Saturday, December 31, 2011

Things That Made Me Smile In December – Highlights of the Season

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is actually over and December, and 2011 are nearly gone. December, where did you go… am not ready to say goodbye yet. I made a most depressing discovery today as I was shopping in Hobby Lobby; the aisles that were not even a week ago filled with Christmas cheer are now replaced with pink & red Valentines Day decor as far as the eye can see. Ugh! There should be a rule about not moving onto the next holiday that fast. I mean really, who is looking for Valentines decor before New Years?? Okay, rant over. :)

How was your Christmas season? Mine was pretty good, despite being under the weather for most of this month, I managed to get in some baking and Christmas movie watching.

Since this season flies by way too fast; I thought I’d take a look back at some of my highlights and things that made me smile this December. :)

1. Watching my cousin get married. On the 10th of this month I watched my cousin, Pam, walk down the aisle in a small but beautiful ceremony. Even though I was sick with a really bad cough and cold, I vowed not to miss this for the world. Luckily, I made it through without much coughing during the ceremony (that my dad,who’s a minister, performed) lol. We’ve always been more like sisters than cousins so it was such a special thing to witness her special day. She was a beautiful bride and I know her and her husband are going to be so happy! Below is a photo of my sister, my cousin, and I at the reception. This is one of my favorite photos of the three of us and I’ll treasure it always. :)


2. Decorating our house for Christmas! This is always one of my favorite parts about the holidays… watching our house transform with a little bit of Christmas magic everywhere. We are the family that starts decorating for Christmas even before Thanksgiving lol. Oh c’mon, you know you can’t resist either! :p Below are some photos of our house all ready for Christmas.





3. And admittedly, we tend to go maybe just a little Christmas crazy… just a little. ;)


(Yes, even the Pillsbury Dough Boy needs a Santa hat… duh! Why wouldn’t you put a Santa hat on a cookie jar?? ;))


(My mom & I got a little mischievous one night and thought it would be funny to surprise my sister, who’s not the biggest fan of Christmas, with our bedroom doors covered in wrapping paper; festive huh? She already thinks we go nuts at Christmas, so we thought we’d prove her right. :p)


(Gingerbread salt & pepper shakers!!! :D)

4. Our yummy Christmas desserts!


(My dad & I made this delish dessert together. This is his creation that he’s been making for years now. I guess you could call it a no-bake chocolate chip cookie strawberry cheesecake… kind of a mouth full, I know lol. But whatever you want to call it, it’s pretty amazing! We ate this up so fast! :))


(This is another one of my dad’s creations, it’s a White Chocolate Raspberry Cake. This cake has been a holiday tradition in our home for years; I look forward to it every year. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without it.)

5. Christmas music – I started listening in the fall and I haven’t stopped yet. :)

6. My new Christmas apron – This was a Christmas gift from my mom; isn’t cute? I had been mentioning to her all month how I wished I had a Christmassy apron, so it was the perfect gift. The only downside is, I can’t get much use out of it till next year. 


7. Opening gifts with my family - This year, since Christmas was on a Sunday, we started the morning out with church instead of gifts. My dad is a pastor of a small church and it meant a lot to him to still have service on Christmas. Which I think everyone actually really enjoyed. It made the day feel even more special. So after we got home we opened gifts before devouring our Christmas feast. We all got some really nice gifts; Santa was good to us. ;)


(My sister opening up her cupcake cookie jar that my mom and I got her.)


(My sister and I kinda have a weird tradition… she’s not the best gift wrapper and doesn’t really care to do it. So every year she wraps me one gift and goes a little crazy on it to make it look as bad as she possibly can. This started for her own sick amusement then became something I looked for every year. I affectionately call it my “ugly wrapped gift”… I know, we’re weird lol.)

8. This recipe for Chicken & Dumplings that we made like three times just this month. The best I’ve ever tasted!

9. Constant Christmas movies on Hallmark & Lifetime – This is the best time of year for channels like this. I may be a rare gal in that I’m not at all a fan of Lifetime, hardly ever turn it there, but at Christmastime, I love it. Both Lifetime and Hallmark have the best Christmas movies going all December long.

10. Family Photos – We meant to take photos after we ate on Christmas day but since we were all extra sleepy from getting up for church that morning, most of us opted for naps instead lol. So a few days later we all got dressed up again and snapped a few photos.




What were some of your highlights through out this Christmas season? Hope your Christmas was lovely and full of magical memories. :)

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