This year was Eric & I’s… fifth Christmas together. Wow. (To be honest, during our first one, back in 2009, Eric was in Korea while I was here in Connecticut, but we spent most of his Christmas day/my Christmas Eve night on Skype together… Long-distance relationships are the worst, glad we don’t have to do that again!) We enjoy staying home for Christmas, and since my brother Nic moved out this past summer, this was our first Christmas with just the two of us. Also, since we were on tour until early on the 22nd, we didn’t have a lot of time to fit in some proper Christmas festivities, but we did our best. I never would have imagined that “our own Christmas” at home with be so much fun (Halloween was always my favorite, so enjoying Christmas so greatly was a surprise to me!)
I didn’t have time to make a wreath, so instead I cut a few branches from the holly bushes in our yard and hung them on the door. Seeing them when we enter and leave the house makes me smile every time.
We couldn’t find the sewn stockings I’d made for us two years ago, so I decided to knit us these while we were on tour. I love that they’re so vibrantly colourful and not really “Christmas-y”. To reinforce their durability, I sewed a white cotton lining into the stockings. I’m considering making these to sell online for next Christmas… We’ll see.
Speaking of stockings, my family has a tradition of opening our stockings on Christmas Eve night, before bed. With only the two of us, it was weird to have the responsibility of having to fill an entire stocking, but it was fun too. Plus, we have the chance to add in a whole bunch of grown-up stocking stuffers, like cigars, liquor miniatures, shisha, and hot sauce.
I wanted to make a few festive Christmas treats, but again, because we only had a few days and because it’s only the two of us here this Christmas, I only made a few: A loaf of challah bread (we use to get one from a family friend every Christmas as a gift), a half-batch of gingerbread cookies that Eric and I decorated, and a half-loaf of Russian tea cakes (my dad’s favorite Christmas cookies). I also added some bells on a homemade door-hanger to our brightly painted door (love those colours so much!)
When we first got married Eric & I started a tradition of hand-making a new Christmas ornament as one of our gifts to each other. Eric attached a bunch of Cass beer bottle caps from our trip to Korea this past summer to a giant bell as my ornament. For his I painted the third Russian nesting doll in a set of five that I’ve been giving him every year:
Features of this year’s ornament: Eric’s beard, the black shirt he was required to wear daily while we ere in Korea, jeans & Sambas (everyday), the tattoos on his arms, eating his favorite breakfast food (cereal) out of a favorite (ceramic) bowl, a stack of board games to one side (Risk Legacy, Settlers of Catan, the Resistance, and Gloom), and a homemade beer brewing to the other side. You can see details of the other two Christmas ornaments here and here.
And speaking of ornaments, we took a slice off of the bottom of last year’s tree and turned it into an ornament itself. Another tradition we hope to keep up year after year.
Another new homemade piece I’ve added to our Christmas festivities: An advent calendar. Eric and I saw something similar while doing Christmas shopping for our nieces and nephews, and I knew I could make one (of a much better quality) for about $12 cheaper. We put (Lindt) chocolates into each pocket to count down the days to Christmas. This is another thing I’m considering making to sell online next year. Again, we’ll see.
Eric decided to start another new tradition this year: Instead of cookies and milk for Santa, we put out some glitter… for the Christmas Unicorn.
And finally, while Eric & I were enjoying the contents of our stockings on Christmas Eve, I did a sketch of how I think Santa Claus really should look, with dark-skin and not dressed in an outfit endorsed by Coke.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, thanks for sticking around. Enjoy my favorite Christmas song of the season!