Friday, December 19, 2008

Too Many Photos

Okay - so I'm doing the "Journal Your Christmas" "December Daily" "Photo-a-Day" thing, and I'm really enjoying it, but keeping up with it is touchy at best - things like a Disney trip with no internet access, and having to go into the office keep interfering. Oh well - here's some more of my December photos.
O' Christmas Tree. In the real versus artificial controversy, we fall on the artificial side. I grew up with an artificial tree because my Mom was very allergic to pine. As an adult I think I originally stuck with it because it is what I knew - but at this point - this tree is 20 years old and still going strong. We bought it on an after Christmas 75% off sale at Sears back in January of 1988. It's a pain to assemble and it's not pre-lit, but it has held up beautifully and we haven't paid for a tree in 20 years! In the sentimental versus theme tree debate, we are definitely sentimental. Almost every ornament on the tree was purchased to commemorate a specific year, like, or event in our lives. When my children leave home, they will have enough ornaments to decorate their own trees without buying anything!!
The Stockings were Hung by the Chimney with Care. It's nice after 13 years of having the fireplace hidden behind a bookcase (to protect young children) to finally have it uncovered and functional again! Last year was the first year in their memory that our children's stockings have hung by the chimney. It used to be along the rails of the staircase. The stockings themselves have a history. The oldest one of this bunch is the middle stocking and was made for Sarah by her Nana. It's beautiful with old lace and bits of velvet, buttons, and other "stuff". I liked it so much that I set to making matching ones for Rachel and Rebecca. And although they aren't the same as the one Nana made, they are still quite pretty and have been used for years. Then I had to have something almost as wonderful for Jay and I which is how the two on the far left came into being.
Gift Wrapping - is truly not my thing. But my solution has been to assign a paper to each kid and all of their gifts get wrapped in that paper. Then they don't know whose box is whose! (No tags). Here's a sneak peak into the storage closet at Rachel & Becca's gifts.
Christmas Eve gifts. Every year since I was a young child we've been opening one gift on Christmas Eve - our new pajamas! And I continued that tradition for my own children. This year I've put a new twist on it with Christmas Eve boxes. These will be re-used year to year and contain their Christmas p.j.s, an ornament, and a photobook. We did ornaments for the kids each year for a long time, then stopped. I'm starting that back up, but trying to stay away from the Hallmark and find something really meaningful to them. This year it's Jonas Brothers. The photobooks are a new addition, but something I hope to give them each Christmas as well.
Disney decorates the Castle for Christmas. We went to Disney World to celebrate Jay's 50th birthday - mostly because he's just a big kid at heart. We managed to be in the right place at the right time for the "Wishes" ceremony of lighting up the castle and the fireworks. At night, lit up, the castle looks like it is covered in icicles. It's actually icicle lights on netting, but the effect is awesome!
The Christmas Tree at the Grand Floridian Resort lobby. Almost four stories tall! This photo was taken from the second floor.
Gingerbread House at Grand Floridian Resort lobby. This is actually the size of a large playhouse - adults fit inside it. And it is all gingerbread - 440 pounds of flour and I don't remember the other ingredients. It was huge and smelled wonderful. They sold gingerbread cookies and other treats from a window on the other side. The flowers around the window are icing like flowers on a birthday cake.

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