Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Last weekend we flipped the pages on the calendar to December--the merry, magical month of December. I know I don't stand alone in saying that this month is one of my very favorites. I have so enjoyed seeing the stream of facebook & instagram feeds lately {you can follow me on instagram at happeningsofourhome if you so wish}, slowly beginning to transition into all things Christmas & holiday--family traditions, sweet treats, home decor, crafty creations. We each have our own special way of magically marking this beautiful season, of making it one that fills our cups with cheer & warms our hearts with gladness.

Just four days into December, here's what's making me merry thus far:

Hot Cocoa. Its how I kick off the Christmas season {well that... & reciting every single word of watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation}.  Almost every single evening after the kiddos are snug in their beds, I shut off the lights, curl up with a mug of hot chocolate piled high with jet puffed marshmallows & I sip by light of a glowing Christmas tree. And this little addiction I have to hot cocoa?  It's quickly rubbing off on my family members--every once in awhile Jared joins the fun by grabbing a cup for himself & meeting me by the Christmas tree. And Jett, well, he begs for "hot cocooooo" all day every day. I suppose it's to be expected when there's a hot cocoa station set up in the kitchen clear through the month of February.

inspiration for my hot cocoa station comes from one of my favorite bloggers--Sarah at Clover Lane

This girl. Her first Christmas. Our first as a family of four. She has added so much joy to our lives in her tender six months of life & this Christmas season just feels so incredibly full with her here. I feel so completely blessed to have two little souls to make such magical memories with.

Merry mail. I make the list. Check it twice. Find a pretty pen & give myself Carpal Tunnel addressing stacks upon stacks of cards to send out to our loved ones. This year I got a little crazy with my scripting {thanks be to Pinterest} & I got worried that maybe the postal service wouldn't deliver my foo-foo covered Christmas cards. Thankfully, my husband knows a guy who knows a guy & they checked out okay. Let's hope I start receiving a mailbox full of cards...that aren't my own.

Four stockings hanging on the mantel. I searched high & low for family stockings that suited my fancy. I considered making a set myself, but with the full plate we have right now with two little ones, a big move on the horizon & holiday hooplah in general, my husband was quick to shoot my not-so-grand-idea down. He knew it would result in a tired, overwhelmed, about-to-blow-a-gasket-momma & that ain't a pretty sight.  So I began my search & fell upon these little pretties. I really love them. When I opened them from the box just last week, I actually squealed I was so excited. They are so well made, fully lined, & much larger than I expected. I couldn't be more pleased. I can't wait to fill them with tiny treasures for many, many years to come.

Custom stockings created by Louie at Etsy shop Shabby Chic Home

Brown paper packages tied up with string. Oh how I love a pretty package. This year I decided to decorate on a dime, though. No filling a cart full of ribbons & bows & three different styles of wrapping paper for this girl. Instead, I made use of the things I already had at home. A spool of yarn, some doilies left over from two Valentine's Day's ago, remnants of gingham ribbon, the never-ending ball of jute twine in my craft room drawer, stickers & crocheted flowers--I made do. And it was fun. It challenged my creativity & I got a kick out of that. Actually, with the exception of our new stockings & a few ornaments for the tree, I changed up the entire look of our holiday decorations & spent very little money doing so. 

The twinkle in this kid's eye. Oh man, he is making this Christmas so special. He wants the Christmas lights switched on first thing in the morning. He spends hours playing with his manger scene & asking about baby Jesus. He asks to lay out a quilt in front of the fireplace so he can drink his hot cocoa where it's cozy. He watches Frosty The Snowman {yes, the old classic one that we watched as kids} every single night before bed. He knows exactly what he's asking Santa to bring him for Christmas--a piano.  The excitement & eagerness this little guy exudes honestly brings tears to my eyes--it's a pure childhood giddiness that I always dreamed to give to my children. Getting to witness those feelings bubble up inside of him, the ones I couldn't wait for to manifest--well, it blesses this momma's heart.

New traditions. I know of a few people who do a form of this tradition & I've also seen it floating around on Pinterest recently, so I figured why not give it a go? The kids get to open a new book every night until Christmas & we read it just before bedtime--just before Frosty The Snowman. I thought I was going to have to stash them away that first day because the anticipation was just too much for Jett & he proceeded to ask every ten minutes if he could open them all. But then he figured out the deal-e-o & knows now that he chooses ONE a day--right after bathtime is over. He has turned pretty clever on me though--asking for bathtime to be bumped up so he can get a few minutes closer to opening that gift. Little stinker. I honestly am not sure what I'm going to do with this tradition after this year. Buy more books? Put these ones away with the Christmas stuff & wrap them up year after year? Add a few new ones? Eventually they will outgrow these. I don't know. All I know is that this year, it's fun & it puts a sparkle in their eye.  I'd love to hear your ways of celebrating & counting down the days to Christmas. Feel free to share!

Old traditions. This might be my favorite tradition out of all that we do. Probably because it was a childhood tradition of mine that I always loved & looked forward to. A brand new set of Christmas jammies to open up & snuggle into on Christmas Eve. I know I will only get away with coordinating their pj's for a small window of time before they become too cool for it, so you'd better believe I'm jumping on it while they don't know any better. I have been known to exhaust myself in an effort to find the perfect Christmas jammies. But this year, I let that go & ordered Jett's from Gap & Lulla's from Old Navy. I didn't spend an arm & a leg on them, I didn't spend hours scouring the internet, & guess what--they're still cute to boot.

December is shaping up quite nicely, if you ask me.

The best part?

We've still got twenty seven days to go!


  1. Cute idea with the books. Maybe to cut down on cost and clutter you could do it with library books? The anticipation would still be there.
    I cannot believe how organized you are when you have two young children at home, and you are moving.

    1. Library books are a great idea. Thanks for the suggestion! I'm not all that organized in every aspect of my life, but when it comes to the holidays, I try to start early & think ahead. And when we decided to go ahead & move in December, my husband & I both agreed that we wouldn't allow the move to steal a single bit of excitement from our Christmas--& we are sticking to that.