It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
With the race weekend over, we've spent this week making it look a lot like Christmas around here!
(excuse the giant pumpkin in the above picture.  We had our annual Great Pumpkin Standoff - R won.  I carried/rolled/split in two that heavy thing to the trash finally this week.)

I love nativity scenes.  Will calls them "activity scenes."
Which makes sense considering that he spends a lot of time setting up activities between the characters for various scenes.
I also love our "Very Married Christmas" framed photo card from our first married Christmas (2003)
Decorating our tree

Will really got into decorating the tree this year.  We have several branches that have about 5 ornaments hanging off of them - all crammed together like one big happy family of mismatched ornaments.
Ellie made it her job to take ornaments off of the tree.
And then she found the garland.  It is fun to swing around!

Ellie kept exploring under the tree and then getting stuck
What sweet happy children...

for a moment at least.
Then sister had had enough and began to do her sideways scoot away from big brother
Ruby is getting into the Christmas spirit too
Our love our little tree.  I love that it doesn't match at all.  I love the bright colors and the random ornaments - many from my childhood, many from places we've travelled.
I love that each year, we have new ornaments depicting something significant from the year.  This year, Will got a bowling ornament and a Batman one.  Ellie got a beautiful baby ornament.  I got an elk one due to my newfound fascination with elk & R got one for his career and running.
It will never be featured in a magazine for its beauty but our love our hodge podge, very homemade tree.
For me, it's part of Christmas - this coming together of everything broken and misplaced and mismatched  to make something whole and beautiful.
Back to my entry way nativity...
notice anything "different?"
How bout now?
Yes.  Apparently Joseph was beheaded.  I need to break out the glue gun but no promises I'll get it done this year.  Not a top priority.
And Mary?
I will never glue her hand back on.  It seems only fitting that she have a hand difference.

(PS- I should note that this happened due to my poor packing and apparently dropping of a piece over the years - not from a certain four year old.  He is not at fault.)

I once went to school in Mexico to practice my Spanish before I began teaching Spanish at the high school level.  
While there, I became very ill.  I'll spare you the details but it involved bad ice cream, my mom flying in, a hospital, and some major hallucinations.
After I was better but not yet cleared to leave the country, my mom and I did some serious shopping.
We found this pewter nativity scene & it is one of my favorites!
And the beautiful flowers?  Thanks to Scottish Rite for giving us those last weekend!

This nativity scene makes me happy with such bright colors.  My mother in law gave this to me several years ago.  Will loves to rearrange it.
Batman has made several appearances and has discovered that Mommy's garland from her childhood tree makes a great Batrope.
I don't think that will be going back on a tree anytime soon.
Will & Ellie ventured out into the cold to help Cookie ring the bell for the Salvation Army.  We began doing this last year and I love it for the kids.
It was too cold though to last long this year.

Ellie, Cookie, & Omi (neighbor of my parents) at the bell ringing

Ellie likes getting tangled in the Batrope/garland.
I like unwrapping my gift.

Such a happy baby girl!

It bothers R to have a live Christmas tree in the house sometimes so this year, I went for a live garland on my front door.  I love it!
At the tree lot, Will found this tree & exclaimed, 
"Mommy!  Isn't this tree just the cutest tree you've ever imagined!"
It took everything in me not to buy it for him!

Hot cocoa is a daily part of our routine lately!
I love decorating for Christmas but I also realize I just don't have a lot of free time lately.  So, I'm learning to not unpack every bin.  Some things just aren't important to come out this year.  I'm unpacking my favorites and enjoying a more simplified Christmas decor this year.
Coming soon - my addiction to advent calendars

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