Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Christmas Day in Wonderland 2011

 
2011


My parents only live 15 minutes from us, but our annual holiday stay at their home feels like a complete WORLD away!  Every Christmas, it is as if we are magically moved to a weekend dreamland.  Once we pull up their steep driveway on Christmas Eve, there is nothing else.   No traffic.  No dusting or laundry.  No noise or rush.  No deadlines to meet or paperwork to file.  No math problems and school work.  No errands or chores.  The rush of life is instantly paused and daily life tasks are absolutely forgotten.


By recent tradition, we spend Christmas at my parent's home sweet home.  My brother joins us as well.  And our entire family stays the weekend at their house.  It's our special Christmas getaway and each of us look forward to it!



I have a so many strong feelings about Christmas as I've shared often before.  I hold those sentiments about this season close to my heart.  So, check my previous post on why I adore this commercialized holiday of excess pleasure.

I am certain that the primary reason I simply LOVE Christmas is because of my parents.  They have made every Christmas of mine magic.  It didn't stop when Santa didn't tiptoe into our house, and it didn't stop when I moved out and got married.  They have ALWAYS given me a dreamy holiday, every.single.year. of my life.  I've observed their hard work and I appreciate their efforts.  I know it doesn't "just happen".  They create this winter wonderland for the entire family to savor each December.  It means everything to me.  Their efforts are worth it for this girl! I hold my holiday memories close, pushed close to my heart forever.  These holiday experiences have colored my life with real, genuine beauty.  So, I move forward and share that joy with my own family.  I eagerly pass the glamorous holiday pleasure onto my own children, in hopes of making every moment of this brief time on earth count.

Little Stairsteps


My mom has their home appointed with a gentle amount of holiday charm throughout.   Nostalgically comfortable but traditionally dignified decor is nestled in their rustic Colorado home. 


Cozy mittens dangle over the fire.


A charming cluster of Christmas:
an updated Christmas village sits in the kitchen.


Our celebration kicked off with a Christmas Eve feast 
at my Mom's gorgeous table.



The table was set using my Grandma's china 
that has been passed down to my Mom. 



 Our Menu included a turkey, a ham, AND a prime rib! 
I think we were sort of spoiled. ;) 


 My Mom prepared a large assortment of sides including
{perfect} mashed potatoes, an absolutely delicious blue cheese butternut squash,
stuffing, roasted green beans, and more. 


I made a unique and fresh winter salad with 
diced pears, avocados, and Roquefort cheese with candied pecans. 

I also made mini cheese balls: 
Savory cherry cheese truffles.  


Lots of appetizers to last us the entire weekend too...


My mom and I both love to be little Betty Crockers 
and Christmas is the perfect excuse to go cooking crazy.

Annnd...we will never be hungry again!



 These are my incredible parents...I love them so much! 


After our feast,  we all gathered around and sang Christmas carols as Chris played guitar. 


A basket of jingle bells for each of us as we sing. 



The singing was going along normally...


Then somehow became a bit crazy...


The kids each get a new jammie set from us on Christmas Eve by tradition.  
And this year my Mom surprised them with super cute holiday penguins.  
She knitted each penguin a baby scarf! 
LOVE it!


The excitement was high and heavy in the air for the boys.  They all had trampolines on their toes as they weightlessly bounced around the house anticipating the next day.   They are all snuggly in their new, clean jammies cuddling their new penguins. 


We located Santa's location on the online Santa tracker 
and it was followed by squeals and panic cries to hurry into bed!


To close the night, my brother Kyle and I always recite Luke 2 
and then my Mom reads The Night Before Christmas to the boys.
The atmosphere is expectant, full of energy and giddy joy. 


She has read this to them each Christmas Eve since they were little.  
They sit still in absolute silent wonder, hanging onto every word she reads.  

 


Finally, it is time to be tucked into bed downstairs in my Dad's toyroom
for the "long winter's night".



 In the quiet hours of this highly anticipated night, 
Santa touches down with silent tiptoes to leave surprises. 


And rows of beautifully wrapped packages are secretly displayed 
for little wide-eyed boys to discover in the morning! 

 
Finally, Christmas morning arrives!




Umm...!!! Look who else got a big surprise snowball?! 
Meee. :) 
My parents surprised me with the heaven cloud I previously blogged about
So happy!

I'm not the only one who loved my new gift.


  These brief magical moments on Christmas morning are SERIOUSLY 
my favorite times of the entire year! 
I always soak up every second and love it SO much!!
This is my favorite day.
By far.


 
I have so many giddy memories of searching for packages 
with my name on them on Christmas morning. 
My boys do the same.


Balancing between shiny packages, 
on a hunt for their names on the tag...



Choosing just the RIGHT gift to open first.


Let the fun begin!




The gift opening craze is interrupted by breakfast.
Mom is serving up the BACON!


You can read more about our Christmas breakfast traditions here



Then it is back to gifts and lots of playing!

 My mom, brother, and I had a contest to see who could give my Dad his eBay gift cards in the most creative way.  Kyle did a mouse trap (pretty tricky!), I did a classic surprise ball, and my Mom made him a cozy hat and tied the cards on it.

My Dad said we all won. 


Boring.



My mom still taking care of my Dad after all these years.


The entire day was spent with BOY toys!  
We have so many LEGO sets, I'm afraid to walk barefoot.

Playing inside AND outside!
Off to try out the outside toys...



My brother spoiled my boys with REAL radio control cars...
not the toy ones, but the crazy real ones. 


This is what my boys were doing all weekend.

Even Chris got one...



We also spent a lot of time devouring Christmas cookies
 because my mom is always serving up some sort of goodness.

Her cookie tray filled with Almond Bars, Cappuccino Snickerdoodles, and Chocolate Gingers.  
She is a cookie-baking goddess.

We spent the rest of the weekend listening to Christmas music
on old records
and playing with our new blessings
...and best of all, doing it all together!


I am so extremely thankful for this Christmas 
and every one that we have been blessed with. 
It's a true time of splendor that is 
created especially for the grand finale of the year!  
It is a celebration of the pleasures of life, 
a dance of goodness,
and a rich sampling for our five senses. 

And these words of this Christmas carol couldn't be more accurate:

"There's a happy feeling nothing in this world could buy...
These wonderful things are the things we'll remember all through our lives".

How true this is!
I hope you had the merriest of Christmases!





This post is linked to:Simply Sweet Home Inspired Room HomeStories Mantels, Holiday Home Link Parties TLCUnder the Table & Dreamin, Think Pink Sundays, Seasonal SundaysMet Monday, Making the World Cuter, Tuesday Tutorials and Tips, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy, Tip Junkie, Get Your Craft On, DIY Design, Works for Me Wednesday, Blue Cricket Design, Transformation Thursday, House of H, Tablescape Thursday, Show off Your Stuff, Strut Your Stuff,   Show and Share Day, Foodie Friday, Frugal Friday, I'm Lovin It, Tickled Pink, Friday Flair, Design Dazzle, Be Different Act Normal, Funky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up  DIY by Design The Nester Home Tour

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29 comments:

Our really empty nest said...

How wonderful!! What fantastic memories and traditions you are making for the boys! Thanks for sharing! Sue

Kim, USA said...

Makes me smile to see family getting together on Christmas. Your parents are young looking your mother is gorgeous!!! ^_^ Wishing you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Tablescape Thursday

Maria said...

Where to begin? Everything looks wonderful! It looks like your Christmas was fun and the kids looked so involved! Clearly, the party was for them,too. I love that! Your tree is stunning. Some wonderful memories were made in your house that night. Happy New Year!

Jane said...

What wonderful Christmas traditions! You are so blessed to have a close knit family who truly loves to be together. The boys are especially blessed to have grandparents who love them to pieces! These are memories to be treasured and passed along through the generations...

Your mother has found just the right touch of holiday decorations...not too little, not too much...and not too fussy! I would be sooooo comfortable in her home...except for the cold temps. Hey, I'm a FL girl, after all...
xo
J

janet said...

What a magical Christmas you and your family create for your boys..

Tess said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful family holiday! Your mother is an amazing hostess...you are a lucky girl to have such a wonderful family: parents,siblings,hubby, and boys and they are surely lucky to have you!

Have the Happiest 2012!

Phyllis@Around the House said...

What a beautiful tablescape...great family photos and the food looked wonderful...Happy New Year

Savvy Seasons said...

What a beautiful family, home, grandparents, and memories you have created. Your photos are truly magical, and I *ALWAYS* enjoy the way you tell the story with pictures and love through your writing. You really have a gift.

Wishing y'all the merriest of New Years! xo ~Liz

Linda said...

Thank you for this beautiful gift! I loved reading about your magical holiday traditions...Happy New Year to you all,

Linda at Beautiful Ideas

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

Everything looks lovely! You and your mom have amazing attention to detail. Your family truly is blessed.

Judy@cutest-little-things.blogspot.com

Marlis said...

So wonderful that you can still spend every Christmas together. Your family holiday sounds magical indeed. May the year bring warmth, good cheer and many, many blessings. xo marlis

Kelly Quinones Miller said...

Looks look a wondrous Christmas. Your parents are so young!

b. said...

That tree is beautiful.. I looooove it!!!

Christmas weekend tucked away from the world sounds so perfect and looks perfect!

So glad you all had a wonderful Christmas together as always!

All the pictures look so pretty and festive! And the food of course looks delicious!

xoxo.

Entertaining Women said...

An amazing Christmas celebration. Thank you for inviting us for a peak. Happy New Year! Cherry Kay

Nancy said...

How nice that your parents live so close to you! That must be a lot of fun. Glad you had such a magical Christmas. I really like that you've memorized Luke 2 -I need to try doing that. Your boys are all super cute!

Gail S. said...

What beautiful photos! Looks like such a fun Christmas! Would LOVE tp have you (or your Mom!) share some recipes with us!! Such a beautiful home, beautiful parents and beautiful kids!! Blessing to you all in the New Year!

Kelli @ RTSM said...

It looks like you had an amazing Christmas! I love all the traditions!

Sherri said...

Beautiful photos, heartfelt story...LOVE the mantel and fireplace. I could just FEEL being transported there.

Alycia Nichols said...

Hi, Lisa! I'm going through the Tablescape Thursday posts tonight, and I am so glad I got to yours before shutting down for the evening. This is one of the most heartwarming posts I think I have ever read! When I first saw the cute photo of your 3 boys at the top of the post I thought, "Oh, how cute! Nice-looking boys!" Then I totally got into the whole post, reading every word. I do that on all posts because I like knowing what people are up to and into, but I really, really lingered this time. This is one of the most wonderful pictorials of a family Christmas that I have ever seen. There is so much love in your family, and that is the greatest thing ever. Your parents made Christmas a special time for you, and you are doing the same for your children. I have no doubt that because of the care you are taking with them as a parent now that they will become excellent fathers of whom both their kids and wives will be very, very proud. Your parents' home is lovely, too, and they are very good-looking people! Rock star quality! :-) I saw that everyone was pretty much in shirt sleeves when playing outdoors. Must have been an unseasonably warm Christmas Day there, too. Hallelujah for that! I wish you and your family the very best of this wonderful Christmas season as it continues, and a very happy and safe New Year!

Kerry Rossow said...

Lisa! I love this post. Everyone looks so happy- I love the reflection in the fireplace picture!
Happy New Year!
Kerry at HouseTalkN

Barb said...

Oh my goodness! I don't know where to start! I'll just say your Christmas is picture-perfect!! Wow! Beautiful family and beautiful post!

Leslie's Garden said...

What fun to read about your family traditions and see photos of the fun activities and the kiddos! I enjoyed myself so much! Happy New Year to your sweet family!

Chandy said...

Oh my! I would love to be there, too! What a beautiful place to spend Christmas in!

Happy New Year and glad I stopped by your blog. I love stumbling into new and wonderful bloggers.

Beth said...

What a treat to see what a fabulous holiday your family celebrates and how lovely your mom makes their home. She gives Martha a run for her money!

I do HAVE to mention that I noticed that Santa signs his gifts to my daughter EXACTLY like he does for your sons!!! I'm glad to see he is consistent! ;^)

Chubby N Chieque said...

I drool and adore your tradition.

I am away from my loving family for so many years. I created my own family and raised to beautiful and respectful kids (age 26 & 19 yrs old). Then my cousins came over to join me and friend who became an extended family.

It is a 2nd decade that my family is growing in Sweden and I created our tradition that we really cherished, like you.

I love traditions and this time of the year is the best time.

TY a bunch for sharing.

Hope you had a great NY...
Wishes from Stockholm,
/chie

cheryl said...

Lisa I love your Christmas! Your traditions remind me of my family's traditions. This is by far my most favorite time of the year! I love every single minute of it. My family is lucky that we have been able to share most Christmas day's together. Your sons will have lasting memories of these special days! And your Mom's decorations are beautiful! Wishing you the best New Year!

Michelle said...

AMAZING! Makes me happy looking at all the pictures and beautiful descriptions! :)

Kaden Joy said...

My family has fallen apart due to a divorce seeing you do the things our family used to do brought tears to my eyes but the joy that I see in your traditions made me see how lucky I was to have had that in my life. Thanks you Love your blog.

melissa@joyineveryseason said...

what a wonderful holiday! that tree is absolutely gorgeous ... Merry Christmas!