Christmas 2008 come and gone…

All that anticipation and *POOF*, it’s all over already!

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Christmas Holidays are more than half over and this is pretty much the only time I’ve touched a computer! Ahhh, it’s been nice.

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We’ve had a great Holiday so far – lots of family and friends and really good food. Despite beautiful fluffy snow falling half the time, we’ve managed to see just about everyone. These few days now we are bunkering down getting all our chores and “spring” cleaning done (gotta make room for all those new toys!) before New Years Eve festivities and then Hubby going back to work.

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Hopefully I’ll get to catch up on my sleep, too… Ahhhh. That’d be nice.

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On the Fifth day of Christmas Holidays…

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Christmas is a long holiday in our house – especially if we include the “nights before Christmas” full of recitals, baking parties, last days of playgroup, adventures in the snow. This year we count 15 days of non-stop “days of Christmas” with festivities, dinners, crafts, brunches, gift-openings, shopping (Boxing Day, here we come!), friends, family and time with each other before Hubby goes back to work.

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Because Christmas Day itself is crazy between many houses (we have 3-5 stops on Christmas Day alone), none of which are ours, I love that we have created other traditions that do center around our home. Annually we hold a Christmas Eve open house with some friends and family (and some Ma Jongg!) and the girls and I cook up a bunch of fancy appetizers and a turkey to munch on. New Years Eve I make the fanciest meal of the year with souffles, sauces, and courses for Hubby and I. We always start the day with breakfast down at Granville Island (LOVE those Pear/Brown sugar crepes!), then we pick up all our dinner supplies. This year we even have some guests!

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Every year we open our “family” gifts between us over a few days before Christmas, hoping to remember them separately from the chaos of Christmas day’s mass giving. And the past few years we have enjoyed the craziness of Boxing Day with our teenage daughters and all their gift cards. I’m planning next year to incorporate more focus on the birth of Christ through some new traditions.

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Today, on our Fifth day of Christmas Holidays, as we start to see the skies finally clear from snow, we look forward to a relaxing day at home. There is simply too much snow to drive anywhere, so it’s either a taxi, grab a bus or just stay nice and warm inside. Ahhhhh! Sometimes celebrating also means just being together.

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Hope everyone is enjoying their days of Christmas!
Happy Holidays!

Gingerbread – and icing…

Tt got a great little gingerbread kit from Nana so we sat on our “Jammies” day and put it together.

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Oooohhh, yum – icing.

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And candy! Mom never lets us eat candy!

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And voila! (With just a little help from Momma on the icing. You didn’t think Tt did all those beautiful swoops, did ya?).

dsc_7988(Nice bedhead, Boo)

Next year I think I’ll just buy them a vat of icing for them to stick candies in ;-).

Ready for Christmas!

Bring it on!
Well, I’m not COMPLETELY ready, but we’re in good position here. Which is impressive since I pretty much do it all. If I left it up to Hubby to get us ready for Christmas, we’d see almost no one and would just be taking each other shopping on Boxing Day for gifts – as long as we didn’t spend more than $20 each. (He lives in a world where he still thinks you can get jeans for $10 – and not just any jeans, they have to be “just the right ones”).

Christmas Tree – check.

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Big gifts for Kids – done.

Kids gifts for each other – done. (Ya, I mostly do those ones too).

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Christmas Cards – being handed out.
Family photo inside – yep.
Mass family “what-we-did-with-our-year” letter – nah, other than our trip to Italy this summer, which everyone is sick of hearing about, we just weren’t that interesting this year.

merry-cmas-2008(Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Italian) (I hope)

Gifts for neices + nephews – got ’em.

Tell Kid #3 that Christmas is actually about Jesus being born so he could personally save us from sin and that Santa is not “real” (Tt to his little brother: “Don’t you know that Santa is just a story?”) – ya, I did that.

santa(He started to worry that “no Santa” meant “no presents”, so insisted we visit the nearest Santa at a mall right away – see that worried look on his face?)

So, why, then, if I’m so “ready”  is my list of things to do still 17 items long???
Every year we do “homemade” gifts for the Aunts + Uncles. Not that they don’t deserve bought things, but they simply don’t need anything we could possibly buy (unless we could afford cars, houses, or a fresh set of stocks and bonds). Every year these gifts not only take the most thought, but absolutely the most amount of Christmas energy and time. They’re also the only gifts that we really all do together – everyone has some part of it. From our family to you – Merry Christmas, Aunts + Uncles!

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

While decorating our tree this weekend, the girls and I were happy to see many ornaments we’ve made together over the years! We make some together just about every year, plus I still buy each of the Kids a new ornament every Christmas and put their name on it for one day when they have their own tree in their own home. Which may not be long for B… *sniff sniff*. Here are some of the “homemade” ones on our tree this year:

dsc_7916this one’s from a Michael’s kit… we often hit Michaels for ideas each year. these were pretty simple compared to the bead work we’re used to!

dsc_7919speaking of bead work! B made a bunch of these of her own design, made to look like icicles dripping off the tree. so pretty in the light (yes, my photo here is fuzzy…)

dsc_7921we painted these when the girls were younger – and they’ve survived year after year on our tree! another Michael’s crafting moment. what would we do without that place???

dsc_7923ok, so we didn’t make this one – it was given to us a few days ago, but it’s crafty and sparkly and really pretty, so I’m including it anyhow!

dsc_7925this was a difficult one – silky fabric cut into spherical quarters, then pinned with beads all around. the top has a fancy pearl hatpin holding the hanging ribbon together. no idea where I got this – the girls were younger when we made these ones and it was pretty tricky for them.

dsc_7926this was a pretty ceramic ornament A had made – we broke it this year… the photo is posted in memory…

dsc_7927this was an easy one – buy little wreathy things, wrap little ribbons around ’em. fini.

dsc_7928this was last years craft. we had this weird roll-out foamy stuff, then we used Christmas cookie cutters, punched holes and painted ’em. Tt painted this one – can you tell?? we put them on every gift because they were easy to make a lot of, but usually we make some for us and one for each relative’s gift.

a few years ago the girls and I also made a bead string to wrap around the tree. we used the big big beads and threaded them all. one by one. not only was it a lot of work, but we realized at the end it really should have been double-strung, so we ended up going back all the way through with an extra string. they are still in one piece! but for some reason didn’t make it onto our tree this year.

HAPPY CRAFTY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!

Martha Stewart Christmas Crafts
Michael’s Christmas Supplies