Monday, December 20, 2010


In the spirit of all things merry and festive ...

Thanks, Melissa and Jen, for this fantabulous idea of sharing our holiday decorations and traditions!

Thanks to all who stop by! Check out mine, then click on the pic above to be swept away to Jolly by Golly HDQ and check out all the other participants. Ho Ho Ho!

My hubby and I are HUGE Christmas geeks. We break out the decorations day after Thanksgiving and instead of shopping for Black Friday, we decorate! Music, movies, trimming the tree ... it's so much fun. We don't celebrate it as a religious holiday--although we do have strong Christian beliefs--for us, Christmas is a cultural celebration of fantasy and fun. (Remembrance of Christ we observe in church on Sunday mornings.)

Here are some pics of our decorations:

The Tree ... small and fake, but just right for us!

Ah, the unparalleled glory!

The stockings all hung by the French doors with care ...  Yep, that's right. We live in Florida, so no fireplace. :(

And my darlings with Santa ... our Christmas cards that went out. Consider this one addressed to all of you.

Now, for a recipe of my fave holiday treat! I make these sugar cookies every year and it takes all day and is laborious and exhausting. BUT! They are always a humongous hit and they're gone by the end of Christmas day! It's an old family recipe, but I don't mind sharing it with you. (ancient Chinese secret )


1.5 C. sifted powdered sugar
1 C. butter
Mix together

1 egg
1.5  t. vanilla
Mix thoroughly til blended

2.5 C. sifted flour
1 t. soda
1 t. cream tartar
Sift and stir into butter mixture
Refrigerate dough for 2-3 hours

Roll out dough quarter inch thick; cut with desired cookie cutters; place on lightly greased pan. Bake at 375 for 7-8 minutes.

Icing: Blend 1 C. powdered sugar; 1/4 t. salt; 1/2 t. vanilla; 1-2 T. cream or milk. Tint to desired color and spread, sprinkle. (Note: I usually need more cream with my icing to keep it less thick and easier to spread)

These make some of the cutest and most delicious cookies ever! I'd snap a pic for you, but I haven't made this year's yet ... plan to Wednesday... yum-o! Goodbye, bikini body!

As for holiday beverages, I like to have a little eggnog with a dash of Captain Morgan's spiced rum on wrapping night. My hubby and I usually spend the evening together wrapping and sharing a few drinks a couple of days before Christmas--one of my fave parts of the holidays. Mmm... I can almost taste it now!

Since my hubby is a firefighter, he works 24hour shifts at a time. This year, like last year, he works Christmas day. Luckily our kids are young enough that they don't know which day is which, so we celebrate Christmas day on the 24th. We'll have our big Christmas eve festivities this Thursday and kids will wake up Friday morning as though Santa has come and then the dive into the cornucopia of presents with unbridled avarice. lol.

It's supposed to be cold in Florida all week and I'm looking forward to snuggling up with cocoa and listening to music and getting ready for the big day. My kids believe %100 in Santa which makes it a lot of fun getting them all hyped up for the big day. They've been on their best behavior since the Elf on the Shelf arrived. ;)

I'm guessing blog hopping will be slim pickings this week, so if you've stopped by here, I really appreciate it! Please leave a comment and let me know how you celebrate. Or if you don't celebrate at all, tell me what you do celebrate--Hanukkah? Kwanzaa? Eid al Ramadan? Anything special? Spill it all, right here ...

However you celebrate this time of year, I'm wishing you all the best! Loads of good cheer to you and your family!


Nas Dean said...

Hi, nice pics!

Merry Christmas to you and family as well!

Melissa said...

Thanks for the christmas card! I had some rum and eggnog last night when we decorated the tree!

LOve that your stockings hang over the french doors. That's absolutely adorable!

I freaking LOVE my Grandma's sugar cookies!!!!! Old family recipes are THE BEST!

Thank you so much for participating in our blog fest!

salarsenッ said...

Beautiful tree. The cookies sound wonderful.

Enjoy your holiday!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nothing wrong with being a Christmas geek! Hope you have a chilly Christmas. (Since I doubt you'll ever see snow in Florida!)

E.J. Wesley said...

Pretty tree!

DL Hammons said...

I love the way your family celebrates Christmas and what you've done to your home! We are Christmas geeks as well.

Thank you for the Christmas card (your children are gorgeous!).

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

LTM said...

ooo, this sounds great! And you're right. Too many cookie recipes! I had another one I was debating on sharing, but I didn't think it was Christmasey enough. Maybe I'll change it.

Looks great, and Cap. Morgan, eh? hmmm... :o) Merry Christmas! <3

Emily White said...

Ooh! I love the tradition you have with wrapping the presents with drinks in hand! I usually have to wrap ours as soon as I buy them--otherwise sneaky little eyes will come searching.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Carla White said...

Awesome traditions - hope you and your family have a great holiday! Some of my own traditions are decorating Dec. 1 and endlessly listening to carols for the month of Dec, baking my Grandma's peanut butter balls, and watching Christmas Vacation and Scrooges Christmas Eve with my partner with eggnog in hand. :)

T C Mckee said...

Oh, your house sounds like a lot of fun. Your babies are beautiful!! My husband works weird shifts too. Usually he works on Christmas but this year we got lucky and he's off. Christmas Eve we have an open house with all the family and friends stopping by for homemade loaded potato soup, chicken salad sandwiches and every other finger food imaginable. Then we have desserts and adult beverages galore. Christmas day is presents then dinner at the aunts house. Hope yours is the best. Merry Christmas!!!!

Colene Murphy said...

Wow! Your decorations are gorgeous! Love the stockings! And you kids are precious!!! I think it's really cool that you have Christmas day early for your husband and them, and that they don't know the difference. That's cool.
Merry Christmas PK!

Susan Antony said...

Merry Christmas!

William Kendall said...

Merry Christmas!

Elaine AM Smith said...

Your tree and the stockings look very beautiful. Cookies are like Santa: they just go with Christmas. ;)
Merry Christmas.

Tracy said...

Your kids are beautiful and extremely photogenic! Though, your daughter doesn't look terribly excited about the photo op.

Chris Phillips said...

I like the Xmas card. I need to go get some eggnog.

Summer Ross said...

The pictures are wonderful PK! So cute with santa and your trees are so lovely!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Ah, the kiddos are ADORABLE! Hugs to them and you!
Merry Christmas! ;)

Holly Ruggiero said...

You French doors look so beautiful! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Florence said...

Love this post and every single thing in it. The kids are gorgeous like their mom. I am a total Christmas geek and spend the month of Dec. doing only X-mas blogs which I remove after.

I have shared much of my memories of my Christmas as a child, the ones with my children and these days with my family of friends from Florida/Ohio/New York Pennsylvania /Boston /Michigan and other wonderful parts of the US (snow birds and relocators).

I have loved your blogs all year and am so happy I met you and so many new cyber-friends/family in the process. Totally a nostalgia nut, I enjoy sharing the way each of you celebrate.

From our house to your house the most Blessed of Holidays and a prosperous and successful New Year. :)

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Love the pictures. Your little ones with Santa are adorable!

Merry Christmas. :)

Charlie said...

Haha our stockings are hung from the window sill above the flat screen TV! I live in the Pacific Northwest, but it's illegal to have fireplaces here. We like our trees and no longer want people burning them. So, it's either gas or a pellet stove. I miss a real mantle.

Jen Daiker said...

I LOVED the pictures!!! Aren't the little one's adorable with Santa!

Sugar cookies are simply the best :)

Carol Riggs said...

Beautiful tree and decorations--a very Merry Christmas to you! Yep, Dec. 24th works just as well if Daddy isn't able to do the 25th!!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I loved the Santa pic! Your kids are so cute. And a doll too. :) Beautiful decorations!

Vanessa Morgan said...

No fireplace?! You don't know what you're missing :-) Merry Christmas!

Santa Paws said...

Merry Christmas!

Mary Vaughn said...

Thank you for the Christmas card. hat was original. Girls are beautiful.

Merry Christmas!

Renae said...

Love your decorations and the cookies sound great! Florida sounds really good right about now, I'm not enjoying the cold here in Kansas.

Thanks for the follow and have a fantastic Christmas!!!

Oddyoddyo13 said...

The way YOU celebrate sounds awesome! What a bummer your husband has to work that day. :( Oh well, at least you guys improvise! (One of my favorite words and vocab Word of the Week. ;)

(Just kidding.)

The only tradition I hold up is waking up at four thirty a.m.

gideon 86 said...

You are not alone in being a Christmas geek. I LOVE Christmas and decorate accordingly. This year is toned down a bit for me, but by Alex's comment, I guess it's a lot more than subtle.

FIrst, I must say your children are adorable, PK! You ARE the perfect family.

I lived in southern Florida for years, so I know how I had to over compensate for the lack of cold weather. Now I live in Chicago. BRRRRRRR! I could use some of that Florida heat.

I think of Christmas in the same manor as you, and I also have Christian beliefs. I do put up an nativity because Christ should be represented somewhere in the decor. Plus, I love the image of the manger and Jesus surrounded by the barn animals.

If you get the chance, drop over to my blog. I'd like you see my decorations.

I am trying to get to everyone, but there are 110 people listed.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your family.


Rayna M. Iyer said...

You call that tree small? I call it huge. And the decorations are just perfect.

Merry Christmas!

And thank you for the gorgeous Christmas card. Prettiest I have seen this year.

RaShelle said...

Love your decorations. Your darlings with Santa are ADORABLE. Merry Christmas.

Jayne said...

What a wonderful Christmas card! And I am intrigued - what is the Elf on the Shelf? Does he report to Santa whether children have been naughty or good? I LOVE the idea of a spy Elf! And what a good place to hang Christmas stockings - by the door so Santa can pop in and easily find them. A lot of homes do not have fireplaces, so Santa has to adapt. Merry Christmas! :)

Talei said...

Your Christmas sounds wonderful Pk! So good that you do get to celebrate on 24th. I worked 6 years in a row whilst living in Asia, so for me returning to the west, its a novelty but I love it, especially with my little one around, children make it all so much more shinier methinks! Loving your decorations and the cookie recipe! Have a very Merry Christmas my dear! xx

Anonymous said...

Your tree is so pretty! My son is too old for pictures with Santa. Your two young ones are so cute. Merry Christmas!

kmckendry said...

I love this post. I'm now planning on joining this blog fest. Thanks for the recipe I can't wait to try it. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Jennie Bailey said...

Your kids are adorable! Artificial trees are where it's at - less mess. You can burn a candle for the pine scent! Have a very Merry Christmas!

erica and christy said...

Your family traditions sound like lots of fun! I don't bake much, but I do LOVE sugar maybe someday I'll try this out! My kids would sure be happy! Your children are adorable. Enjoy the holidays! Merry Christmas, Christy (Thanks for stopping by our blog today!)