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!

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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!

Christmas, Decorating

Hurry it up, Thanksgiving. I’m ready for Christmas.

If you’re like me, in the last few weeks you’ve been wondering where the hell this year went. I could swear it was just 100 degrees out and we were sweating.

Now the trees are bare, we build a fire every night, and the holidays are knocking on my door.

And, to make things even MORE fun, this year there are only 27 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

That’s only 3 weekends to prepare for Christmas: tree getting, house decorating, present buying, holiday meal planning. How is a girl supposed to get everything done and have time for a holiday manicure?

And while I like Thanksgiving – we host every year which is fun, though I could do without the turkey – I’d jump right into full-blown Christmas mode and trade my turkeys for trees if I didn’t think my Thanksgiving guests would be confused by the holiday mash-up.

My holiday worlds are colliding; on Sunday I started my Christmas shopping and made a Thanksgiving menu in the same afternoon. The season says pumpkin but my heart says gingerbread.

Because of how late Thanksgiving is this year, that long weekend is going to be jam-packed with all things Christmas (sorry, Thanksgiving; you’ll still get your one day).

So here’s the game plan on the big holiday switcheroo:

Thursday, November 28th: Thanksgiving! Turkey! Pumpkins! Gourds!

Friday, November 29th (aka: Black Friday): SEE YA, Thanksgiving! All Thanksgiving decor gets packed up, Christmas decor gets brought upstairs and the Christmas trees (yes, trees plural) are purchased!

Last year’s decor prep:

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There are about 20 holiday bins in our basement. When putting it all away last year, I tried to label everything to make it easier on myself this year:

Saturday, November 30th: decorate, decorate, decorate!

Last year I was pretty proud of my red tractor sideboard:

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And the mantel:

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Sunday, December 1st-24th: FULL BLOWN CHRISTMAS MODE. Shopping. More shopping. Planning. Santa visit. Wrapping. Hosting. Last-minute shopping. More hosting.

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in the garage shame-listening to Christmas songs on Sirius in the car.