I'm so excited.
School is finally over and today we head up to San Francisco with the family for some holiday fun.
Pears are good decor, no?
The past 2 weeks have been non-stop baking, shopping, Christmas card-writing, get-togethers and helping study for finals.
I loved it, but there was literally no time to blog and so much to chat about!
I've bedazzled the house as much as I can. I prefer less glitter more greens, but I did have my moments.
Loved our wreath from my son's Boy Scout Troop.
Got the tree home. Wonderful having big boys who can help out.
Nutcrackers are present and accounted for.
The boys decorated the tree and it's a bit, shall we say, slapdash?
I don't have the heart to change it.
I've become a fan of good enough. Makes life a lot simpler.
That so wasn't the mom I was 10 years ago. Cards and trees had to be just so.
The best part of getting older is you get wiser!
The preschool ornaments are out and that's what matters. :)
I feel so blessed I cannot complain about any of the holiday busyness.
Got my wrapping area all set a few weeks back.. Love having a space just for that.
The kids and I made these peppermint stars and wrapped them with some ivy and twine for gifts.
I discovered a new cookie recipe that was a hit and super easy too.
White Christmas Dream Drops won Sunsets best cookie in 2011. I see why. Recipe here.
They are like baby pavlovas…So addicting!
Please don't judge my stained cookie sheets. I'm lazy and grateful for parchment…
My grandmother would never tolerate the look of them…I know they need elbow grease.
Looking through my recipe binder….
Is this a metaphor for my life and ADD or what? I've been collecting recipes for 17 years and this is what I have. I couldn't find the right recipe to save my life.
I did have a wonderful time looking through it.
Then I opened my mom's Betty Crocker Cookie book and jumped down that rabbit hole. What a trip. I loved this book as a kid and spent hours dreaming of making the wonderful creations.
Each page and it's drawings are imprinted on my brain. Seriously.
I see now why my mom said no to some of the cookies I wanted to make.
These bells look like a ton of work..
We did make chocolate chip cookies so many times I never need a recipe.
We also made Ethel's sugar cookies. I always wanted to make Mary's instead.
I liked the name Mary a lot better than Ethel.
Mary's were made with confectioner's sugar, which I have never tried.
Ethel's are just so good though.
Anyway, I started having holiday flashbacks..Christmas songs will do that to me.
I love so many, my personal playlist has 90, but there are tons of great new songs too.
One of the clearest Christmas memories I have must have been around 1973. My grandmother came by during Christmas break and brought us a record player for my brother and I.
It was one of those housed in a suitcase like box with the speakers built in. She also brought us two new Christmas albums.
When I think of it now, that was a fun Christmas thing for her to do.
I received this one:
That's why I know every word on this. Wonderful collection of songs too.
Even if you are not an Elvis fan, you will love his renditions on here.
My brother Peter got this:
He ran upset to his room. I get why.
Sorry, Elvis always trumps Perry in the cool department…
And what can I say? I was a girl and older, of course Elvis should have gone to me!
I cannot help loving many of Elvis's versions like his White Christmas and Why Can't Every Day Be Like Christmas? That one really gets to me.
Kinda nerdy ha?
Today, my favorites are John Lennon's Happy Christmas and Sinatra's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Elton John's Step Into Christmas, Sting's Gabriel's Message, and The Carpenter's There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays.
My kids love the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack with the Vince Guaraldi Trio. All these just get better over time.. Oh also like the Celtic Christmas station on Pandora.
I try not to listen until 2 weeks before. Then I make everyone sick by playing my favorites and any Christmas station non-stop.
So if you are still reading…:D, what traditions and songs are you looking forward to?
Something about the holidays makes so many memories flood back to me.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday and or break wherever you are in the world!
How fabulous is this dress?
Dress photo via Pinterest. All other photos Northern Cal Style.
Follow my board Holiday for some fun inspiration!