When I was a kid, my grandparents lived here in Kansas City. At some point my brothers made these ornaments (kits from said grandparents? I should ask my mom.)
A football player in Chiefs colors, and a baseball player in Royals colors. My grandparents moved away from KC in the early 90s, but these ornaments went on our tree every year. Fast forward to 2014 when we moved out here. My mom sent these to us because here we are in KC! Things come full circle sometimes. These grandparents also sent us each an ornament every year (which I LOVED) and between those, ones I made, and others we picked up along the way I had quite a collection of ornaments by the time Brian and I got married.
I admire those picture perfect Christmas trees, where everything matches and nothing is out of place. They seem very grown up. But I will never have that kind of tree, because I want to get out my box of ornaments and get all nostalgic and reminisce about all of them. It’s one of my favorite parts of the season. I’ll refrain from posting pictures of all my ornaments, but I WILL post this one, because: tiny book! Tiny nursery rhymes!
So. What about your tree?
We have a fake tree. This is like, 95% because Brian said we can have a real tree when I want to deal with all the nonsense that comes with a real tree. Because he doesn’t want to. So fake tree for now! You know what I miss about real trees though? Besides the smell. I loooove the smell of a Christmas tree (for now I have Christmas tree smelling candles)
Anyway, what I miss is tinsel. Tinsel is a giant pain. It gets on EVERYTHING, and you find it forever (not unlike glitter) and it shocks you with static electricity if you walk too close to the tree. Still I love it. I feel like a Christmas tree looks FINISHED when it has tinsel on it. But I’m not willing to put tinsel on a tree that has to be stored. Only on a tree that you get to throw out. I feel like nobody uses tinsel anymore. Do they? Is tinsel still a thing? I put up our tree today is why this is on my mind. We have a hodgepodge tree and I LOVE IT. 3 different kinds of lights, no matching ornaments, and completely bottom-heavy on the decorating because the kids helped. It’s the best.
Oh, P.S. I DID manage to get the cranberries & marshmallows on the tree! 3rd time’s a charm!
Something about the Christmas season makes me believe that I’m crafty. I’m not, particularly, but I get it in my head that I should be doing a whole bunch of Fun! Awesome! Christmas crafts with the kids. Last year I picked up some stuff at after-Christmas clearance sales to make ornaments. The clear ball type that you put stuff in. I was so pleased with myself for remembering to put away the craft stuff separate from the Christmas decorations (first time I’ve remembered that.) Anyway, I got all the stuff out last week for some fun ornament making with the kids!
First kind I was planning on having them do were these little kits I bought (uh, a long time ago) that make your ornament light up different colors with an LED light. Fun yeah? Except then I read the directions and turns out you need a soldering iron. Do you have a soldering iron? We do NOT. So next! Next I had little trees & deer & fluff to make winter scenes. But the type of ornaments I bought were the kind where you put stuff in through the top, instead of the kind that come apart into halves. Aaaaaand none of my cute stuff fit through the top. Okay, the fluff did but that’s not really enough for a winter scene. I *DID* manage to get a tiny bottle brush tree through the top (with a lot of shoving) but not with the base on, so then they just fell over. Despite my best efforts with pliers & tweezers & various kind of glue it was all just a hot mess.
In the end the kids filled a some with pompoms and tinsel and glitter. Then Lydia broke a couple, because no craft session is complete without broken stuff. Will this teach me a lesson? Probably not. I’ll still come up with some “great” idea next year, I’m sure.
I don’t do this during the rest of the year! The rest of the year I know my limitations! 😂 But THIS episode of shenanigans won’t even keep me from doing more crafts before Christmas! I still have cranberries and marshmallows to string, since that has gone so well in past years. Or something. Anyway. I plead temporary Christmas insanity. That’s a thing, right?
I remember stringing cranberries and marshmallows for our Christmas tree growing up, and thinking it was SO fun. (I also remember we tried stringing popcorn one year and it was just ridiculously frustrating. Cranberries and marshmallows don’t break into a million pieces when you put a needle through them.) Anyway, this was one tradition I knew I wanted to continue with my kids. Two years ago I decided at least Kalena and Will were old enough to try it. (Have I written about this? Possibly I have. Too lazy to check.) They thought it was fun for about 3 minutes and then left me alone to finish a garland that would be long enough for our tree. Which was fine, except that then I forgot to actually put it ON the tree. (Garland doesn’t go on after the ornaments. That’s the rules.) But I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I hung it on our banister! And Lydia proceeded to eat it every chance she got.
I was undeterred though, and last year I bought the stuff to string cranberries and marshmallows again. The kids had much more stamina last year, and we ended up with a nice garland. Except I inadvertently ruined this project before it even started. For reasons unknown, when I bought the cranberries and brought them home, I put them in the freezer. (Seriously. No idea what I was doing.) So we were stringing FROZEN cranberries, which was fine-ish, but as they thawed they just leaked red juice EVERYWHERE. Fortunately, we realized this before we put it on the tree. But last year’s garland ended up decorating only the inside of the trash can.
Now APPARENTLY I am a glutton for punishment because I bough the stuff to do it again this year! (Turns out I still think it’s fun.) I also bought myself this ornament, for all the happy garland-making memories I have.
Anyway, wish me luck with this year!
I joined a felt ornament swap again this year, set on making some adorable Grinch face ornaments I saw on Pinterest.
Side note, I think the Grinch is a little misunderstood. He just wants a quiet Christmas morning!
I feel ya buddy.
Anyway, I made the ornaments and missed the mailing deadline (Thursday) and went to mail them today, but HEY! It’s Veterns Day! So the post office is closed. I’ll mail them Monday (SORRY JANET!)
But the point is, they turned out pretty cute, right?
We didn’t do a ton of Halloween stuff this year (there are about a million Halloween events we COULD go to) but stuff was extra fun because Lydia actually understood what was going on for the first time. Daniel loves candy, of course, but with full day kindergarten and no naps he is EXHAUSTED by the end of the day, so bedtime is 6 pm. He is OUT by about 3 minutes after that. Do you know when Halloween stuff happens? After 6. So the only thing he did was class parties at school. However, he was adorable as a minion for that.
Too adorable to stand still for pictures, obviously.
Anyway, he’s the only one that goes to bed that early, so the other kids DID do the Halloween things. Brian took them to our church trunk-or-treat, which is where Lydia first discovered the magic of the words “trick-or-treat” and came home THRILLED to show me all her “canny.” She loved it so much, in fact, that she braved neighborhood trick-or-treating with Kalena and Will (and Brian. I was home again with sleeping Daniel) even though it was 28 degrees! Carried her own candy and everything. And OF COURSE all the kids were adorable in their costumes. But pretty soon I’m going to have to throw the rest of the candy away so I QUIT EATING IT ALREADY.
I have boxes (and boxes and boxes) of Christmas decorations. And a limited space to decorate. Also small children who further limit what I can put out and where. Point is, I switch out what I get out year to year. Maybe someday when the kids are older I’ll make our house look like a Christmas store. But not this year!
Anyway. Here’s a couple of favorite things I put out this year. I know they don’t really match (and they kind of make me hate the wall color in the living room) but I love them.
Because how can you not love glittery trees & a light up joy sign?
Now. Show me your favorite decorations!
Growing up we would sometimes string cranberries and marshmallows to put on the Christmas tree. (A couple times we tried to sting popcorn, but that nonsense is HARD.) Anyway! I always thought it was fun, so last year I decided to do it with the kids. Recreate the memories and all that. It was…interesting. I didn’t think about how sticky fresh marshmallows would be and WHOA they are sticky. And then I forgot to put them on the tree before the ornaments so I used them as a garland instead. At least, I used them as a garland for a few days until Lydia ate most of it.
This year I was determined to do better. I opened the marshmallows early so they would get stale! I reminded everyone like a dozen times that the garland needed to go on the tree before ornaments! I had the kids all amped up to do it! And the stringing part did go better. The marshmallows were much easier to string stale, and I made sure not to make the strings too long (another issue we had last year.) But them everything seemed…sticky. The cranberries were dripping juice. EVERYWHERE. Turns out this was my fault. I bought the cranberries early and then put them in the freezer. And thawing cranberries drip juice everywhere! So I learned today! So our beautiful garland is currently outside on our deck where it will probably be eaten by squirrels and/or birds. (I should probably throw it away.)
Anyway. Next year! Third time’s a charm! If I screw things up again next year I probably won’t ever do this again.
Brian smoked our turkey, I made pumpkin pies (with a very messy first attempt at butter crust. Tasted fine. Kind of a disaster to make.) and we had all the delicious sides that Thanksgiving needs. So no cranberry sauce, because nobody needs that. Everything was EXCELLENT, so obviously the big hit of the meal were the pillsbury croissants. Whatever, more leftovers for me! (Will wouldn’t even eat pumpkin pie. That he asked for. Only the whipped cream.)
Now I’m in bed watching Netflix and wondering how soon is too soon to start eating leftovers.
The weather has finally turned cold after a never ending summer. (Seems we basically skipped fall.) I put flannel sheets on the beds today and I’m getting out all the Christmas stuff on Friday. I don’t know that I’ve ever been SO READY for the Christmas season to start.
As always, my mom got the kids each a new ornament! We’ll bust those out on Friday too. For Kalena, a Candyland ornament, because somehow she manages to win every time. (From Hallmark)
For Will, a light up BB8. Because STAR WARS. (Disney store)
For Daniel, a talking Mater, because he has been especially fond of Mater’s Tall Tales on Netflix. He loves trucks. (Hallmark)
And for Lydia, this sweet little snowman, because it makes me think of her loving her bear. (Also Hallmark)
And I got this for myself, because BOOKS! (From Amazon)