Christmas: Unwrapped.

Say it ain't so! Christmas is over? For real?! 

You may recall my post from last year, Christmas Rewind, where we got to extend our holidays because the Hubbs' mom came into town AFTER Christmas. This year, however,  she arrived a few days before Christmas and stayed until January 2. 


I survived!! 


Now, don't get me wrong I heart my in-laws but I also heart my use-or-lose leave and I was off for 2 weeks (count 'em, 2 WHOLE GLORIOUS WEEKS).  I spent much of my holiday hosting, driving, shopping and indulging in mall food as I chased an impossible-to-sit-still little lady around. I had big plans to wrap, shop, plan, clean, BLOG, bake, paint, donate, donate and clean out my basement so I could... DONATE!


OK, with that off of my chest, I have a confession... I've been so down this week and I think it's the combination of my return to work and my task to pack up Christmas :( 


I could use a little holiday CHEER so excuse me while I enjoy our Christmas in pictures:

The house was set...


Welcome! Check out my doormat from walmart.com. $17!



During my $40 trip to the Target Christmas clearance aisle last year, I purchased a bulb garland. I just wrapped it around one of my old topiaries, added some Christmas lights and BOOM! Fab.  Can you also see Zion's adorable photo with Santa? I've decided to add our Christmas-themed photos to frames during the season. Maybe I'll do the same for other holidays?



Munchface helped with the powder room decor. Not that Hubbs' caulking, painting and electrical work was NOT helping... but we're not talking DIY, just Christmas.


I placed one of my bulb crafts on a Dollar Store candle stick for a cute picture frame.

Across from the powder room is our living room. I purchased most of the decor items in this room either on clearance or from thrift stores.
I took a queue from The Nester when I couldn't find the perfect tree skirt for my Mom tree. I wanted something that would make a statement and nothing worked... so, BASKET IT WAS:

One of my favorite finds of the season was a set of candy dishes(Crate&Barrel thrift store find -$1.99). Guests loved the snacks on the coffee table.


The $15 Craigslist victim was all pretty with its holiday decor. Aren't those ice skates (post-Christmas sale at Michael's - $2) and that plate (Hallmark thrift store find - $1) perfect additions? Not to mention that bell (antique shop splurge - $17) - LOVE!

My Christmas decor is for me Munchface so I wanted it to be fun... Little things like this Snowman candle just made us smile. I wanted to use white pillar candles for a DIY version but didn't have the time. Maybe next year?


If you're blessed with a mantle, lucky YOU! I make our half-wall that divides the kitchen and dining room work as our "mantle." I piled 3 garlands (1 from Big Lots, 1 from Walmart and 1 from the Dollar Tree) to get the green fluffiness I wanted. Then, I just stuck in berries and ornaments to fill it out. I got the sparkly PEACE stocking holders from the Dollar Tree.

Our dining room table is our family workspace so I decided to keep the decor simple with my crafty yarn wreaths on chairs and a simple candle/ornament centerpiece. 


Munchface took the lead to decorate the family tree (in the sun room).  She decided, because I have my own tree, that this was hers.



I put my Charlie Brown tree and Snoopy figure on the upstairs hall table and everyone enjoyed it. 

 
Munchface started the Christmas decorating on Black Friday in her bedroom... It is always a big deal :)



Speaking of Munchface, each year we hang her artwork. Here's a wreath she made in 2008 (at 2 years old). It's always the ONLY thing allowed on the fridge during the holidays. I try to keep 1 piece each year for future decor.

And here's this year's class project(a bulb with hand print snowmen):





OK! Now for the timeline.


Christmas Eve


Mom-in-law and I ran errands (which included purchasing my pjs to ensure I was presentable this year... for once).  


Munchface spent the day with daddy and I don't know what happened but, by the time we were getting ready for church, she REFUSED to put on the red, poofy dress for church and instead kept her "skinny pants," sparkly flats and CoolGirl outfit:





We made it to service and had an AWESOME time. Sidebar: I had a random spur of the moment Silent Night solo. You think you know the words until it's time for the second verse - LOL. 


ANYWAYS, back home for our Christmas Eve traditions:


Keys



I mentioned that we don't have a mantle (or chimney).  Well, when you have a kid like mine, you get questions like, "how will Santa get in the house?"


Then you buy MAGIC keys for the door (Ross - $3.99).  Keys on the door? CHECK.




Reindeer Treats 



"Santa will get a tummy ache if EVERYBODY gives him cookies and what about the reindeer?" - Munchface, 3 years old


So, we started making Reindeer Chow.  This year, however, I was on Pinterest and I found a recipe for something different.

Munchface and I made them, let them cool... Showed daddy (like 5 times) and FINALLY put them in our treat bag which hangs on the front door.



Hubbs read a bedtime story (or 4) and OUT like a light she went.  FINALLY, I could wrap those last minute gifts in peace...
I love pretty packages!





3AM: We were finally ALL DONE!





Another pinterest inspiration... Santa requested cookies during her visit with him so we had to make them!



Our Walmart stockings were worth the $17 (free personalization). I highly recommend them!


CHRISTMAS DAY
Hubbs is our Santa and BOY does he get into it (he eats cookies, writes notes, moves stuff around).  It's cute because he waits until I fall asleep so it's a surprise for me too (IDK why but ok, Santa baby)!
CHRISTMAS DAY
It came. It conquered. It completely rocked our worlds! Everyone got gifts they loved! Here are a few(no, I'm NOT in any pics, I looked a mess... SMH. I tried this year. I really did!):










The best gift was the time we shared with family... The second best gift is the look of sheer magic and happiness on her face.  She was SO happy when she opened the MUCH anticipated baby doll:





I probably looked the same way when I opened one of my gifts from my parents... A fabulous purse with a note that read, "the perfect traveling purse to take you where ever the wind blows."  Inside the purse was a receipt/confirmation for a one week ALL expense-paid vacation to Montego Bay, Jamaica the week of my birthday!


That was one of many fabulous gifts.  Hubbs got me a little somethin' that will help with my blogging so expect more posts!

Mama's feelin' FANCY ;)



After gifts, we enjoyed Peach wine and a brunch made by Pops. None of us really needed/wanted anything so rather than spend/waste money, we made it a game and, let me tell you, we had a blast.  Dirty Santa, a game where you can steal other people's gifts, was a hit!
The victim held the gifts so well!
We played a few rounds of TABOO before the ladies got in the kitchen and started prepping the food for dinner.  While we cooked, Dad rested at the Nail Shop, lol.



Once the food was in the oven, the ladies (except my mom-in-law who wanted a GREEN tree) decorated our annual Christmas tree cones.  I put them on candlesticks and used them as our centerpiece during dinner.





Everyone took a nap and woke in time for dinner, raspberry cheesecake dessert and Phase10. Such a great time... Then again, family time is always a great time!


  Maybe THAT's what I need to remember to lift my spirits :)
I leave you with a pic of my mom's annual Christmas rum cake - YUM.


How was your Christmas? How do you keep your cheer all year?

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