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'Tis the Season

It's one week until Christmas.  Are you ready?  Did you finish all your shopping?  I have.  I like to get the shopping out of the way early so I can appreciate the season more.
Here's a bit of what I did this holiday season:
What was your favorite thing you did this season?

*Watching:  Miracle on 34th Street, It's a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Love Actually, & several ABC Family Christmas movies on Hulu

*Made my stocking
*Enjoyed some yogurt covered pretzels.  Pretty sure this is going to be a tradition.
*Hung my ornaments

*Bought my first Christmas tree (yes, it is 2ft and $8.  I refuse to make an investment on an artificial tree when I love real ones so much) & lights.
Thanks to Cinthya & Rubina for convincing me to make the splurge.  I really did enjoy it whenever I was home.  I seriously used minimal lighting in the room so I could more fully enjoy the tree.  (Meaning I may have strained my eyes a bit, but it was totally worth it.  Don't worry, Mom.)

*Do you have certain places you walk by and take a deep breath in to get as much of the smell as possible?  For me, it's coffee places, especially Intelligencia, & the Christmas tree lot I can walk by (if I cross the street) on my way to the gym.
*Visited the Macy windows, Christkindle market
*Made Christmas pins
*I loved looking out my window every night and waking up every morning to see my neighbor's wreathe through my window.  
One of my other neighbors has a beautiful tree I can see through my bedroom window as well.

*Christmas parties.

*Taking a break to check out a new coffee place.  Taking a break from this hectic season to me is essential!  Bow Truss did not disappoint.  It was actually pretty awesome.  I just sat and read in their super rad space and creative thoughts kept popping in my head.  If you don't allow time for the thoughts to come, they won't come!
Yes, those are sleds ON THE WALL! & Yeah, this is the communal table!

*Baked Christmas cookies.  The last two years I had a cookie exchange at work, but I still decided to make a batch for myself, I guess.  And I picked these.  I made some modifications of course... I used dark chocolate for one.  I just prefer dark chocolate over milk.  They were SO good.  I talked with Karen & Mom before baking & they asked for a sample so I put some aside so they can taste.  YUM!

*Karen opened my St. Nick stocking for me via facetime (oh, technology).  Thanks for the Pumpkin Spice latte mix & Reese's, St. Nick.
*Made ornaments using this recipe.  I cut it in half since I didn't want to make that many ornaments.  I had no idea they needed to sit in the oven for 3 hours until I made them in the evening.  Oh, well.  The main problem I had with these is I made a couple intricate ones and I made the cookies right before I made these.  I'm not very accustomed to sugar so I may have been shaking a bit.  Just an added challenge.  I can't share all the ones I made since many of them are gifts, but here's mine.
apparently I forgot to put the ribbon hole in my own.  Oh, well... At least I'm continuing my tradition of making myself and ornament every year.
just to be sure... the left is dough.  the right is my ornament.

*I love my wool socks.  Thanks CK!

*The wonderful light decorations in and out of the hospitals I visited in Louisville the week of the 10th made arriving at the hospitals every morning at 6am & when I left every night at 10 or 11 a bit better.

*I made foam gingerbread houses with the kiddos I volunteer with.  I was actually pretty excited about mine, but one of the kids asked if he could keep it so he took it home.
we shall pretend mine looked exactly like this
*And something that is very important to me, especially during this time of year is giving. I know no one on my list actually needs anything.  There are people who do need things (like a warm coat) and I like to add them to my shopping list.  A couple groups I'm affiliated with put together collections so I contributed as I could, but made sure to contribute.  
Everyone seems a bit more altruistic this time of year, understandably.  It's a great time to look back and recognize all we have.  I'm all for it.  Keep the altruism coming!

Clearly I have much more coming on the Christmas front, but so far it's been pretty great.  I started out December pretty stressed & tried to really focus on the joy of Christmas rather than the stress that seems to come with it.



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