Monday, December 1, 2014

12 days of Christmas

Welcome to my 12 days of Christmas!!!  I thought it would be super fun to put together my top 12 things for the holiday season.  This is a special time of the year filled with lots of fun and special memories that we like to share together as a family.

So grab a cup of cheer and get ready for some great ideas, recipes and cute pictures!  Oh and a little disclosure please don't sing the 12 days of Christmas because I just wasn't that witty to make it all go to the tune :P

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a house filled with lovely decor.

Our Christmas decorations sure have changed over the years as we have moved (no more lovely fire place mantel) and as I have collected things from clearance racks.  But one of my favorite decorations are cinnamon ornaments, which leave the house smelling so divine.   These can also be used as gift tags for friends on gifts :) Another decoration that I love is my Rejoice blocks that I made a few years ago.    

I love decorating inside and hubby is in charge of making the place glow on the out side!  He is so wonderful at putting up our Christmas lights.  He is so dedicated that he worked on them before he went to work to make sure there wasn't any duds. 

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me a wonderful cookie exchange. 

Cookie exchanges are a great way to fill your freezer with delicious goodies!!  I am so thankful to have friends that make such yummy treats :)  Last year we made a wonderful afternoon out of it- sipping on hot drinks, chatting, eating scrumptious treats and trading baked goods.   We were able to do this at the beginning of the month which worked out excellent for having a freezer filled with treats to offer guest over the holiday season.   The recipe for the no bake cookie dough truffles (pictured above) is here

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me a shelf full of Christmas fun. 

Our kids LOVE to read so we have been collecting Christmas books throughout the years and bringing out these special books at the first of December for them to enjoying over the holidays.  Last year I purchased some colouring books and fun maze books that they also enjoy doing.  Now our bed time stories are ones filled with wonderful Christmas stories. 

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me laughter coming from the TV....

Everyone loves holiday movies!!  We usually kick off our holiday movie nights with the kids, popcorn and Arthur Christmas.   We also enjoy other holiday classics like the Muppets Christmas Carol, A Miracle on 34th street, and the Grinch that stole Christmas.  We have made it a tradition to let the kids sleep under the Christmas tree after one of our holiday movie nights. 

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a 5000 piece cookie puzzle. 

I married into a puzzling family :)  But I must admit that I am starting to really enjoy this tradition.  Each year we decorate the dinner table with our Christmas puzzle.  We spend the evening putting it together as a family.  This tradition also comes with fresh baked cookies and hot apple cider. 

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me an ugly sweater party. 

That right I love me an ugly sweater party!!!  Last year I got to enjoy and wonderful evening out with my small group friends.  I even made a Christmas bulb headband to go with my nice sweat shirt.  

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me new ornaments for the Christmas tree. 

We love getting new ornaments each year for the tree!!  Sometimes we make them like this snowman one, our family ones, and salt dough ones.  We also love to buy a new one as well.  We have all the kids first Christmas, our first Christmas today and some other cute ones.   I have a little secrete about this one :)  I sometimes will pick them up at the end of the season and store it away in our Christmas box until the next year that way they are cheaper and its still "new" cause its never been on the tree before. 

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a  brand new tradition. 

Each year I like to change it up and do something new.  So last year I bought the two older kids new Christmas aprons, cleared the kitchen up and let them bake Christmas cookies while I took pictures of them!  

This was super fun not just for them but for me to cause I got some really wonderful picture of this special time with them.  They loved this one so much that we just bought the 3rd kids his own apron to help this year as well.  I can't wait to get wonderful candid photos of them.  

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a beautifully trimmed tree

Our tree trimming usually starts with a trip to a U-cut tree farm!  This is a great outing for the kids as we march around a tree farm looking for the prefect tree.  Once we have circled the place 2 or 3 times Eben and Daddy usually take turns with the saw to chop it down while the rest of us stand back and yell TIMBER!  When its time to bring the tree in daddy does all the set up work making sure its in the stand right and that it looks just prefect.  Once the lights are on we take out the ornaments and let the kids put on their special ones.  

We usually try to get a picture of us all around the tree but its getting harder as we are growing bigger!  I found this picture the other day of our first Christmas tree (2007) the year I was pregnant with Eben...I know I am bigger than the tree! 

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me special Christmas treats

Seriously how cute are these???  I love finding one (or multiple) new fun snack from pinterest to do with the kids.  Jaelyn who loves fruit thought these, Cheesecake Strawberry Santa's, were the best and let me tell you they are so easy to make but look so complicated.  So why not look for some delicious Christmas treats with your kids and let them have fun in the kitchen with you.  This year we will try these grinch fruit kabobs.  

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me a plater full of festive mugs.

Who doesn't like to have hot drinks on cold winter days?  I think one of my favorite Christmas time things to do is to just sit by the beautifully lit Christmas tree with a hot eggnog latte, coffee or hot apple cider, in a Christmas mug.   Last year I went out and bought the kids two fun mugs for them to enjoy their hot coco in as well. 

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me so much joy and laughter. 

The holidays can be such a busy time for us moms and dads trying to make sure we get it all just prefect.  Let me remind you on this first day of December that your kids just want to have fun with you!  So let loose - laugh with them, cuddle them, read Christmas stories to them, make holiday memories, have Christmas dance parties, throw some flour in the air and bust and move while baking, eat a cookie that has WAY to may sprinkles on it that they decorated and don't forget to take times to sit and enjoy this holiday season it will be gone all too soon. 

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