I hereby decree – “Christmas 2011 may commence.”

There.  I said it.  You may all eat your candy canes now.

Christmas usually starts the day AFTER Thanksgiving, but this year, the stars just didn’t align.  But now, now I’m on board.  Let’s do this thing!

A few reasons why:

White Elephant:

After I “didn’t post” on Saturday, Travis and I got all gussied up and went to my gym’s Employee Christmas party.  It was a blast!  Great Italian food, good conversation and it was really fun seeing everyone out of their sweaty, workout clothes.

We were told to bring two gifts (one for us, and one for our guest) and we played “White Elephant”.  I’m not even going to TRY to explain how the game is played – go here if you want to know.

The price limit was $10, per gift.  I brought two $10 gift certificates to our local coffee shop (and was inappropriately thrilled when they became the hot commodity gift).

There were normal gifts, like coffee mugs and body lotion.  There were some sexy gifts, like wine and cheese and edible underwear (you read that right).

Then….there were the gifts that we came home with:



I know.  I know.  I know!  Who wouldn’t want a humongo remote control and a pound of sketchy shrimp?!?!  I do believe those are, quite possibly, the two weirdest gifts one can bring home!

It actually worked out well because the remote has been a huge (pun intended) source of entertainment for Henry and Clara.  And the shrimp, well, I ended up boiling it last night.  We did the “stand over the pot, peel a shrimp, eat a shrimp” dinner.038

Low carb, so that I could eat a big bowl of ice cream for dessert.  Balance.

Next year, I’ve decided that I’m taking the weirdest gift possible.  Like vacuum bag replacements.  Or a quart of motor oil.  I’ve got a year to plan it.  It’s gonna be good.

Blogger Cookie Swap

I finally mailed out all of my cookies for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.cookieswap-long1

Since I’m neither great or a food blogger, I’m not quite sure how I got involved, but I did.  I’ll be blogging about this whole thing in more depth next week.

Let’s just say, I’m feel a little sorry for the poor girls who were assigned to me.

someecards.com - I'll never be the Secret Santa you deserve

I already RECEIVED one of the cookie packages that was coming my way!  And I’ve already eaten 3 of the 12 treats.


Christmas Cards

I ordered our Christmas cards on Friday!  We had family photo shoot almost a month ago, so this has been on my to-do list for quite a while now!  I can’t really show you all the images just yet, seeing as they’ll be part of some Christmas presents for our parents.  Just one won’t hurt.

The “One Where I Become Concerned with Henry’s Fascination With Hair”


Christmas Tree

While I was busy setting out food at our church’s covered dish yesterday, Travis somehow found, bought, paid for, and tied down a Christmas tree on top of our Honda Pilot.


In my mind, Travis wrestled with that thing for a good 10 minutes before finally beating it into submission. 

Fresh Christmas trees are really the way to go.  Sure, I might have needles and sap stuck to my socks, but if you know anything about me, you’ll know I don’t mind vacuuming.


A little to the left.  Now the right.  Oh, forget it.

Growing up, my dad, his dad and my uncle all farmed Christmas trees.  Selling them is how my parents paid for our Christmas presents.

Every year, Katy and I would just walk out our back door and go tag a tree.  Dad would dig it up, bring it in, then we’d smother it in huge colored lights (I think they’re calling them “retro” now) and homemade, popsicle stick ornaments.


We stuck to the basics this year: lights, ribbon, beads and, of course, candy canes.


Henry was wise.  He kept breaking off the hook part of the candy cane, rendering them impossible to hang.  What’s a guy to do? …I’m on to you, bud.

We also set out the nativity scene.  I’m willing to bet that at least 4 of the pieces get lost.  That, or I’ll be offered a few to eat when Henry plays kitchen.


Is it just me, or are they making wise men with SUPER large noses these days??


After a dinner of shrimp and candy canes, Travis and I put the kids down, listened to Pandora’s “Classic Christmas” channel and admired the tree.

The smell.  The lights.  The crooked angel on top.

It finally feels like Christmas.

I hereby decree.

QUESTION:  Do you put a Christmas tree up?   Fake vs. Real?  How do you get in the Christmas mood? 


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  1. Amazingly random Christmas presents. I literally laughed out loud at the bag o’ shrimp picture. In Atlantic Canada seafood on Christmas Eve is actually tradition, so it could make sense in some strange way! (even though, we usually do lobster)

  2. I would much rather have a real tree. It’s what I grew up with. But our far-away-from-everyone-we-love life means that we often go visit over the holidays. A real tree would die without anyone to water it every day. So fake it is. When I have kids of my own, I may renegotiate the whole tree issue and insist on a real one.

  3. We purchased and put up our tree over the weekend, and I definitely feel the spirit creeping up. I still hate Christmas music though. I know, I know… I’m a communist. And seriously, that dang Christmas tree sap was all over me by the time I got that baby in the house!

  4. I am making a Christmas card picture to send off this year…with my husband. He is slightly embarrassed, as we do not have kids, but I am convinced it will be a BIG hit. We shall see :-)
    P.S. This is a lovely assemblage of Christmas photos!

  5. I need some seriously cold weather to get me in the mood. I’ve had our tree up for 3 weeks now, and I just can’t get in the mood until I see some snow. We do a fake tree because me and Ben are allergic. Yes, we are that couple.

  6. Travis and I have such a small place that we decided to just get a little potted 1 footer this year, and then let it live outside next year once Christmas is over ;)

    It’s all about the Christmas music and movies for me…especially Mariah Carey and KROQ’s Kevin and Bean…and A Christmas Story and, being the ex-ballerina that I am, the Nutcracker…I can seriously hum the entire freakin ballet from start to finish…it’s sad but also kind of awesome :)

  7. I LOVE that Christmas picture!!! So sweet!!
    Growing up, we would head to a Christmas tree farm bright and early the Friday after Thanksgiving, go on a hay ride out to the middle of a tree farm and pick one out. It’s a memory I’ll always cherish. When Spence and I got married, we lived in apartments and rental houses that prohibited real trees, so we have always had a fake one with christmas tree scented candles. Now that we are in our own house, next year we will be having a real tree!!

  8. those have to be the cutest christmas pictures ever. I love your sweet family! we do white elephant too. I always end up with some weird antler candler holder. haha.
    Glad the shrimp worked out!

  9. Awesome gifts!! Definitely giving me ideas for my family’s gift swap ;)

    We put up our tree yesterday too (I posted pics!) and listened to Michael Buble’s Holiday station on Pandora for like 6 hours and it was glorious!!!! I also made hot chocolate. All of that definitely put me in the holiday spirit!

    Definitely a real tree fan :)

  10. How gorgeous are you! I love your long, beautiful hair.

    After years of hauling a live tree in and our of our high-rise condo I finally broke down and bought a fake tree. Now I just need to find the energy to put it together!

  11. Eeekkk!!! I’m not ready. I haven’t deocarted yet. Not okay. Your Christmas tree is awesome. Good thing Travis is tough and got that thing strapped down. He showed it who’s boss. :) That family photo is adorable! And yes, your Nativity men may have some rather large noses. Ha ha! Hugs!!! I’ll let Christmas commence tomorrow. I’m a day behind you friend!

  12. Hey, I have a fascination with your hair too! That shrimp sounds SO SO GOOD to me right now…must get some soon. We don’t have a tree and I don’t think we will get one!! Have an amazing Monday Lindsay!

  13. I witnessed Travis wrangling the tree in the parking lot yesterday. It looked a lot like him with his hands in his pockets while the boy scout guy tied the tree down on your car….I could be wrong though. We do a REAL tree and I love it. However, I have to remember to water it which isn’t so easy for me. And I think I’m in the Christmas mood from November on. I have to tell myself that I need to wait until the day after Thanksgiving. Sometimes I even play Christmas carols in July. Honestly, it’s my favorite time of the year…maybe that has something to do with the fact that Christmas day is MY birthday. And Jesus’s. Yes, it’s true.

  14. I’m glad you’re in the Christmas spirit now – this is my very favorite time of year and I soak up every minute (but not until after Thanksgiving, of course). We are a real tree family – the smell is unbeatable and I’m not who enjoys fake. :) Decorating the house makes it feel like Christmas, because you’re surrounded by Christmas cheer no matter what else you’re doing (like working while sitting on the couch right now).

  15. We have a fake tree because my brother is allergic, I still haven’t really accepted this! Getting excited for Christmas comes in the music to me—I love the radio stations that play 24/7 Christmas music :)