If you take a look outside my front door, it doesn’t look like Christmas. More like Spring. The snow that we received last week is gone (with exception to parking lots where there’s mounds of snow) and the temperatures have been above normal (yesterday reached +9C/46F). But that doesn’t mean you can’t get in to the Christmas spirit. Now that my birthday has come and gone, it’s time for us to get in to Christmas mode. Mom and me will be baking our cookies soon, the tree will go up this weekend and I’m going to dig out the outside decorations so we can start turning the light son at night. Typically we wait until after my birthday to put up Christmas stuff… have you noticed that Christmas came super early this year, as early as October?! The Holiday Fireplace is already on my premium cable channels. Too early for that.
Christmas is a big deal for us around here. When I was a kid Christmas gatherings were huge. I mean HUGE. On my dad sides… holy crap, I can’t even count how many of us there were. There were that many. Christmas dinner was usually at my great uncle’s house (my grandma’s brother) and all of us were stuffed in to his basement. The adults had a table and then the kids had the dreaded kids table… that was the only time I didn’t mind it because all of the cousins were playing board games. There were a few years when we had it in my aunts tiny townhouse and we were all over the place…. food on the washer/dryer/freezer, tables. Everywhere. Those are the good times.
My parents always made it look like Christmas threw up in the house. Inside and out. We had things hanging from the ceiling, off the walls… my dad strung lights on our spruce tree in the front yard, put out lawn decorations. I always thought that our house looked like a Gingerbread House. It was like that for a long time, especially when us kids were teenagers.
Then in 2002, Christmas went downhill. My grandpa died 11 days before Christmas and we were too sad to make it feel like Christmas. The tree went up, but without our grandpa it didn’t feel right. Our grandma would come over, but you could feel the sadness. We also lost our aunt to cancer that summer so the holidays were a little sad. It started to get better and laughter and memories began to renew itself. Then in 2008, my grandmother died the first week of December. That was a hard blow to take. It was very sudden and we were crushed. It wasn’t until last year when Christmas started feeling like it did when I was a kid. We bought a real tree and the good memories came flooding back.
This year, I’m going to Martha Stewart this place. Watch out folks, Christmas is making a HUGE comeback. Deck the halls and stuff your muff with cookies because it’s about to get Christmas-ey up in here! I’ve been browsing Pinterest like a mad woman, trying to come up with fabulous ideas. Now I’m sharing them with you so you can look like a professional Christmas celebrater. You’re welcome.
- Christmas scents. Don’t like the idea of lighting candles? Well, you can buy a candle plate. My cousin thrifted me an extra one she had and I’ve been using it ever since. I’m still in love with Yankee Candle Holiday tarts. Those will be burned. However, you can combine a few ingredients in a pot on your stove to make it smell like Christmas. Check out this blog to see how you can do it! The blogger even wrote a post on how you can gift it! Brilliant.
- Christmas Wreaths. It’s pretty much anything goes when it comes to a Christmas Wreath. We were willed our grandmothers wreath since my grandfather passed and it hangs on our front door each year along with their cute door knocker cover. Searching Pinterest you will find a plethora of ideas and they’re super cute. You can make a yarn wreath, or get even craftier and make ornament wreath, a kid made wreath, or even a twig wreath.
- Christmas Crafts. This is my thing. I looooove Christmas crafts and have since I was a kid. I still have the crafts I made when I was in Nursery/Kindergarten and they still hang on the tree every year. Popsicle or tongue depressor stick crafts are very popular, crafts using toilet paper rolls. Even get the kids to make your Holiday cards.
- Christmas Cookies. I love Christmas cookies. When I was little my mom would pull up a chair and I would help her bake every Christmas cookie under the winter sun. We’re doing this again very soon and I’m looking forward to her traditional Christmas cookies and making new ones like Melted Snowmen Sugar Cookies. I’ll be making this for the kids in the classroom I volunteer in.
- Christmas Light Viewing. We did this as a kid and my sister and me made a decision to start this up again. We’re going to drive around the city to look at all the houses done up in lights. We’re also going to the Winter Wonderland light display. I was able to take my grandma the year before she passed away and she loved it. I bought her a coffee and myself hot chocolate and we had a blast. You stay in your car, turn on the radio to a pre-designated station playing Christmas Carols and drive around the park to look at the various light displays. It’s neat. Or you can get out for hot chocolate, mini-donuts and a sleigh ride.
What fun things do you like to do at Christmas? Do you have any Christmas traditions? Do you go Martha Stewart at Christmas?
(Editors note: When I wrote this blog entry and scheduled it, the snow was completely gone. Well, it’s back and I doubt it will go anywhere.)