12 Days 'til Christmas

on December 13, 2012

I can not believe I only have 12 days until Christmas.

Where did the time go?

Usually by this date, we have the tree not only up, but decorated; I have my Snow Villages on display; the garlands are up; the lights frame our exterior. The only thing done is the outdoors–Dan has been working on it for the past 10 days and it looks fabulous. I’m the one who has slacked off.

We did drive up to beautiful Apple Hill to cut down a tree. It’s about a 45 minute drive from our house and a terrific place to take all the kids. My youngest “pointed” like a dog at the tree he wanted.

We also picked up two apple pies, one we’ve already eaten, and one frozen. For soon. Yum. 🙂

Picking out a tree that the entire family can agree on is never easy, but we found one that most everyone was satisfied with. Right now it’s sitting in a bucket of water on our back patio. Here it is before we cut it down:

I’m hoping to have everything up this weekend, but I might have to say no to the Snow Villages. They take a full day to put up and a full day to take down, and I have a mid-January deadline for my first Maxine Revere book. It’s been deadlines that have delayed Christmas decorating — as well as sports, the kid’s studying, my oldest being away at college (she just came home! Yeah!) I’m blessed that my family is healthy and I am working, so I’m not complaining. But one year, the Snow Villages stayed up until Easter … and I have a feeling if I put them up this year, they’ll stay up until Memorial Day …

However, I decided that if I don’t put up my 40+ house collection that I’ll do one table (I usually have FOUR tables) … I’ll pick my favorite 8-10 houses/stores plus accessories and display them in the entry way. Then I won’t feel so unspirited. The Snow Villages are such a tradition for me I have to do something, even if I don’t go all out.

This past summer, my friend Terri sent me a bunch of pictures of my Snow Villages when she and her family came over for New Years. So I thought I’d share them with you!

Another reason I’m late this year is that the kids don’t get out of school until the 21st, making me feel like I have more time than I really do. I usually do a lot of my shopping on-line, but spaced this year and now fear for delivery — and refuse to pay huge shipping charges. I just ordered a bunch of stuff from a few places yesterday, but the rest … yes, I’m going to the mall. Wish me luck :/

We generally have a very traditional Christmas — we go to Christmas Eve mass, finish wrapping presents late into the night while watching a classic movie like IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE or, my husband’s favorite, A CHRISTMAS STORY, stuffing the stockings with toys so the kids will let us sleep at least until after the sun gets up, opening presents (I get to play Santa, always fun!), drinking first coffee then switching to mimosas, brunch, and just enjoying family. No travel — I’ve already told my kids that when they get married, they can do whatever they want on the other holidays; Christmas is mine.

When I was growing up, we always went to my Aunt Lois & Uncle Bob’s house for Christmas Eve. Aunt Lois was my grandma’s sister and they were very close. That house and all the memories will always stick with me as some of my favorite memories. It was also the place we went for Easter Egg hunts and family parties. I hope that someday, my kids will have the same fond memories. What about you? Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition from growing up or one you started with your own family?