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Christmas Catch-up

2013 December 22
by Becky

December has slipped away in a blink.

I’ve been inundated with all the extraneous activities I put upon myself during this time of year. The baking and party throwing and decorating and card sending and event attending.

I let it build up to a blazing ball of anxiety, this feeling that I won’t get everything done. How will it get done?!

And then it does. Every year, it gets done. And somehow I have fun doing it all. Like decorating our new house.


The staircase, fireplaces, trim everywhere on which to hang twinkle lights…its my favorite Christmas house yet. It’s like the garland and poinsettias belong here. I may leave them up full time.

Our first faux tree, while too short, really is pretty. Covered with meaningful little ornaments we pick up here and there, never having a distinct theme. But I love the mix of ornament styles and fuzzy feelings I get when we unwrap them each year.

Like Ethan’s clay handprint. Or our fat, feathery St. Louis cardinals.



Our only real addition this year was some dried orange slices. Baked in the oven for a few hours, making our house smell like citrus and adding pop of color to the tree and garlands.

Holiday crafting with Ethan was at the top of our list too. I found a gingerbread house kit for five bucks at Five Below (totally random…never been there before) and couldn’t resist giving it a try, after all, Ethan loves anything that involves food. He did great! Of course I helped with most of the assembly but the gum drop and sweet tart designs are all his handy work…at least with the ones he didn’t eat first.


“Can I eat it?!” is Ethan’s plea, every single day.

One of my favorite silly expenditures at Christmas is holiday cards. I love making them, addressing them, getting them in the mail, and even taking pictures for them. Every day when I reach in the mail box I feel for the larger, thicker envelopes that will surely contain beautiful pictures of our friends and family.


Ethan and I tear them open just inside the front door, not wanting another second to go by before finding out what they hold. I love his face when he sees a friend peering back at him.


Sometimes it’s been so long he doesn’t recognize the friend and needs some hints. Kids change so fast at this age…especially precious girls who not long ago weren’t sporting those long locks.

And yes, above I said I like addressing our cards. Like getting school supplies ready in fall, updating my contacts and writing out each envelope fills me with holiday spirit. This chore turned around when I started getting self-inking return address stamps. Worth. Every. Penny.


In not-really-holiday-related news, December was the “Month of the Basement”. We decided to start using our newly refinished (by the previous owners) lower level for more than laundry and storage. The guest room has officially moved from the third floor to the basement. Our guests will no longer be climbing two flights of stairs. To celebrate, I painted the basement bathroom “Electric Blue“.


In this shot it’s still in progress, but believe me, it looks amazing. Think Carrie Bradshaw’s “grown up” apartment. It’s Fabulous! 

In seasonal news, we got snow! LOTS of it.

EthanSnowWe headed to the Kirkwood Candy Cane hunt in full winter gear, sledding and making a snowman on the way. Sure Frosty was a dirty, leaf-filled snowman, but Ethan thought he was perfect.


And if the Candy Cane hunt wasn’t on your holiday to do list, make sure it is next year. I think the reservations were $5 per kid and it was adorable, even though the candy canes were buried in snow!

Of course after all that candy eating (kidding, he ate one and I hid the rest for bribes down the road), I figured it was time to take Ethan with me to the dentist. My bi-annual cleaning was due and they encouraged me to bring him, though I warned there was a good chance things would go bad. Stu and I were positive Ethan wouldn’t get anywhere near the chair, but after patiently and diligently watching my cleaning from a stool nearby, this happened…


He just jumped right in! The dentist did a quick check, then the hygienist polished those little chompers right up. It was the least dramatic milestone we’ve experienced to date. I was SO proud.

But his bravest moment of the week had yet to take place.

We had “Breakfast with Santa” at the St. Louis Zoo yesterday and THIS happened…


Stu and I were FLOORED. He’s been terrified when in the mere vicinity of Mr. Claus this season, so our expectations were low. Our attempt to psych him up beforehand by watching the Santa part (AKA only non-creepy part) of The Polar Express movie seemed to help, but he put up a good fake-cry while we stood in the very short line to see St. Nick. When we reached the front, he was all smiles and shouted, “My Turn!”  I placed him on Santa’s lap and he smiled away before telling Santa what he wanted, “A crane with a dinosaur bone,” and Santa revealed his favorite cookies were chocolate chip…hint hint. The event was very cute (included breakfast, holiday characters, free 4×6 print of your choice, and very reasonable prices for additional photos), we’ll be there again next year.

So that’s the most interesting stuff we’ve been up to. Grandma and Grandpa Schon (my parents) arrive tomorrow afternoon and we’ll be spending a relaxing holiday with family and friends. Then there’s a whole four days before we tear down some garland in order to celebrate Ethan’s third birthday…

This year’s theme? Construction, of course. Can’t wait to share the details.



2 Responses
  1. Grandpa & Grandma Voboril permalink
    December 27, 2013

    Love the tree. Are the orange slices real?

    • Becky permalink*
      December 28, 2013

      Thanks! And yep, just slice a navel orange (they don’t have seeds) and place the slices on a sheet pan with a rack or parchment paper at 200 for 3-4 hours until nice and dry. It makes the house smell amazing!

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