Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sharing Christmas '09

Update: People have been signing up throughout the day so please continue to check in over the next couple of days for new additions to the list!

Welcome to my home! Thanks for stopping by...

I didn't do the greatest job taking pictures this year. Mostly because I've had a hard time keeping the house in a clean enough state to share over the internet. We were supposed to be hosting a Christmas party at our house tonight and I figured I would have the house spotless for that and take pictures right beforehand. But then we changed it the location to someone else's house (relief!) and I had no reason to clean at all. So that is why many of my pictures are close up shots. I just shifted the mess aside and took the shots I needed....just being honest!

Anyway, when you walk in the door and turn to the left...this is what you'll see. This is the first time we've had the tree in this corner and it's fun to have it near the front
window so you can see the lights from outside. Our tree is decorated with ornaments I received growing up as well as some special ones we've collected over the years. You might only be able to see it if you click on the picture to enlarge it, but on the lower right side of the tree you can catch a glimpse of my oreo ornament. Classic!

And here it is all lit up...

Next is our entertainment center which is decorated with candles and garland.

And here it is all lit up!
I love to watch tv at night or read a book with just lights of the tree and the the garlands and the candles (ok, maybe not read a book with no other light. But, if you look closely enough you can see that I do watch tv like that!)

Moving into our dining room, we have this lovely garland lighting up the way. Matt did that this year. He add the flowers and berries to a regular plain garland and made it super fancy!

And next is our dining room table, with Christmas placemats and centerpiece.
Here's a closeup for everyone who wants to see the place mats that desperately need to be ironed!

Our radiator provides another great place to add some Christmas color. The phallic looking plant in the background is one of those winter bulbs that Matt and the girls planted a few days ago. Apparently it needs a lot of light and must be right by a window. Yay!Here you'll see where the girl's stocking hang throughout the month. On Christmas Eve we'll hang them on the entertainment center. Oh how I want a fireplace! Also, Santa is up top keeping watch on the them day and night. Just kidding. I guess Matt plopped him up there one day while we were decorating and that's where he's stayed! He's from the Polar Express and says "The First Gift of Christmas..." and something about believing...
Also hanging out on our china cabinet are the three wise men on their journey to the stable. I stole the idea from Crafty P of setting up the Little People's Nativity set and having the "characters" journey closer and closer as Christmas approaches.
Every other day I find them all hanging out in the stable and I have to return them to their respective routes. When I first put them out I couldn't find Mary anywhere and was a little worried about how that would go over, but thankfully she turned up. How could we have Christmas without Mary?!

The last picture of the dining room is this little table here that showcases some of my cute little country type snowmen. I don't really decorate in this style much anymore, but I love all these and can't help it! The picture says "There's no place like HOME for the holidays" - so true!
The final picture is of the kitchen. On our window sills. Two cute snowmen hanging out - too cute!
I must have forgotten to take pictures of the kitchen this year? How did that happen?! You can always check out last year's Sharing Christmas for a view of it. I wish I had my act together because our kitchen has changed a bit and I would have liked to show it, but not in it's current state!
This year we will having Christmas at home and then leave sometime Christmas day to go to my parent's house and celebrate with the entire family. After the weekend we'll move on to Matt's family and celebrate with them. It's our Christmas road trip week - a lot of traveling but the kids love seeing their cousins and grandparents and we really think the time spent with family is worth it.
As far as presents, each girl gets a "bigger" gift and then some small things. This year Ella is getting a new bike and Catherine is getting a baby crib and they are getting a singalong micrphone stand to share. I so look forward to seeing their faces as they come down the stairs Christmas morning!
I grew up having lots of traditions for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. We are just now starting to establish our own traditions. It takes time and a little trial and error to figure out what is important enough to be called a tradition. So far the Christmas morning meal is something I've latched onto.
I like to make Sausage Egg Scramble and Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes by Rachael Ray. I posted the recipes last year, so you can click on them to get all the information. I can't tell you how could they are. I love it because it's a combinations of sweet and salty that just makes my taste buds happy.
I always like to bake a ton of Christmas cookies. This year I organized some Christmas caroling to folks in need in the community and we gave out cookies at the houses where we caroled. So after baking dozens upon dozens (too many in fact) of cookies for that I'm a bit burnt out. Instead of more cookies (to give as gifts to the people Matt works with) I'm going to make batches of homemade granola and give that out, perhaps with some homemade biscotti as well. Different and a tiny bit healthier!
Here is the recipe for the granola. My Bible study leader made this for us last year and I loved it. I hope when I make it it turns out as good!
Homemade Granola
1/2 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries

Heat oil, honey, peanut butter, vanilla and cinnamon together over low heat. Mix together all other ingredients EXCEPT raisins and cranberries (they'll be added after baking). Pour heated mixture over the other dry ingredients. Combine and stir thoroughly. Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet and let bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.Take from oven, stir on cookie sheet, and let mixture cool. When mixture is cooled, add raisins and cranberries - mixing thoroughly. Store in airtight container. Makes approximately 8 cups.

And just because I cannot publish a post without sharing a story about my kids, I leave you with this conversation between Matt and Ella after she had been misbehaving...

Matt: Ella, you better stop acting like this because Santa sees you being bad and won't bring you gifts (I don't neccesarily condone this type of parenting - but desperate times...)

Ella: Santa can't see me, he's not like Jesus. (oooohh, touche!)

Matt: (still desperate apparently) Well the elves are watching you to see if you're good or bad.

Ella: Nuh uh. There aren't any short little men watching me!

Matt....silence. He's got nothing left to say!

Thanks for joining me as I shared my Christmas with you. I hope you have a blessed holiday season and make many new memories with your loved ones (that you can share on your blog after Christmas!) Please let me know that you stopped by! To share your Christmas, just add your blog to the list below! I can't wait to see all of your homes. Check in throughout the day and next couple of days to see who's new to the list. I hope you can take the time to visit all the homes and "say" hello and thanks for sharing to all who've opened up their homes.


Rebecca said...

Your home looks beautiful, Megan! I love the fancy garland and the candles above the entertainment stand. Thanks for hosting Sharing Christmas!

Courtney said...

It's so fun to have you take us on a tour of your home. We've been at your house for many a Christmas, but it's always without you! Thanks for sharing...maybe we'll get to see you AND the house this year! (oh- and Ella is classic. I would have totally given up on that conversation too!)

LifeAtTheCircus said...

Yippee! I've been looking forward to this for awhile now. You have a beautiful home and I am excited to visit the others tomorrow at nap time!

Suzy said...

You have a beautiful home. Thanks for sharing!

greg. said...

thanks for hosting, megan. my favorite part has to be the phallic plant. priceless. maybe you should hang an ornament on it or something.

renee said...

can't wait to visit your decorated house so soon!!! it was sooooo good to see you last night, my beautiful friend!
loved that granola last year too! :)

julie said...

your home is beautiful! eric and i got a great laugh this morning out of both the phallic plant and ella!

too good :) i didn't see a "list" to be apart of...?? but you've probably already seen my sharing Christmas home :)

Crafty P said...

lovely, megan, just lovely. (especially the story of Matt & Ella)

that granola sounds yummy and so do the pancakes!

I'll try to get my post up tonight!

Merry Christmas!

Rebecca said...

How did I miss that classic exchange between Matt and Ella? That was priceless!

Sarah said...

I loved your house Megan! It looked great and I have to copy the comment on the candles and garland! I really liked that:-) Oh and that was too funny with the Santa threats and Ella's argument! They are way too smart:-)
Have a great Christmas and I'll see you soon!!!

shannon_milinovich said...

this is so much fun! i love reading everyone's traditions. i think i am going to have to make those oatmeal cookie pancakes - you made them once for me and they were soooo yummy! love the candles on your entertainment center - looks so cozy! i can't believe greg's comment about your plant...what can i say, you are the one that didn't save me a seat in bibza's class...

Teri said...

Oooh - Ella's a smart little diva there, isn't she?? :)

Your house looks beautiful, Megan! I'm kind of worried about putting up pics of mine since my walls are so white!

Megan said...

Teri - I want to see your new house all decorated! Who cares about white walls! It will be fun to look back on in a few years...

chrissie k said...

Your home DOES look beautiful! Nice work this year -- and you've coerced a lot of participants. Thank you everyone else for participating... so I don't have to ;) heehee... We have hardly done anything this year. Next year we are going all out! I promise I'll do it next year.

Love you gorgeous sister in law. You are the bombdiggity.

Kevin and Amy said...

Oh, the Demos sure do know how to do Christmas! Megan, your home is beautiful. I love that you've been spending time reading and enjoying the soft Christmas glow. Such a wonderful annual treat, the Christmas glow. Thank you for getting this going for all of us to enjoy...Merry, merry Christmas!

(and I LOVE the snowmen hugging each cute!!)

Jen said...

Megan your home looks beautiful. I love that conversation you posted between Ella and Matt. I am still laughing. I have the exact same snuggling snowmen that you do. I totally forgot about them until I saw your picture. I will have to go down to the basement and find them :) Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas.

Erin said...

your tree is awesome. perfect shape.
i hope i did the link right. not sure...
thanks for doing this.

Dawn said...

I really wanted to participate this year but did not get my act together! Maybe once I'm off work next week, I'll post something up.

I made your oatmeal pancakes last year!

Thanks for sharing.

Amy said...

Hey Megan!!! I actually found the Advent calendar ON SALE at Target, so yes, I bet you could still find it and totally get a great deal on it! There was a pretty good selection, too...I know there's one there with your name on it!!!

Rebecca said...


What a tremendous job you have done not only on your home, but pulling so many people together via the blogosphere!

Thank you!

Oh~and I totally saw those Advent calendars on sale at my Target too...30% off. I am still toying with the idea of the train one.

And...I promise not to come back here and comment, again. Cross my heart.

But I just wanted to say thanks.

Nancy said...

Megan! Thanks for the reminder. I'm in! I look forward to checking out all of the houses!

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