And so it begins…

IMG_4424When we were kids, there was no decorating until after our December birthdays were over.

I always though it was because Mom wanted to make sure our birthdays didn’t get lost in the Christmas rush (and that was part of it), but as I got older, I discovered Mom just doesn’t like Christmas that much.

Oh she likes the gift giving, and having the family around… but all the stress, drama and anxiety… when we were kids, Mom would go full out with Christmas baking. She’d start weeks in  advance – our unheated back porch was filled with cooling macaroons, sugar cookies, nanaimo bars and more. Then there were pies… and Christmas dinner.  On top of that… Christmas Eve at the paternal Grandpa’s, a Christmas day visit to the maternal Grandparents, and Boxing day at the paternal Grandma’s. And that was on top of five December birthdays (me, my brother, cousin, Dad and Grandma)… all on a  shoestring budget.

I can understand why Mom was never a huge fan of the silly season. Then I met Dave, who could easily be called a Grinch when it comes to Christmastide… and he brought with him a whole other sort of family Christmas drama.

It took us a few years to find our stride with our mutual Christmas tradition, but now I think we’ve found the perfect compromise. Christmas Eve with Dave’s grandma and Mom (and whoever else in the family drops by that night), and then a dinner with my family (Mom & Dad, and Ron & Jenn and the girls) whenever we can arrange for all of us to get together. No stress, no pressure – we do it when it works.

We don’t go crazy with presents. We stay in budget and keep it small. As you know, a lot of gifts in the family are homemade, making them extra special.

At home, I do a little decorating, and I don’t wait quite as long as Mom did. Because of space, and my army of furry tree assassins, we just have a small, pre-lit two foot tree. It goes up in 10 minutes (including decorations).

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Skiing sock monkey helps us count down the days. And I think he’s my favourite of my few decorations.

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Out front, my chilly little polar bears greet visitors.

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And thanks to neighbour Krista, this little Christmas elf crash landed in my ivy pot. I was planning on getting some winter greenery for these baskets, but because I was sick, I didn’t have a chance. But so far, the ivy is holding up quite well.

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And lastly, this pretty little candle is keeping us warm and cheery inside. It was my birthday present from Dave, and he insisted I open it early (still a few days to go until my birthday.). These are my favourite candles and this one yielded a very beautiful surprise….

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Just perfect for this December baby!

So welcome December, welcome Christmas! I’m ready!

9 thoughts on “And so it begins…

  1. It does take a few years to find your stride to make a celebration spread out for everyone! Your new ring is beautiful! We also have a lot of birthdays in Dec so it does complicate the scheduling; we work it out.
    My mom never decorated until after my birthday (20th) but most people didn’t decorate as early as they do nowadays!!!! I used to wait until after my youngest’s birthday on the 4th!

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  2. Your decorations look so nice (love the elf who crashed in your ivy!). Happy early Birthday! Our son’s is the 11th (and that is when we always put up our tree and decorated it when he was young).

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  3. My decorations and celebrations are very simple, and elaborate ones make me uneasy. Five years ago, I told my family I wanted no gifts (I had enough “stuff”) and asked for a handwritten letter instead.

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  4. What a gorgeous ring! The Hubby worked retail for years, and on top of growing up in a family that doesn’t celebrate anything, I quickly learned to go very small for Christmas. Now that he’s retired, he’s feeling in a more festive spirit, but now he’s got to be the one doing the decorating and stuff! No trees around here; Da Boyz will rip it down in minutes. I could make a tree out of stacked books, however…

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  5. Araignee

    We are also the home of the mega December birthdays. Even Son’s fiancee’s birthday day is the 11th. That makes five of us now too.
    No decorating here yet. It’s 60 and sunny and I’m just not feeling it.

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  6. Shirley

    Happy Early Birthday! Your new ring is just beautiful! I have reached the point where I enjoy a few special Christmas decorations. Have not had a tree in many years because I decided that was a struggle I did not need with my cats. Love that so many of your gifts are handmade. It just makes them more special.

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  7. New traditions keep the holiday fresh. Your lil tree is perfect for you. More and more folks are trying to ease up on the stress the holiday can bring. I think thats smart. Nancy mentioned showing your front door on her blog today. You two are in sync!

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  8. This was a lovely post. I really enjoyed hearing about how the holiday season and Christmas has morphed for you and yours.

    I had my own journey with my husband. It started when we were dating I guess. Long story short, I enjoy it way more than I used to. My husband perked up a bit on behalf of the kids in the family but he’s a bit of a bah humbug. He loves to wait to put up the tree and can’t wait to take it down. But he likes when I’m happy and not stressed about the holidays and we find ways to placate the other.

    Your December bday gifts are beautiful. I hope it’s a lovely birthday and a happy holiday season for you all.

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