Thursday, December 23

The 12 Days of Christmas

Okay...more like the 26 days of Christmas.

We had a lovely, lovely holiday season...and a busy one too! Between special pre-Christmas sleep-overs, our Annual Holiday party, trips to see Santa, and learning how to paint Ukrainian eggs...the days leading up to Christmas were full of laughter and joy...

We decided to have a white Christmas tree this year decorated in silver and blue...a little different from our usual traditional tree, but we loved it!

So did Gypsy...see her under there?

And Marie....thinking this shot may be next year's Christmas card!

We celebrated an early Christmas with our darlings Van &, presents, and a movie (Tangled~super fun!).

Aren't they cute? We got them dress up clothes as part of their gifts from us. They dressed up for the movie!

Our Annual Holiday party was filled with  fantastic friends & family, incredible food, great wines, and good memories in the making...

Our family spent a day at James and Danielle's learning how to paint traditional Pysanky (Ukranian) eggs. Traditionally, these are dyed at Easter and given out as gifts, but we decided to create our own family tradition and do them for Christmas. Let's just say some people were definitely proven (once again) to be the artistic folks in the family while the rest of us just had a good time!

James & Dani's lovely home...

A bowl-full of some of J&D's eggs they'd painted previously (set out as examples...I can only dream of doing something this incredible: I stuck to snowflakes!)

A much needed tutorial from Dani on how to get started and what to do. It's really an incredible process! It involves a lot of hot wax and glorious dyes and "blown" eggs. Let's just say James and Danielle probably don't want to eat another egg for quite some time after preparing 36 eggs for us to paint!

And: go!!!

I took Teagan on a nature walk so the others could get their creative juices flowing without worrying about her grabbing hold of a jar of dye or a candle of hot wax...

Mission accomplished: she came back and fell sound asleep!

Here's a few samples of the awesome eggs that were created this day...

 Here's one of my snowflake eggs...snowflakes are perfect for people w/shakey hands to do!!!
 Another shakey-hand-snowflake design:

My brother made these awesome little caps for the eggs so they can be hung up on display:

Carton full of beauty:

I'd felt kinda klutzy while painting my eggs, but have to admit that James' end-caps really make them look good and I have to say this one looked awesome on our tree:


Finally--with just a couple days before Christmas to go--we went with Tiff and Teagan to visit Santa. Teagan is still not totally sure what Christmas is all about. I think she just thinks it's about pretty things and sparkly lights appearing everywhere. She was a bit weirded out by having an actual tree in her house (!). And then there was Santa...everywhere. But especially at our house because Gramma Cindy collects little Santa's of all sorts. Mostly the "Father Christmas" types as apposed to the traditional American Santa version. But Teagan caught on pretty quickly that the old guy with the white beard was Santa, whether he was dressed in white or brown or red or green...carrying a sack of gifts or a sled or hanging out with the local wildlife (deer & birds). She would say hello & good-bye to the Santa by our front door and "nigh-night" to the one on the stairs when she would go up for her nap. She recognized him on her Christmas tree at home regardless of how he looked (formal Victorian or handpainted by either James or Tiff or myself when we were kids).

And she liked Santa. She really did. Til he was big...and human...and some stranger plunked her down on his lap. Then, not so much so!

Happy girl on the way to visit Santa...

Hugging a Christmas ornament she'd snagged from her tree at home...

Heading in to the store....

 Riding the escalator ("like Cordoroy the bear!")

Blissfully waiting in line....

"Hey...what the heck is happening here?! WHO ARE YOU FREAKS? NO! I will not look up and smile!!! Not til someone gets me off this strange man's lap!!!"
Please note: no tears, just her "shy-mode" and no big smile.

Taking the escalator away from Santa:

Well, at least the old guy gave out candy...

 Side note: does anyone else find it odd that we tell our kids to stay away from strangers and to not take candy for strangers, but when Halloween and Christmas roll around, we want them to do the exact opposite?

Anyway...Merry Christmas!!!!