Wednesday, November 30, 2011

fa la la la la

We've broken the seal to Christmas. No turning back now. The tree, the carols, the movies, the gingerbread. It's all so good. We are not a religious family, but Christmas is so magical, so sweet, so exciting. Even as an adult I get caught up in it. Thank you, dear Christian friends of mine, for letting me join in on your celebration.
We've baked our gingerbread cookies, and decorated our gingerbread houses. We've decorated our tree and listened to upteen Pandora Holiday mixes. (My faves? Glee Holiday mix, Amy Grant, and, of course, Michael Buble). We've dried apples, oranges and pears, and scented them with clove and peppermint for garlands. Our trolley tickets are bought and Holiday party arranged. And I've sewn and sewn and sewn, a sure sign in our house that the Holiday is near.

And, it's still November. :)

So, I invite you to share a bit of our Christmas spirit through these pictures. I have a special treat awaiting you at the end. My early Christmas present to you.

Best to be enjoyed with cocoa and fresh baked cookies.

One of the coolest things about Christmas is that nearly everyone who celebrates has a tree- but they vary so widely. I love going to friends homes this time of year, to see how they've displayed their tree, their ornaments- to see their tastes and what they find meaningful. (Have your tree up? Invite me over!)
Our tree is fake. (Although I LOVE real trees, it's a bit saddening to me to see the piles of pine carcasses by the refuse the days following Christmas.) It has little pine cones and berries and Asher is mad about it, pulling the berries off and running his little baby fingers through the branches. It's been hard to develop the "ooo-saaa" reaction to this, but we're working on it.
Our tree is also almost entirely handmade in decoration. What is not handmade has been given to us- there is only one ornament on it that I've bought, and it was a present to Mr. for our first married Christmas together.
I love the stories that are hanging on our tree.

Like the ornaments my grandmother made. There are quite a few, and now that I'm older, I cherish them more than ever. She gave us something she painted/sewed every year for Christmas, and I really miss that. And her.

There are ornaments given to us by some we hold dearest:

And beautiful ones made by friends:

And those that just make me laugh:

There are so many! The day that we put up the tree is a day that I look forward to all year, and I spend a good part of each evening while it's up looking at our tree.

Eww, what a sap.

And speaking of sickly sweet- here's this years gingerbread house. I think "MacKenzie" has gotten quite good ;)

I love her expression in this picture. I think she might have just been told she could actually eat a piece of the candy.

Now for YOUR treat.
While not a Christmas carol by any stretch of the imagination, the song Hallelujah is frequently listened to in our house, and evokes some serious emotions. I'd like to share Mr's version of the song. Be sure to listen to the end- I think it gets pretty spectacular.
Enjoy, and if you'd like to leave him some kind words (there's a comments section!) it could even result in further recordings in the future. It just takes a bit of cajoling.

See why I keep him around?


  1. Just beautiful; that song gives me shivers every time I hear it. A fine rendition. Happy Holidays!

  2. I just spent the better part of an hour catching up on your blog! ('re back) Two things: 1)Tell the Mr. his song makes me want a karaoke nite and 2) my tree is up, you can come see me!!!

  3. Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing. Oh my gosh, I can always listen to Niles play and sing. Love the harmony in the background as well. And truly love the tune. Miss you guys!