Monday, December 21, 2009

Sharing Christmas is Here!

Merry Christmas and welcome to this year's Sharing Christmas! You can add your blog to the Sharing Christmas list by signing up on Mr. Linky at the end of this post. Please remember to link directly to your Sharing Christmas post and to link back to this blog so visitors can easily find their way to the other participating blogs! Thanks and enjoy your visit!!

I have to start off with a few bits of information. First, this past weekend, we, along with most of the Eastern coast, got walloped by a major winter snow storm and ended up with over a foot of snow. The past few days have been filled with tons of play time in the snow and not much house cleaning time. I am thankful that I thought to snap a few pictures of the house last week the night before I had some friends over for a Christmas brunch, because I was not up for a ton of cleaning tonight!

I hadn't taken all the pictures I needed and rather than stress I just took them regardless of the disorder!

Here we go....

Come on in, welcome to my home.

That's my wonderful husband trying to ignore me taking a picture of our family room.

I love this little trio of decorations, the pottery is something I have out year round. I bought it in Rothenburg Germany and I love it's simplicity, not to mention the memories of my visit.

Here's our tree, missing a tree topper, which didn't survive the trip to the attic this year. Our tree is full of a mish mosh of homemade ornaments, 30+ year old ornaments I got as a baby, and many celebrating all the various passages of life, new marriage, new house, new baby, etc.

My mom would always give us a new ornament to put on the tree each year on Christmas Eve. It was reflected something that we were involved or interested in that year. I feel bad that I keep forgetting to get the girls started on their own ornament collection, but this year I remembered and on Christmas Eve they'll each be putting up a tiny glass ballerina.
Here's our staircase, decorated with garland and lights. I really should have taken the time to move the TV so it was flat against the wall. But I didn't. So you all get to see the lovely TV that is a big part of our family room (I have to say I've gotten used to it!).

Into the dining room. I love having a simple centerpiece, basically a hurrican candle surrounded by berries, holly, pinecones, etc. My prefered way of decorating involves accenting with greenery and berries/holly. In the top right of the picture you can see our version of Elf on a Shelf...Santa on a China cabinet!
Another hurricane, accented with berries.

Some more simple greenery makes the radiator cover look more festive!
Now into the kitchen. I know it's cold outside, can I offer you some cocoa? This baby does it all! Not a Christmas decoration but the speed at which we get our morning coffee definitely makes Matt and me much more festive! Plus the kids can make endless cups of hot chocolate just by pushing a button!

I don't decorate much in the kitchen, just a seasonal candle or two, since I need to preserve as much counter space as possible for all the Christmas baking! (and, you know, all the many meals prepared in the weeks before the actual last minute baking.)
This year I wanted to add some color and shine by using Christmas ball ornaments outside of the tree. I saw some cute ones at the dollar store, threw them in a dusty bowl, and voila....

I set up the Little People Nativity set on the table in the kid's playroom. It looked nice for a few days. Now it looks like this...
It's definitely been getting a lot of use!

Last picture is of our Advent Calendar.
This December we have really tried to focus on the season of Advent and preparing for Christ's birth. I have little slips of paper that I put in each box that gives us a Christmas activity to do for that day. Some of our favorites have been, calling someone on the phone and singing Christmas carols, watching the Polar Express as a family, making Christmas cookies, reading the Christmas story from the Jesus Storybook Bible, at the dinner table telling each family member what you love about them, and many more.
I have to admit that there are days that I forget and the girls have to remind me to put something in the box! They really look forward to what each day's box holds, just as all month we look forward to the Jesus' birthday! I think today we're going to be decorating a gingerbread house!

I can't leave without sharing a Christmas recipe with you. This is one that I've made a number of times to give as gifts and I've gotten a ton of compliments on it, probably because it's different and not something you usually get homemade.
White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti (from Kraft Foods)
2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups whole grain cereal flakes with cranberries and almonds 3 squares
BAKER'S White Chocolate, chopped
4 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
HEAT oven to 325°F. Mix flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well after each addition. Stir in cereal and white chocolate. Divide dough in half; shape each half into 14x2-inch log with lightly floured hands. Place on greased baking sheet.

BAKE 25 to 30 min. or until lightly browned. Transfer to cutting board; cool 10 min. Use serrated knife to diagonally cut each log into 12 slices; place upright on baking sheet. Bake 15 to 18 min. or until slightly dried. Cool on wire racks.

MELT semi-sweet chocolate. Dip biscotti in chocolate; let stand until firm. I think I usually just drizzle with the melted chocolate rather than just dip, that way you get a little chocolate in each bite!
Enjoy! Thanks for taking the time to visit, I hope you'll take a second to say hello!


Crafty P said...

Will try to get my post up by day's end! eeks!

Courtney said...

Alas, I am not decorating this year, or we would join in.
Your house looks great though. Bet it's nice to have a festive home when you're stuck inside due to 18 feet of snow!
Merry Christmas!

Nancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy said...

So let's try this again!
Megan, your house looks beautiful! I love you radiator--even without the decorations. That's something my 1960s Levitt home lacks.
I know mine is a cheater post, but I needed to give myself a reason to push through and finish! You can look for it tonight!

3:53 PM

Crafty P said...

Just so you know.... you don't need to post ALL WEEK! B/c that's about how long it will take me to getting around to do this. sigh. Love the tour, Megs! said...

Am working on my post now... sorry it wasn't ready for this morning, but hope to have it up soon to join the festivities! Your home looks wonderful!!

renee said...

love the tour megs!! so glad i get personal tours though multiple times a week :)

i feel so bad for not having my sharing christmas post up today! meant to, really i did...

if i didn't drive an hour to bring the kids to my inlaws, then drive 35 min to the city for bridesmaid dress shopping, then drive back to pick up the kids, then drive the hour (or more with traffic!) back home, whip up a super fast dinner, and finish my Christmas shopping till 10pm tonight, i would TOTALLY have the post up.... :)

but the pictures are taken and i just have to sit and write it! look for it in a day or two!

love you and so fun to see that we have so many similar traditions!

Nancy said...

It's up now! Thanks for doing this Megan--it's so fun!

Megan said...

Post whenever you can throughout the week - I don't think I'll be rushing to get another post up! Now I'm heading to check out Nancy and Crystal's homes!

The Rambling Housewife said...

I followed the link over from Life at the Circus. My kiddos' nativity looks just like that! (And I do mean, exactly. A jumbled heap!) Thanks for sharing your decorations!

Teri said...

I hope I can get to this on Thursday!! :) Your house looks so nice, Megan!!

greg. said...

thanks, megan. i didn't really do a tour of my house or anything, just another video like last year. at least you can watch it and laugh at us.

btw, megan, despite your disclaimer, your house looks super clean! nice work!

Happy said...

Sorry for arriving late to the's nothing short of a Christmas miracle that I managed to make it at all!

Your home looks so warm and lovely! And the snow must have only added to the holiday charm, I'm sure!

I love the picture of the Little People Nativity...the same thing would happen here! (Oddly, enough we don't have that Little People set, though.)

Thanks for hosting Sharing Christmas again and hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

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