Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The 12 Days of Christmas (Catch-up Style!)

I saw this on other blogs and thought it was too cute to pass up. So, here we go: The 12 Days of Christmas Countdown! :)

{Day One} Christmas/Holiday Traditions
I must say that my Mom and Dad always made Christmas fun, exciting, and all about tradition. Some of my Mom's side of the family is from Louisiana, so on Christmas Eve, we eat gumbo instead of your traditional "Christmas fare." It's so fun to be different, and I'm so excited that hubs gets to experience this with me this year. We always go to the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at our church, which I love. There's something so amazing about celebrating the actual reason for the season with church family amongst candlelight. We also always lay out cookies for Santa (except for the year Santa got a turkey sandwich and Dr Pepper...) and on Christmas morning, we eat breakfast casserole or french toast. We almost always watch a movie that was in one of our stockings, too, and we never change out of our pajamas until it's time to go to my grandparents' that evening for their Christmas.

{Day Two} Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks
Well, I'm definitely one of those people who goes all out at Christmas! The best advice I have is to start early. My Mom is a master at this and picks up things here and there...even in summer! However, I usually start around September or October since I have so many gifts to buy -- especially this year now that we're married! It just seems so much better having a bit of money out of the bank account here and there as opposed to a ton of money all out at once. That's my theory. :)

{Day Three} Meaningful/Memorable Gifts
I remember when I was really young, I wanted the Playskool doll house. Remember this? Well, Santa brought it and I was SO excited. Pretty sure I played with that thing until about 5th grade or so.
Of course, it's also meaningful to get a gift that I forgot I wanted. My Mom is awesome at remembering gifts I said I wanted in oh, March, and then I unwrap them on Christmas morning and just am so surprised.

{Day Four} Tips & Tricks to a Budget-Friendly Holiday Season
I kind of answered this in #2, but some other tips I have are: buy off-brand if you're cooking. No one tastes the difference between store-brand and off-brand green beans in that green bean casserole. Trust me, $.75 cans of green beans taste just the same as $1.05 green beans. (And that's money in your pocket for more gifts!)
I also always search and for coupon codes if I'm shopping online. It takes a bit longer to search, but I've snagged some great deals this season with my online shopping!

{Day Five} Gift Ideas for ME!
Well, I must say with recently getting married, there's not too much on my Christmas list this year...and I'm a very lucky, very blessed girl to have the things that I do have. But, here are a few things I wouldn't mind having:

This pea coat from Old Navy

These boots from Nordstrom

Some diamond earrings would be nice...ahem, hubs.

The KitchenAid stand mixer (that I know I got...EEK!)

{Day Five} Favorite Holiday Movie/TV Special
Well, of course it's not Christmas without these!

{Day Seven} Holiday Craft/DIY
Well, I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not much of a DIY-er. I just don't have the time right now with both of us working all the time! However, I did make a little ribbon wreath (see yesterday's post) for the mirror in our little "breakfast nook," and I did create our own little Christmas cards this Maybe that's stretching it a bit. :)

{Day Eight} Least Favorite Part About the Holidays
I absolutely hate when Christmas is over! It's so sad taking down the tree and all of the cheery, festive decorations. I'm pretty sure that the days between Dec. 25-30 are the most depressing day of the year. You spend all month getting things ready, and it's all over in 24 hours. I also hate traveling...even though we only have to drive, it's such a pain sitting in traffic. However, at least we have family to drive to.

I hope you've all had a fantastic "hump-day." I cannot believe it's December 1 already! 

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