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Posted on Dec 6, 2011 in Dear Diary | 30 comments

Deck the Halls

O Christmas Tree

Ho, ho, ho!


It’s officially Christmas season in this house!

Dress the Tree

The soreness from finishing the Hot Chocolate 15K is finally starting to subside, the tree is up, and the lights are, er, lit. After surviving an incredibly overwhelming trip to Michaels, I think I can safely say that the merriment has arrived!

Holiday Madness
Michaels = Serious Christmas madness. And a single rack of Hanukkah stuff.

There’s a reason why this is my favorite holiday. And it’s not because of such brilliant holiday fare as this:

Yes, I watched it. Yes, it was awful. I don’t want to talk about it.

No, this is my favorite holiday because in spite of the inevitable family drama (last year I made a tearful proclamation to my brother that he ruined Christmas — true story), the retail madness (thanks to increasingly expensive Christmas lists), and the bipolar weather (seriously? 64 degrees today?), it’s just a happy time. Coworkers are friendlier, strangers are kinder, and people are just… jollier!

Christmas Schnauzer
You tell ’em, Daxter.

Whether you celebrate an actual holiday around this time of year or not, there really is just something in the air. They don’t say it’s the most wonderful time of the year for no reason!

Ornamental Ornamental 2

Plus, if nothing else, it’s just a great excuse to pretty up your house, hehe.

Holiday Bow
Light Purty

It’s hard to pick just one part of the holiday season as my favorite. I love everything from the decorating to the baking of cookies to the wrapping of presents — and, of course, the unwrapping of presents (all skills that I’ve slowly been perfecting over the years, hahaha.)

I’m the best at Christmas!

It can be stressful, the weather truly can be frightful, and goodness knows I can barely even afford Christmas this year, but… I just love it. In fact, if you’re a holiday hater, you may want to push pause on this blog for a hot second. I plan on singing a lot of carols and watching a lot of Christmas movies (actually, really just anything that will to block out “Christmas Cupid” from my memory) over the next few weeks. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


What’s your favorite thing about the holiday season?


  1. I totes watched Christmas Cupid and Holiday in Handcufs last night while wrapping presents. Netflixed ABC Family movies, FTW.

    Chad Michael Murry? Yes, please.

    • I knooooow, he’s so purty. Which is why I stuck it through, until the very end. In spite of the movie itself, hahaha. You better believe Holiday in Handcuffs and Santa Baby 2 are next on the list though.

  2. Yay for decorating the house- how fun and festive yours looks!! I wanted to go into Michaels to look for photo frames Sunday, but avoided it because I knew it would be a madhouse (what store isn’t right now though??).
    I LOVE Christmas decorations and songs and everything about the holiday- except for some of the stress that comes with buying gifts. It’s always really hard to buy for certain members of my family, and I hate giving the same lame thing each year. I get really into picking things out for people that are thoughtful- it’s just my thing.
    Oh yeah, and I like getting presents, too. Especially if one of them is a Vitamix this year.

    • It was kind of crazy. I emerged from Michaels literally covered in glitter, hahahaha.

  3. I love your shirt! Did you get that at Target? I saw a whole bunch of them there on Black Friday and settled for the red one with Santa that says, “I believe.” Target is so awesome! Thanks for posting about Michael’s. I’ve been needing new craft supplies for Luke and didn’t even think about going there. Looks like y’all had a great time decorating!

    • You bet that’s where I got it! They definitely have a ton of fun holiday shirts… I may be going back. Shh, don’t tell.

  4. I decked my halls last night. I meant to do it on the weekend but got caught up with other things. I’m starting to get very excited for Christmas!

    I love that bokeh picture at the end there.

  5. My favorite part of Christmas is our yearly holiday date. πŸ™‚ One night during the holiday season, hubby and I find a really really nice restaurant, get all fancy dressed up, and go all out for a Christmas date. It’s really our present to each other. I love it.

    I love all of your holiday pictures!

  6. I celebrate Hanukkah and my husband celebrates Christmas, so I get double the holiday fun which I really enjoy.

    • Jealous! Double holiday fun… plus, 8 more days of presents? πŸ˜€

  7. Hands down, my favorite thing is the baking. I love all the goodies! I also love Dax with his shaved little paw from his IV – I know it’s annoying when the vet does that but I also think it’s kind of cute. How’s he doing these days?

    • He’s doing much better! He still sleeps all the time, but he just finished his last antibiotic pill today, and his appetite is DEFINITELY back. I’ve been having to feed him a special diet for the past week but I’m integrating his regular food back into it now, so if that all goes smoothly we’ll be 100% in the clear!

      I also feel bad about his little leg, but agree that it’s kinda cute. It’s like he’s 1/4 poodle, hahaha.

  8. My favourite thing is preparing the Christmas feast with my dad. He is now slowly handing down his turkey recipe to me and I love to cook. It’s a solid 6-8 hours of us in the kitchen rocking out to some tunes. Last year, it was every Beattle album in chronological order.
    Also, I only enjoy cooking when I have guests. For one, it’s more like a chore. So it’s extra fun when I get to prepare a whole feast.

  9. I just love how the energy of everyone feels…different. There’s no way to explain it, but people are happier and kinder and I wish we were like this year round, but I do love that it’s special. And I really really really love the lights!!!

  10. Made the mistake of going into the Container Store for a single tube of wrapping paper. WARNING: they have an entire row of gift-giving accoutrements dedicated entirely to gifts for your pets. I ended up getting three spools of very fancy ribbon which I absolutely cannot figure out how to incorporate into my gift wrapping. When I was checking out, the cashier asked if I’d seen the second floor. THERE WAS ANOTHER FLOOR OF GIFT WRAPPING ACCESSORIES, which I can only assume was Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes if it topped what I found on the first floor. I AM NEVER GOING BACK THERE WITH MY WALLET.

    I ended up taping some shiny gold stuff all over a bottle of tequila I got for a home-made margarita gift basket. MERRY DRUNKMAS!


      Huzzah! I now know where to go to get the trappings and trimmings for those Pugz boots that Daxter’s had his eye on… bahaha. Also, I’ll take three Skiving Snackboxes to go please.

  11. My favorite part is of course the christmas music and a perfect excuse of baking tons and tons of cookies. I also love the smell of pine trees and having the fireplace burning. I’m enjoying every minute I can get of this holiday season.

    Your decorations look awesome! Love the shirt πŸ™‚

  12. oh this question is tricky…I love many things about the holidays. I guess my favorite would be making cookies w/ my mom while listening to christmas music

  13. “i will be watching/listening to anything that will block out Christmas Cupid from my memory.”

    you kill me Gretchen! i love your style of writing. i laugh out loud at least once per post πŸ™‚

    so cliche, but i love how family gets together for the holiday. and since i’ve been gone the past 2 years for christmas, i’m REALLY looking forward to it this year.

  14. The lights! I LOVE driving around (or making my husband drive around) looking at the lights. We get out to go cups of hot chocolate, pile the dog in the car, turn on the Christmas tunes and hit the neighborhoods for good cheer. LOVE IT!

  15. I love the feeling of hopefulness in the air. It’s hard to describe, but it just feels like, I guess like you said, people are just happier and more positive (most people, most of the time!). The holidays will forever be special to me now that this is the time of year that I got engaged. It makes my love for this time of year that much more intense. I love the Christmas decorations, especially the lights and all the shades of red and green together. As much as I hate a crowd most times, I even enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Christmas crowds as people are out snagging up presents for their loved ones. Most of all, I love what Christmas truly stands for.

  16. I simply enjoy spending time with my parents and sister. Since we live in different parts of the country, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only time we are together. We cook together, laugh, eat, and watch movies. Simply being in their presence is my greatest gift! Happy Holidays!

  17. I can’t wait for work to calm down so i can focus on enjoying the holidays with the decorations, christmas tunes on the radio and the madness of the malls πŸ™‚

  18. HI Gretchen. I LOVE this post, holiday decorating makes me happy. As does the Humbug shirt!!!!!!! I really enjoy the Christmas season, love the decorating, the lights, the music, the nostalgic Christmas specials on tv, mandarin oranges and shortbread cookies. Dax looks adorable here, but he looks adorable every time you post his picture. Have a great day.

  19. My boyfriend bought me that Humbug shirt the other night from Target! T-shirt twinssss! Anyway, love the decor in your house!


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