there is so much to cram into those 24 precious days: Santa visits, shopping, family parties, work parties, cookie making, Christmas Light spectaculars, decorating, wrapping and…whew!

But I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT.

In our house, Christmas means the music is always playing, the bar’s always stocked, and we have snacks at the ready – because you never know when someone is going to stop by to say hello and have a cup of cheer.

And that includes a drop-in visit from Santa!

IMG_2973
Is there anything more magical for a child than seeing Santa?

Growing up, I remember many years with our artificial out-of-the-box Christmas tree, and bending the branches into shape and trying to cover up the green pole that held the tree together (my how artificial trees have come a long way!). We’d set up our tree in the basement where my playroom was. I have always been an early riser, and I distinctly remember waking up before the sun had come up, begging my parents to get out of bed in the dark to see if Santa came. (Now that I’m a parent, and we tend to go to bed rather late after our Christmas Eve dinner and putting out all of the gifts and filling stockings, I realized that my parents were likely exhausted and hung over when I wanted them to get up. Somehow, I was blessed with a child who prefers sleeping in no matter what day of the year it is).

At some point we started getting real trees, and I remember going to cut down a Christmas tree one year. I feel like that’s someone you feel you need to do once – bundling up and trekking out into a field where every tree literally looks the same and you have no concept of how big of a tree you need (every tree looks small in the forest…and then you bring it into your living room!). And after that year you realize you’re just as happy going to a place that has already cut the trees for you and you can simply browse them like winter coats on the rack at the mall.

As an adult, we are a ‘real tree’ and an artificial tree family. Each year we get two real trees – one for the family room and one for the kitchen – and we have a small white artificial tree that goes in the Little Mister’s playroom.

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There’s decor throughout our main living space, and there’s always a ‘Christmas Cookie’ or ‘Sugared Plums’ candle burning.

I hope the Little Mister continues to love the traditions we’ve started: getting our trees as a family, decorating, ginger bread houses, cooking making with my mom (he’s mostly a cookie taster!) and having family and friends over throughout the month.

No one loves a party more than our Little Mister, who can work a snacks table like it’s his job!

Time to get decorating! Only one more day of NaBloPoMo!