Harper had a sleepover at Nana and Dziatku's with her Aunt Meaghan (who is visiting for the holidays), allowing Matt and I a chance to get away for dinner and a movie. We saw National Treasure 2 and it was a lot of fun -- thoroughly enjoyable.
Tonight, I'd hoped to post a video of Harper singing "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," which is adorable, but alas our video camera does not want to release that video to the computer for some reason. And we are having USB issues -- bleh! However instead of getting too frustrated about it, would you settle for a holiday tour of our home?
The decorations Harper helped to make. The middle kitchen window has become a sort of bulletin board.
Snowmen along the mantle, which does have a wreath above it too, albeit one far too small for the space.
Our stockings, which my mother made for us. I have two now, my original is at my parents' house. I was so sad at the thought of them hanging my brother and sister's stockings, but not mine, that my mom made me a new one for when I got married and had my own home with Matt. Now that's love. Somewhere she's got a stocking to start for the baby. Oh, our Christmas CDs are there, too!
The other end table holds a Christmas candle, my (new!) holiday coasters, a snowman dish, and Harper's first picture with Santa.
Our Willow Tree Nativity set sits in a very holy place atop the television. . . and please ignore the fact that there's a copy of Knocked Up resting underneath it. (At least we had the sense not to set it next to the angel!)
The Christmas books! This basket might be my favorite of all the holiday items we pull out each year. When I was little my parents hid the Christmas books because I wanted them to be read over and over all year long. In hiding them from me, they inadvertently started a new tradition. I always knew Christmas was getting close when those books came down from the high shelf in the closet. I'll put them away the first week of January and they'll stay packed up until we decorate next year.
Of course it isn't a holiday without Christmas movies. One of these years we'll have to invest in our favorites on DVD because these tapes are getting old. Two of my favorites, sadly, cannot be found on DVD. :-(
This is the very fun Christmas countdown tree my sister, Shannon, gave Harper when she was one year old. The ornaments have little magnets in them and you add one to the tree each day (or three or four at a time, when you forget for a few days). Then you press the star on top to hear a zippy rendition of "Jingle Bells." I know Harper will have fond memories of this tree.
The cheap-o star-topper we've had since getting married. I love it. Look how pretty the light is on the ceiling.
A Willow Tree Angel ornament. (At this very moment the identity of the person who gave this to us is escaping me.)
A Mary Englebreit ornament my sister sent me about seven years ago. Probably from the store at the Mall of America, near where Shannon attended college.
Our skinny, well-loved, Christmas tree, which is looking a little crooked up top this year. I love the Christmas tree lights so much, I like to close the blinds and leave them on all day. There are a lot of lights on the tree!
So, there you have it, a tour of our holiday mishmash. Professional decorating it isn't, but most of the items I put out each year I associate with a special person or event. The decorations make me happy and I have a hard time doing anything other than just sitting on the couch in front of that tree in the evening. Hope you are feeling warm and festive, wherever you are!