Monday, December 5, 2011

'Tis the Season

Christmas is hands down my most favorite time of the year.  I love cold weather and snow.  I love the lights and the smell of Christmas trees.  I love baking cookies and other wintery treats.  I know all of the words to 90% of the Christmas songs out there, much to J's chagrin (thank you satellite radio and your 24/7 Christmas music channels)  And most of all, I love traditions and being with friends and family.  


Last year was J and I's first official Christmas together so I wanted to start it off on the right foot and establish some traditions.  First and foremost was shopping for the tree.  My family has been going to the same green house in South Eastern Michigan for at least the last 20 years to get the tree.  We took a brief reprieve and went the fake route for a couple of years, but have resumed this tradition of driving 45 minutes to get it.  


Being the stickler that I am for tradition, I was determined to find a place that J and I could go that was fun, family friendly, and a place we'd want to bring our kids someday.  So we found Mr. Tree Farm.  There is a petting zoo of goats, reindeer, and a horse and you have the option of purchasing a tree off the lot or going out to cut down your own.  I want to save cutting down the tree until we have little ones in the picture and it's a bit more meaningful.  For now, off of the lot will do:


We started our Friday evening by stopping at Starbucks and getting our usuals: a tall Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate for me and a venti bold coffee for him.  Then we headed on over to Mr. Tree Farm and picked out a 7' gem to take home with us.  


Saturday morning we were off to Cleveland to visit friends so much of the decorating was left to Sunday night.  J is as type A as they come and has commandeered the tree decorating himself.  My "helping" consists of adding one or two bulbs but mostly watching as he spaces out lights, bulbs, and beads.  He does a pretty good job of it if I do say so myself, but just like last year, I'll come home to find him tweaking things ever so slightly:
We have a red and gold theme and add a few sentimental bulbs I received while living in Washington, DC and doing the political thing:


The Vice President's Residence

The White House
The mantel is still a work in progress.  Turns out we didn't have as much Christmas decor between the two of us as I had originally thought so things like stockings, stocking holders, and something to fill that empty glass vase by the candles are still being collected.  But for now:


But rest assured readers, there is inspiration brewing.  What road trip would be complete without this collection?
LHJ came packaged with the Better Homes and Gardens and I'm a sucker for a twofer.


How are your holiday plans coming along?  Is the decorating done?  Do you have traditions that you hold dear?

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