Merry, Joy and All That Jazz

Snow flake garland

If you’re my facebook friend (which I think all three of you are), you know that the past few months have been hard.  I’m normally one who loves everything about Christmas but this year I’m just not feeling it.  Yes, it’s great that Jeff is home with us this year.  And, hopefully, we won’t spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the nastiest stomach flu I can remember like last year.  But, I’m not there.  Yes, Jesus is the reason.  Yes, my kids are excited.  Yes, the lights are pretty.


Bring on 2012.

But, in an effort to restore my Christmas cheer I thought I’d do a little tour of our decorations.  And then return to meal planning talk in a week or so.

Advent Calendar

The kids have loved our advent activities again this year.  I picked up this advent calendar in San Antonio.  I’m kind of over the felt nativity look but it’s become tradition so it will likely stay.

gratitude garland

The gratitude garland is hands down my favorite activity that we do in December.  I love the honesty (not every answer is Jesus and health, Jeff always is thankful for homebrew) and that now the kids are wanting to fill out their own.  I started keeping a journal of our list and am so glad that I have.  This is one thing that we will never stop doing.  Guaranteed.

Card Garland

Last year I did a wreath for our cards.  While I liked the overall look, I didn’t like that some of the cards were hidden a bit.  This year I decided just to hang some baker’s twine (how I love thee!) and clip the cards on with mini clothes pins.  I like this much better.


We are starting to have quite the collection of nativities.  This is one we got in Mexico the first year we were in San Antonio.


One of our traditions growing up was to go to the Oregon Ballet’s The Nutcracker.  I loved it every year and haven’t been back in quite some time. Nutcrackers are always a special part of our Christmas time.  Jeff went with us one year (he loved it, don’t tell) and I can’t wait to take the kids and my nephew.  I can already picture us filling an entire row.


Finally, one of my most precious treasures.  My grandma painted this in 1980.  I can hardly believe that it’s 31 years old and has gone all around the world with us.  Each year I’m a bit nervous that it will have broken but it always makes it onto the tree.  I barely remember her but this is so special to me.

So, there’s a peek at our first Christmas in Italy.

Merry Christmas, all.  Love well and enjoy every second even when it’s hard.


5 thoughts on “Merry, Joy and All That Jazz

  1. I love this post. And I so love all your traditions. Especially the gratitude garland. I think we’ll definitely start that one next year. Although I suppose it’s not too late for this year… Thank you for the tour of your decorations! I love that everything has so much meaning =) It’s the same with us. I treasure each of our decorations and don’t keep it if I can’t remember how I got it. I also have an ornament that I’m surprised has survived over the years. It’s a painted, hollowed out egg I bought in Prague. Mike thought I shouldn’t b/c he was sure it would break. Thankfully, nearly a decade later, it’s still intact. And it serves as a fabulous reminder of our fun adventures while abroad.

  2. I wish I could say we have ornaments from different places but not being experienced at moving, things just didn’t make it all the time.
    We loved Italy and was super sad to leave.
    Dropping in from- wholefood kitchen.

  3. It’s never too late, Sara! 🙂 It’s funny you mentioned your ornament from Prague. We just bought for of those egg ornaments in Salzburg. The fact that yours has survived gives me hope for ours. I hope you had a blast on Teddy’s first Christmas!

  4. Pingback: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year | Mama and More

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