The Magic of the Holidays

A Danish Christmas tree illuminated with burni...
Image via Wikipedia

Do you remember the holidays when you were a child? How everything started at Thanksgiving with the family gathering and hope for snow to soon start falling. I remember running around with my cousins and sitting at the kids table. It was a magical & fun time.

As children my brother, sister, and I would all make lists of all the wonderful and newest toys that we wanted, we promised to be good and often tried really hard too! Once the decorations started going up the magic only increased. The smell of the fresh cut pine tree was always the first thing because every year no matter what we had a real tree and never a fake one. We’d all go out to a local tree farm and walk around until we found the perfect tree and then my dad would cut it down, the following day we’d bring it in the house and begin to decorate it.

The twinkling lights, the shiny bulbs, and decorations that were made with care in art class at school all went up on the tree. It was never one of those perfect show trees and to this day I’ve never had that kind of tree! Shortly following the tree the stockings and all the other decorations would go up around the house. It was all so beautiful and even more so as a kid!

We’d watch all the great Christmas shows & cartoons that we patiently waited for each year! To this day I watch every single one of them with my kids! And I don’t know a person who doesn’t like them!

As Christmas eve approached the excitement grew! We’d leave out cookies & milk for Santa, which he always ate, and carrots for the reindeer. Now, my kids leave cookies out as well, but sometimes instead of carrots they’ve left reindeer food that they’ve made in school. I hear the reindeer really like the oatmeal & glitter mix a lot more than carrots!

Even now, as an adult there’s magic in Christmas. I love watching the building excitement in my kids as it gets closer to the big day! Every Christmas Eve we leave the tree lit all night as we wait for Santa and then once the kids are all tucked away in their warm beds upstairs we start pulling out the presents and stacking them around the tree. Slowly our living room transforms into a Christmas wonderland! Afterwords I even find it hard to sleep the night through! It’s so exciting waiting for the kids to wake and come down in the morning!

My favorite part is when they come down and see all the gifts & the stockings filled to the top. I can hear them looking around excitedly, poking at all the gifts as they figure out which one belongs to who. It’s so much fun to listen and then pretend to sleep when one of them comes to wake us.

It really is magical! What is your favorite part of the holiday season? Is it still magical for you?

Time to get Festive!!

First of all I’m sorry for being lazy… I haven’t posted anything in a while. Somehow between work and everything else I just let the blog slide. Then again family is more important than the blog!

I bet by now many of you have the holiday decorating done, your homes are filled with beautiful & festive decorations, and you’re just about ready for the holidays! Right? Well, I’m not. I just got out some of the decorations. There’s no tree and we can’t even decide if we are getting a real one or just throwing up the fake one this year!

You’re probably wondering what’s up with her! Well, here’s the deal. I have a beautiful daughter who just had a birthday and I hate to combine it with the holidays.

I’ve spent the last 15 years making sure that she had her special day. That meant that there were no holiday decorations up at her birthday party, her gifts are always wrapped in birthday paper, she is never shorted on gifts, and she has the same opportunities for a great birthday as all the other kids. It’s not her fault that her birthday is close to Christmas.

Now my baby is 15 years old. I’ve watched her grow and change into an incredibly smart, beautiful, and fun person that I’m very proud of. Sometimes I wonder where all the time has gone and if I missed something really important even though I’ve always been there.

Cait & Santa

She looks so happy visiting with Santa. Now she doesn’t believe in him (even though many of her gifts are from Santa) and I don’t think that I could get her to sit with Santa for a picture unless her life depended on it!


Isn’t she cute!! Why is it that when they’re younger they’re happy and willing to look at the camera and smile?

And now she’s grown up. Every day is a reminder of the the adult that she’s turning into and the little girl that she isn’t anymore.

Cait Now

Now if I were a good mom I’d have some of the cutest baby pictures ever of her here as well, but since that was way before digital cameras I have to pull out the scanner, plug it in, and scan them all! I’ll save that for another day!

Now that all the birthday fun has passed the festive holiday season can start! I love decorating and this year Cait is helping me get things done!

Dear Santa…

I thought that I’d write you this letter so you know what to bring me for Christmas this year. There are a lot of things on my list and some of those are things that I want and others are things that I need and they’re in no particular order.

I should mention that I’ve been very good this year and there is no reason whatsoever that my name would be found on the bad list.

Let’s start with the things that I need.

1. DSLR camera

I’m not picky whether it’s a Nikon or a Canon either. I’m open to either one as long as they have everything I need to start taking pictures immediately like the lens, charged batteries, and strap. Yes, I already have a camera but it’s a simple point and shoot that does not always take the best pictures. I need something that is amazing inside and out, is fast so I can capture those awesome sports shots when the kids are playing, and doesn’t always leave me with blurry pictures.

2. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

Color doesn’t matter. I really need this because the stand mixer that I have does not the whip or the dough hook attachments and there are so many recipes that I want need to make and simply can’t because I don’t have this mixer. Can you imagine all the great things I can do! And I can start adding other attachments as well like a pasta maker!

3. Baked Cookbook

This cookbook is beyond awesome! I must have it and if I do I’ll be able to put that mixer to even more use. They have a great recipe for homemade marshmallows that I really want to try but without the cookbook or the mixer with the whip I can’t make them.

4. Reebok EasyTone Shoes

With all the baking that I’ll be doing I’ll need these shoes to help keep all that weight off. I don’t want to blow up like a whale! I’d like the ones that are purple and white please.

5. Hamilton Beach 3 in 1 Crock Pot

My current crock pot is ‘ok’ but it tends to run really warm. When I put it on low with everything in it for dinner and leave it for the day I’ve come home with it over cooked! This crock pot comes with 3 different pots allowing me to customize dinner. This would be really helpful when it’s just a couple of us or the entire family.

6. Blender

Yes, we have a blender. It’s older than any of the kids! Yea… damn old. It takes forever for it to make a shake, smoothie, or blend ice. I need something a bit more powerful. That’s it.

Alright Santa, let’s move on to the things that I want.

1. Books

Or better yet maybe a few gift cards so I can buy the books. Now, I don’t want e books. I like actual books. I love them as a matter of fact. The feel of them, the smell, the sound of the turning pages. E books simply can’t compare to the real thing. I love looking at my shelves full of books and rearranging them, wondering if I’ve read this one or that, and then finding one to read.

2. Cricut cartridges

Just a couple of these would be great! I like fonts!

3.  Scrapbooking supplies

I know I haven’t done much scrapbooking lately but I just haven’t had that much free time to do it. And honestly I need more that 15 or 20 minutes. Creativity takes time … as does perfection!

4. Clothes & Shoes

This is almost a need! I can create a separate list for you of all the fantastic things that I’d like. Actually Santa, if it’s easier I’ll take gift certificates and then once I buy the clothes I’ll take pictures of myself modeling all of them with that awesome camera you’re getting me.

5. Ticket to Blissdom 2011

Santa…. I really, really, really want to go to Blissdom! All of my blogger & twitter friends are going and I would just love to be able to actually meet them. And besides that think of all the great things that I’ll learn! My blog would be so much better with what I learn and apply! So please seriously consider this one. Oh! And I’ll need the new clothes, shoes, and camera for this trip too.

Thanks for reading my letter Santa!