Jayesel had this awesome idea to do a "show me your Christmas" - I love it because the sad part about this time of year is that we are so busy that we rarely entertain. And if no one comes over, than no one sees our Christmas decorations. And although Keaton's birthday is right after Christmas and his birthday party is shortly thereafter we'll likely always take the tree down before the party to make room for extra tables and general birthday party decor.
So, here's a little peek at our Christmas!
I feel a tad bit guilty admitting this but I'm not too fond of decorating the tree. Wait. Let me back up. I like decorating the tree AFTER the lights and garland are on. Which means, basically, I like to hang ornaments. Thankfully Collin doesn't mind doing the lights and garland so that is his task. This year was fun because Keaton actually got into decorating with us.
You'll notice the finished product (prior to gifts making their way under there) is a little light on lights/garland/ornaments on the bottom half. This has less to do with the kid and more to do with the cat. Although she has never climbed it (thank God!) she does like to bat at anything and everything she can reach. She also likes to ball up my tree skirt and send it skidding half way across the room.
The ornaments are by far my favorite part. Each one tells a story and I love reminiscing as they are unwrapped and find their home nestled in the branches.
This table is in the opposite corner of our Christmas tree in the dining room.
Moving into the living room is our entertainment center which displays all of my Pipka Santas. My mom and I found Pipka on a trip to Door County, Wisconsin and I fell in love with her work.
On that same trip my mom bought me this large Swedish Father Christmas. I had to wait six months to actually receive it, but it was worth the wait. It has since been discontinued and my mom is kicking herself for not buying one for her house.
She has also gotten me the smaller Swedish and Polish Santas. I love pulling these out of the boxes and reading about the different Christmas traditions from our heritage (Me: Sweden, Collin: Poland). On my Pipka wish list is a small German Santa and a large Polish Santa, which has also been discontinued.
While we were pulling out Christmas decorations we decided to also pull out this grapevine tree. My mom made it for me many many years ago. Actually, grapevine trees have become kind of a trademark in my family; my mom has mad them for a number of different people. Ours needs a little help in the decorating department but I think it has found a permanent home next to the fireplace.
This is the Advent calendar we've been using with Keaton. Though I admit it is pretty ugly it's the one that hung in our house growing up, so it has sentimental value. Keaton LOVES to move the mouse and every time we tell him a "little elf has come to visit" (leaving candy, of course) he drops everything and runs to the mouse.
I also added a little holiday cheer to our mud room. Can anyone tell me where I got these trees?
I think my favorite Christmas decoration is our nativity set. Keaton helped me put it up but knows that this is something we do not touch. The other day I heard him fiddling around with it and I yelled from the kitchen "Keaton Bruske" and he came flying around the corner, hands in the air, as if to say, I didn't do it. I hope that when my kids are old and grown just seeing this nativity will bring back fond memories of Christmas.
Our newest decoration this year (which I am so freaking excited about!!) are the boys stockings. Mine and Collin's are still in progress and will be ready for next year - the boys were the ones I was most concerned about. My mom made these and I think she did a terrific job.
My original plan was to buy us all stocking this year. We purposely waited last year because we knew we were pregnant and didn't want to buy something without knowing if it was a boy or a girl. So when I asked Collin a couple of months ago what kind of stockings he'd like he said, why don't you make them? After contemplating it I decided it was a good idea and asked my mom for help. I got the idea to do our initials rather than names from SouleMama on this post. Unfortunately, like many things I asked my mom for help with we spent all of our time sorting through buttons and ran out of time to actually sew the stockings over Thanksgiving, so she took the project home with her.
Although she had to purchase the pattern and the material for the cuff the rest came from her stash. The gray body of the stockings was an old wool skirt and the toe/heels were an old pair of wool pants. The buttons were ones she had accumulated over the years and the lace detail was my Great Grandma's. I could not be happier with the way they turned out and with all the family history that is sewn in them.
After mine and Collin's my mom said she has enough to do one more stocking. When I heard this I started freaking out a little. You mean I can only have one more kid? She assured me we could make a fourth child a "different one." To which I told her No. You can't make one child have a different stocking! My contingency plan is to convert mine and Collin's to kid stockings if need be and make new ones for ourselves. Whew. Huge sigh of relief. So apparently 5 is my ultimate max. Beyond that there is not enough stocking material. Nothing like family planning based on your Christmas decorations.
So! That's our Christmas. I wish I could show you the outside but we're having some technical difficulties with the trees that are in front of our garage, they blew over in the snowstorm and fell out of their pots and well, they aren't really working right now. And our front entryway hasn't been shoveled and heck if I'm tromping out there for pictures. Maybe next year. Hope you enjoyed.