This last Saturday we had our annual Christmas shindig. Usually we try to pack as many holiday activities into one night and we tend to be rather successful at it. This year we had mandatory holiday sweaters (many of which were homemade), cookie decorating, a gingerbread house competition, an un-talent show (think stand up comedy routine and juggling), a white elephant gift exchange (where my husband brought a framed photo of himself), and we ended the night watching It's a Wonderful Life. It was a great way to kick off a long holiday weekend.




 Alright, just a few more snippets of the holiday decor around the house. I opted out of putting lights on the tree this time because of how quickly it seems to dry up the needles. Maybe my observations are inaccurate, but it seems our tree is definitely more green than it has been in previous years. We also don't have a fireplace so we hung our handmade stockings onto a leftover christmas tree branch. I still have about 15 branches left over, so I'm thinking wreaths for friends and maybe a holiday chandelier above the kitchen table? We'll see how crafty I'm feeling this week!



Now I understand that it's not officially winter just yet, but if I have to wear a scarf and mittens, that constitutes as winter-time to me. Here is a short list of the little things I look forward to every winter season.

1 ) Wonderful holiday drinks. I can't end my day without a hot chocolate. Just ask my husband how many times he's had to drive to the local coffee shop or grocery store for hot chocolate and you'll certainly get an eye roll and a head shake. It's embarrassing, but thats what happens around these parts. Let's not forget about the spiced apple cider and eggnog.

2 ) Playing in the snow. I'm sad to report that the last magnificent snowfall here was in 2008 and I'm not really holding out for this year to make my snowy dreams come true. However, this doesn't mean I can't drive an hour out to the mountains for some snowy good times.

3 ) Christmas tree hunting. We went hunting the day after Thanksgiving in the pouring rain. It was almost awful, except that we found the best tree in all the lands. But this is really one of my favorite activities of all the holiday season.

4 ) Getting cozy. I bring out the holiday blankets and borrow some oversized sweaters from the husband. I even sleep with two additional quilts. I just love this season for it's coziness.

5 ) Gift giving. Although I don't give into the commercialization of this holiday all too much, I do like to give useful gift to family and friends. To be honest, I really just love wrapping the gifts.

6 ) Holiday decorating. This is my all-time favorite. I don't go out and purchase obnoxious or flashy home decorations, instead I use leftover branches from our tree for all our additional decor. All of our ornaments are plain glass balls I picked up at Goodwill a couple years back. I really find joy in reusing seasonal decor and getting creative with what I already have on hand.

So what are a few things you look forward to this winter season?

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I'm in pretty serious denial that the month of December is actually here. I mean, come on! Wasn't it just last week that I was complaining about the heat and wearing sandals everywhere? The only thing that is helping me cope with the idea of the year being *this close* to ending is all the celebrating that is sure to go on. Of course I'll do my best to share with you. Look out for a wintery to-do list this week.