merry christmas!

merry christmas, everyone!


whether or not you celebrate the holiday, i hope every one of you has a day filled with laughter, family, and love.

and just for fun, here are some photos from past christmases!


me in front of our christmas tree (christmas 1987? i was two?)


me & liz


brad and his sister, sarah! (christmas 1985 i believe)


brad and sarah with their own snowman!

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christmas 2008


me and liz – christmas 2009


christmas 2009


christmas 2010

we have 3 different family christmas celebrations today – it’s going to be busy, but wonderful!

have a great day.


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holiday hot topics

i’m sure you’ve all seen this meme on many blogs lately (janetha, clare, julie, and michelle are the ones that immediately come to mind). not one to miss out on the fun, i had to participate as well!

and since today is christmas eve, i thought this was the perfect topic to prepare ahead of time to minimize computer-time and maximize the family-time today.

we’ve got a busy day – we celebrate with brad’s family on christmas eve, so we’re heading out early this afternoon to go to his uncle & aunt’s house for appetizers, then to church, and then to his grandma’s house for dinner, presents, and a white elephant gift exchange!

ok, on to the survey!

eggnog or hot chocolate?

can i say both? i love eggnog, but i usually only have one glass of it every year – it’s so sweet! and hot chocolate is always good, but i don’t think of it as a christmas drink…

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does santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?

santa always wrapped our presents when we were growing up. our parents always got my sister and i a couple presents, but most of them were from santa.

colored lights on tree/house or white?

we always had colored lights when i was growing up – my dad hated white lights. he didn’t think they were bright and happy enough! this year brad and i only have white lights on our tree and i think it’s really pretty.

do you hang mistletoe?

no. i remember having it once or twice when we were growing up, but it was never a big christmas tradition for us…

when do you hang your decorations up?

it takes all of my will power to wait until after thanksgiving – i love christmas decorations! i think we put them up the first week of december this year.


what is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

hmm. this is hard because everything is always so delicious! i guess i’ll have to go with little ham sandwiches on fresh dinner rolls with butter.

i know it’s something i could eat other times throughout the year, but i don’t. those little sandwiches at my grandma’s house always remind me of the holidays!

favorite holiday memory as a child?

i loved our whole christmas tradition. we did our christmas with my mom, dad, and sister on christmas eve. we’d go to 4pm church, then out to eat for dinner and we always stopped to visit my great-aunt sophie. on the drive home my sister and i would watch the sky for rudolph’s nose and then when we got home, santa had come! my dad always made us sing christmas carols before we could open our presents. we each had to pick one (he always chose the 12 days of christmas because it’s the longest song everrrrr) and sometimes my sister and i would have to play songs on the piano before we got presents too! it was pure torture to sit there singing and looking at those presents waiting for us.

what is on your christmas wish list?

i am so so so spoiled and have really gotten all of the material things that i wanted this year!

i got my camera (which i sooooo did not think i was getting!) and i know i’m getting a couple more things that will help improve my photography from my momma….

i guess i’m most excited to see liz and spend some time with my family.

do you open a gifts on christmas eve?

we always did the majority of our gifts on christmas eve when i was little. now we get presents at brad’s family on christmas eve and with my family on christmas day.

how do you decorate your christmas tree?

we have a hodge-podge tree! my mom and brad’s mom both saved ornaments for us since we were little, so we both had a pretty big collection to put on our first tree this year!

snow? love it or dread it?

love it! (at first). by the time march arrives and we’re still buried in snow, i do get a little sick of it. but i love the first couple snows each year.


(and of course i have to document them!)

real tree or fake tree?

part of me died inside when brad and i got a fake tree this year.

we always had a real tree when i was growing up and i loved it. again, my dad hated fake trees with a passion, so we never got one.

now that brad and i have a fake one that we’ll use for at least a few years, i do see the appeal of having one. it’s definitely convenient not to have to go drive to pick out a tree and strap it to the top of the car to get it home. plus, no needles all over the floor.

i’m still not fully convinced though. i’ll have a real tree back in my life at some point!

do you remember your favorite gift?

hmm. this is tough. we definitely got spoiled for christmas when i was little. my favorite gifts were usually books. (yes. i was and still am a nerd.) my camera definitely ranks up there with the pretty awesome gifts! so does the necklace brad got me for our first christmas as a couple.

what’s the most important thing about christmas for you?

spending time with my family! i feel so lucky to have a pretty big extended family and we’re all fairly close. it’s always fun to get together with everyone and see my cousins and aunts and uncles. and now i get to do the same with brad’s family. it’s pretty great.

what is your favorite holiday dessert?

willy wonkas and puppy chow are my favorites!


what is your favorite tradition?

we had such awesome christmas traditions when i was growing up (see question about childhood holiday memories above…)

a new tradition that i love is hiding the pickle ornament in the christmas tree! that wasn’t a tradition when we were growing up, but a couple years ago, my mom, sister, and i went to the christkindlmarket in chicago and each got a pickle ornament. since then we’ve always hidden one in our tree!

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what tops your tree?

this year it’s a star.

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do you prefer giving or receiving?

receiving is fun, of course, but i love picking out the perfect present for each person on my list and then surprising them.

what is your favorite christmas song?

it’s so hard to choose a favorite – i can’t get enough christmas music! i’ve been listening to it since before thanksgiving. i think one of my favorites this year is the 12 days of christmas by straight no chaser.

a traditional favorite is oh come all ye faithful or angels we have heard on high.

candy canes, yuck or yum?

eh. indifferent.

favorite christmas movie?

again, so hard to choose! elf is one of my all-time favorite movies (not just christmas-related) and i also really like love actually.

what do you leave for santa?

milk and cookies for santa and baby carrots + sugar for the reindeer.

do you have a christmas morning tradition?

not really. when i was younger, we’d get up and go to both grandparents’ houses for the larger family christmas celebrations. now, we celebrate christmas at my mom and stepdad’s house with my stepbrother and stepsister and their kids on christmas morning.

do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?

online all the way. sometimes i go to a store to scope things out and get ideas, but i definitely prefer shopping online. i really dislike fighting the holiday shopping crowds…

christmas letter or christmas card?

this year we’re sending out chirstmas/wedding thank-you cards together, but i’ve never sent either before. i love reading christmas letters though!

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whew – so many questions, but so much fun.

this definitely increased my holiday cheer by a couple degrees!


i hope you all have a great day & a merry christmas eve if you’re celebrating!

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