Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our Day of Excess Pleasure, Hello Christmas

An entire day to admire shiny new toys, eat amazing food, surrounded by pretty things...whose idea was this modern day Christmas holiday we celebrate?

Some Genius.

I am a Christmas fan, in true commercialized form. I love that jolly man with cherry cheeks, love the stacks of gifts that give fleeting pleasure, love every sweet taste of homemade treats, I savor every moment with my family, and enjoy LIFE.

I am also a Christ fan. I love Jesus. He fills all my gaps and He gives periods to all my question marks. But I celebrate both: I celebrate His birth in life moments when I'm inspired to and I also celebrate our excess pleasures of life on December 25th.

I love Jesus and adore the Nativity story. However,I consider the Christmas holiday a separate event than the sacredness of Jesus' birth and my heartfelt relationship with Christ.

I'm a commercialized American who breathes life into Santa and I'm also a lover of Jesus, I believe my life wouldn't be the same without his birth.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We had a dreamy Christmas at my parent's home sweet home. We stayed the weekend there and soaked up every second! It's not so dreamy coming back home to laundry and regular chores ...so YES....all good things come to an end. The anticipation of December days was finally realized on Christmas Eve. We ate trays of appetizers, told stories, sang carols, arranged gifts under the tree, and did lots of kitchen cleaning all together as a FAMILY.

Chris standing on the counter trying to get our attention as we cook

The boys sung JUST like Alvin and the Chipmunks for us.

It's TOO FUNNY because each boy's personality
fits the exact character of the 3 chipmunks!

Titus told us all the Christmas story.

Christmas Eve dinner was a variety of appetizers including:

Veggie Pizza
...and ham or turkey pinwheels.

I am a cookie cutter FAN! I love using my cookie cutters for EVERYTHING. I made cheese stars for the cracker and cheese trays.

Too much exciting energy in the house
with too many hours still to wait for these little guys!

We sang carols as Chris led us in "Silent Night".

And the boys used their little bells to shake for "Jingle Bells".

More singing and laughing...

I surprised the boys with new stuffed animal puppies
before they went to bed.

I gave each puppy a name and labeled their bed basket and water dish.

Boys with their new puppies and traditional new Christmas Eve jammies!
(No more pictures Mom, we really just want to play)

They jumped on the table and left Santa his milk and cookies and Kotah wrote a little note with extra care.
They were actually excited to crawl under the covers
in hopes that morning would soon arrive.

After they were all snuggly and asleep with sugarplums dancing in their heads, we tiptoed around upstairs creating some pretty package magic!

Sooo much excitement and fun neatly wrapped up under the tree!

When the boys go to sleep on Christmas Eve, no gifts are under the tree. ALL the gifts are there to surprise them with a special presentation when they wake up Christmas morning.

Ribbon and bows
and colors and sparkles
and pretty tags and shiny paper
and glitter and glam
...it only happens ONCE a year
so time to make it EXTRA special
for this EXTRA special thing
we live called LIFE.

Ruffle ribbon. Love that.

...Ready for a long winter's night.
(this photo was taken at our home before we headed over to my parent's for mine and Chris' holiday date)

Finally the house is still. All is calm, all is bright.

The kids came in to wake us at 4am...and again at 4:30, and again at 5am, repeat, repeat, repeat. With minimal sleep in true and typical Christmas night style, we finally greeted Christmas morning!

Kotah excited to find gifts with his name on them!


Toys, toys!

Cookie break...

Onto dinnertime stuff....
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without PRIME RIB! The smell of it IS Christmas to me.  Here is our Prime Rib dinner menu:

Our Holiday Dinner Menu 2010

Seasoned Prime Rib
Honey Ham
Orange Glazed Carrots
Party Cream Potatoes
Cauliflower in Swiss Cream Sauce
Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
Homemade Butter Crescent Rolls
Tangy Grape Southern Salad
Frozen Mocha Dessert Loaf
Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake
3 Layer Eggnog Spice Cake

Yes, my Mom and I make it all. Yes, the men in our family tell us we don't "HAVE" to do it...that they would be fine with just the meat. Yes, we never listen. Yes, it matters to make it all a big deal. I freaking LOVE doing this stuff...that's why.

Orange Glazed Carrots

Cauliflower with Swiss Cream Sauce

Doubling up on the Party Potatoes
because it's everyone's favorite part.

Cranberry Almond Spinach
with Poppy Seed Dressing

Hey lovers, this is dessert...

Frozen Mocha Loaf

My Mom's 3 layer Eggnog Spiced Cake
and my Dark Chocolate Bundt cake...

Ready for family time around the table...

A lovely end to a lovely day....

It's all about the fun we have,
every moment.

It's all about the beauty we create,
at every chance given.

It's all about making our heart laugh,
each minute.

This is Christmas for us.

It really is the best day of the year.

This post is linked to: DIY Showoff, DIY Living, Seasonal Sundays, It's so Very Cheri, Strut Your Stuff at Saturday Mornings, Making the World Cuter, Motivate Me Mondays, Market Yourself Mondays, It's So Very Creative, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy, Tuesdays at the Table, Topsy Turvy Tuesday, Tuesdays Unwrapped, Get Your Craft On, We're Organized Wednesday, Outdoor Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Show and Tell, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Tablescape Thursday, Show off Your Stuff, Strut Your Stuff, Friday Favorites, Show and Share Day, Foodie Friday, I'm Lovin It, Funky Junk Interiors, Fabulous Friday Finds, Tickled Pink*, Be Different Act Normal, Weekend Wrap Up


Unknown said...

A wonderful post! I totally agree with you, and I recognize a few of our traditions as well! Merry, happy!

NanaDiana said...

Lisa- I read every word. You GET Christmas and I love it! Perfect day and those boys are adorable. Happy Holidays - Diana

caveman said...

Great post! I smiled all the way through it. Your words and pictures perfectly capture the happiness that my heart feels.

Kirsty said...

It looks like a perfectly delightful, decadent and delicious Christmas in every way!! Loved the post and the photos as always. Thanks for sharing your magical time. Isn't it awful coming back to reality? :(

The Tablescaper said...

You've have done an amazing job of sharing your beautiful Christmas with us. I agree with your opening sentiments. I enjoy Santa and Jesus in my Christmas.

- The Tablescaper

Unknown said...

What a SPREAD!! It all looks so very yummy :)


P.S. Be sure to pop by and enter in for the chance to win a Gooseberry Patch cookbook :)

Mystica said...

Thank you for a beautiful post.

Yettiebug said...

I would LOVE it if you would post the recipes for the Frozen Mocha Dessert Loaf and the 3 Layer Eggnog Spice Cake. They look and sound so yummy!

Jane said...

Beautiful post! You captured the excitement of the boys...and YOU! Like you, I celebrate both parts of Christmas...Sometimes, though, my focus is on the commercial side a bit too much.

Your dinner spread looks amazing!
May this coming year bring more joy and love...and peace to you and your family.
Jane (artfully graced)

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

May your New Year be filled with many Blessings and abundances of Joy for 2011. From my mountain to yours, Until next year
Hugs and Smiles Gl♥ria

Chrystie said...

I'm your newest follower! I'm in aaaah of your amazingly beautiful Christmas from the gifts to the food, to the tree!! You really pay attention to details! So glad I found your blog! :)

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

What a truly happy family you have. Your traditions are priceless. From our home to yours Happy New Year. hugs ~lynne~

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Looks like a wonderful and festive Christmas. Love seeing the excitement of your boys -- Wishing you all a very happy new year!

Marlis said...

What wonderful memories you are creating for the boys. It's fun to see your pictures! Happy New Year to you and yours, may the new year bring lots of blessings!

Jenny H. said...

Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas with your family - yay! - and the puppies on Christmas Eve are too cute. Menu looks delish - want to come cook for me?

Hopped on over here from Tablescape Thursday.

Happy New Year!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

It looks like your Christmas was Merry and bright and full of family fun.
Your boys are adorable... and it looks like Santa was so very good to them, and they must have been very very good little boys.
Such a pleasure to stop by and share your Christmas joy!

I too, celebrate Jesus' birth and have fun with Santa!

Slice of Pie said...

What a beautiful post ... and your boys are growing! Looks like you had a great time!

Jacqueline said...

Thanks for inviting us into your fun Christmas celebration! We too try to create the focus on Christ and teach the true meaning but enjoy the magic of someone who gives you gifts and expects nothing in return - the magic of Santa. All of your images were very fun to share.

Donna at the Scarlet Petticoat said...

dear lisa,
i love,love,love your blog!! thank you for sharing your beautiful holiday and family. i am inspired by not only the traditions but the heart and soul you put into them. i wish you and your lovely family all the best in the new year.

Donnie said...

I really enjoyed spending Christmas with you and your lovely family. What are we doing for New Years? Hoping you and yours have a happy and healthy 2011.

Its So Very Cheri said...

I am featuring you on Saturday.


Nancy said...

Merry Christmas Lisa! I love how magical you make all the Holidays for your boys, especially Christmas!

Amanda said...

Stopped over from Tidymom's... just have to tell you, I LOVE seeing your passion for the Jesus!!! Makes my my heart happy... thank you SO much for being confident in your faith and sharing. As I am sure you know, being bold in faith is not an easy thing, and you do it with grace and ease. Many, MANY blessings to you and yours!!


Judy@cutest-little-things.blogspot.com said...

The frozen mocha cake and your mom's spice cake look SOOOO divine, Lisa! What a fabulous Christmas ~ and once again, you did an outstanding job of capturing it all through your photographs!


Scribbler said...

I loved your post, sharing your Christmas! Since I have no grandchildren and the prospects are dim in that department, I always enjoy seeing little kids again on Christmas! I hope you and your family have a wonderful new year! (and would you please share the recipes for the potatoes and the cakes?)

Miss Merry said...

What a wonderful menu and what a wonderful post! So special that you and your mom are able to create such an outstanding menu and that the "men folks" appreciate it! You have a lovely family. Happy New Year!

Holly Lefevre said...

It sounds magical and just perfect for your family. I can feel the love in your heart through your words. What sweet traditions and memories!
ps -My son got that clear nerf gun...but my hubby is having way more fun with it!

Anonymous said...

i felt like i was with you on your christmas weekend as i read through this post! very beautiful post. and i loved how you expressed at the beginning how you believe in two things... also, i thought it was funny in the pic where the boys are opening gifts, two are still in pj's and cameron is not. haha.. did he come out all dressed and ready for his day before opening?

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home said...

Looks like you guys had a VERY merry Christmas! Great pics!

Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites last week!

Unknown said...

Uh, YUMMMY! What a sweet post -- love the pics of the kids on Christmas morning. Cute family!

Kelli W said...

Looks like a wonderful Christmas! Oh my, I am drooling over all those desserts...yum!

kate said...

you have some fun traditions!!

Miranda | Mangoes and Chutney said...

Love this! Would like to invite you over to Fat Camp Friday @ Mangoes and Chutney. The linky is up all weekend and one blogger from the linky party is featured every Wednesday. http://www.mangoesandchutney.com/2011/01/fat-camp-friday-10-blackened-tilapia.html

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Lisa, you know what I love about this? I love the fact that you truly know how to celebrate and put everything into those celebrations to make wonderful memories for your boys! This is just a great post. Loved it SO much!

Happy Seasonal Sunday...


Sheila :-)

Its So Very Cheri said...


did your Mom make the houses on the trees or did she buy them unfinished (if so where) or did she buy them already done(if she where). i usually decorate 6 trees in each year and I just love this look.


Amy said...

What a feast! Your boys are adorable!

I'm having the very first GIVEAWAY on my blog. Please stop by to submit and entry. Good Luck.


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