Every year I buy one new ornament for our hodgepodge Christmas tree. Well this year we moved across the country so I figured the glass bauble probably should have something to do with San Francisco, but I was having a hard time finding that perfect something something. And no, I definitely didn’t want a Giants ornament.
Then I happened to find this ornament online and it was very shiny and featured multiple big important landmarks and the Golden Gate Bridge. Score one for me! But then it arrived and it was absolutely enormous. Minus one for not reading the dimensions on the site. So yes, this Christmas ornament is the biggest thing on the tree by far (aside from the star). It looks ridiculous but at least I’ll obviously remember the back story behind that one without having to rack my brain from year to year.
In addition, here are the bonus 2011 ornaments that my mom mailed to us. Aren’t CK and I cute as snowmen?
Below you’ll find the fantastic Christmas Crackers that I impulse shopped and CAN’T WAIT TO PULL OPEN ON CHRISTMAS! Yes, all in caps definitely illustrates my level of excitement over these nutcracker themed tchotchkes. Pop!
I’m not handling the holidays very well this year. We have a pretty tree, stockings, gifts and unfortunately I don’t feel a drop of Christmas spirit. I’m hoping it will miraculously appear on Thursday at noon when my office officially closes until the new year. We’ll see. In the meantime I’m trying to force myself to feel EXCITED. Operation “Finding My Inner Christmas Queen” began today with a simple little craft that I found in Real Simple.
I originally wanted to have a themed tree this year, and in typical delusional-Erin-fashion, I thought I was going to string popcorn and cranberries and then festoon the tree with oodles of cinnamon stick ornaments, but that didn’t happen. Of course, before I decided that was way too much work and that I’d just use my usual hodgepodge of wacky mismatched ornaments, I had already purchased several feet of skinny red ribbon and a pound of cinnamon sticks.
In the end I figured I might as well try making a few. At first I used some clear craft glue to hold the cinnamon sticks together before tying them with ribbon, but then I realized that the bundles held just fine simply with a firmly secured bow. The living room smelled amazing while I made about a dozen of the cute little crafts. Then I hung them on the tree with hooks and felt accomplished. I’m thinking that next year I might make more and tie them with a variety of colored ribbons. What do you think? By the way, the cranberries in the picture are part of another craft I’m going to attempt later this week. Wish me luck!
Note: The tree is sitting in a stand that is literally screwed into a ridiculously heavy piece of wood.
The kittens decided that our little Christmas Tree was the best thing since sliced bread. It lasted in our living room for all of 6 hours before Chris woke in the middle of the night to a number of suspicious sounds and found all 12 pounds of Dexter precariously perched in the top branches. Now the traditional tree is in our bedroom and I never see it. To compensate for my sad Christmas Tree-less living room I decided to fashion a faux tree on the wall with lights and then hang all off the felt ornaments that I made this year on it. I realize that the whole thing is beyond tacky but at least I have some semblance of a tree to look at, and thankfully the kittens don’t bother it at all.
I’m trying. I really am, but I simply cannot find the Christmas spirit this year. Somehow I managed to get my cards out last week (with a little assistance from Watson) but other than that I’m completely behind. My shopping isn’t done. I haven’t purchased pretty wrapping paper. I’ve yet to bake a single cookie and my tree isn’t even decorated. My to-do list seems overwhelmingly out of control. I’m attempting to give myself permission to not care that all of these holiday chores aren’t done (because that’s exactly how they feel at this point) but it’s seriously weighing on my mind. So here’s my evil Christmas “to do” list in all its glory:
See what I mean? Even a viewing of Love Actually seems like a big pain in the ass at this point. It’s really going to be a very long month if I don’t snap out of this anti-holiday sentiment soon. I mean…come on…I’m the Christmas Queen usually?! What gives?
I’m keeping it real this year and have decided that my motto for the gift giving (and receiving) season is “be practical.” That means if you’re expecting a present from me it will be something that you can actually use, wear, or should it come to it “re-gift” without shame. To that end I’ve made my own wish list a compilation of items that will serve me well throughout the entire year.
1. I tried to make homemade strawberry jam this summer for the first time and ended up with a very large batch of strawberry sauce. Unfortunately my jam never solidified but it’s great on ice cream. I blame operator error and the fact that I didn’t really have the right equipment to get the job done. This kit appears to be the key to my becoming a canning and preserving Queen.
2. The obligatory Apple product this year is the new Magic Mouse. I inadvertently picked out a really bad mouse when I started my new job and I really dislike it. So if Santa puts one of these under the tree for me my aching right hand will thank you and I’ll also be able to scroll from left to right again.
3. I love Julie Powell. She was my “I hate being an assistant and there’s hope for me yet” inspiration for many years. Now that I’m no longer working in an administrative capacity I thoroughly look forward to reading her latest memoir, Cleaving, about butchering, adultery, and quite probably lots of drinking.
4. Make cheese at home. Need I say more?
5. During the holidays I always curse the fact that I don’t own an extra bowl for my KitchenAid. When I’m in the midst of a baking marathon it is such a pain to constantly re-wash my one bowl. If I had another I could definitely be more efficient. This means more cookies for you!
6. I’m trying to branch out a bit and lately and I’ve been doing a little crafting. I’m not sure how long this interest will last, but frankly I’m sort of modified that I’m almost 30 years old and I can barely sew a straight line. If the zombie apocalypse happens tomorrow how will I sew clothing for my family in hiding? We’re all going to have to flee from high-rise to high-rise in tattered rags!
7. I adore Ellie. I also desperately need to start incorporating more light and healthy meals into our dinner repertoire. You know…dishes that aren’t slathered in butter and sour cream…
8. Ad Hoc at Home sounds like an incredible cookbook. Thomas Keller doing comfort food — how could you possible go wrong?!
I will happily bake and cook my little heart out but I find it next to impossible to get into traditional crafts. I’m a failed knitter, embroiderer, and decoupager. But when I stumbled upon these adorable Felt Christmas Ornaments the DIY bug somehow thoroughly infected me yet again.
After consulting the craftiest person I know on where to buy felt I took a little trip to Play Time Crafts in Arlington. The store itself was on the same mess level as Old Navy gets during a Black Friday sale but they had absolutely everything you could possibly want from stamps, to beads, oodles of ribbon, party supplies, and a rainbow array of felt. Instead of traditional Christmas colors I chose turquoise, magenta, lavender, and pink for my ornaments and then found several spools of matching ribbon.
This evening I attempted to sew my first ornament. It took me a little over an hour. I ended up having to use a martini glass to trace circles onto the felt. The finished product is a bit lopsided and you can unfortunately see all of my stitches but all-in-all I’m pretty proud of myself. However, I think it looks fairly good since I’ve been known to send shirts to the dry cleaner if I need a button sewed on.
Tomorrow my friend Kristen is going to give me some pointers on how to polish the craft project. Hopefully the next one will be a tad more attractive. At this rate though it will probably take me until Christmas to finish the 12 ornaments I’m hoping to make, but I’m determined to finish every single shabby one.
I’m not ready to give-up my pretty little tree yet. I’ve managed to taper off the constant Christmas music playing, as well as delete all of the holiday themed movies and specials from the Tivo, but I just can’t take down the tree. Maybe this weekend? To further aid in my Christmas-is-over denial my friend Carrie sent me these fabulous kitchen themed ornaments. They are so adorable that I’ve decided they can’t possibly be put away after New Year’s Day. They have to live on the baker’s rack, hanging next to the LED stars that I also refuse to put away during the year, forever and ever. This is a doubly perfect place for them since Carrie has claimed on more than one occasion that she’s going to move in with CK and I and live on that shelf.
CK broke my ballerina. He walked in, tossed his keys in the basket by the door, and sent the poor girl flying across the room. When she landed her head was knocked clean off. Time to go find the superglue. Hopefully I don’t seal my finger to my nose or some other nonsense while completing ornament surgery.