Monday, December 5, 2011

The Christmas Season Has Arrived...

It's starting to feel like Christmas...
Bedtime stories in front of the fire, hot chocolate after swim practice,
a little biscotti baking, a visit to the Holiday Junction at the Museum Center
and the return of our highly mischievous Elf on the Shelf.
Andrew has concluded that our Elf attended some summer camp to learn new tricks.
He's zip-lined, played a round of Scramble with Lego Harry Potter, decorated the tree, raided the baking supplies in the pantry and went to town with a pack of post its and a black Sharpie.
And it's only Dec. 5th! {Thank heaven for pinterest! Ha!!}

The first weekend in December is usually blustery and bone chilling but this year
we were treated to mild temps and sunny skies {on Saturday at least}.
Giving me a chance to finish up our outside decorations.
{my window boxes still need berry sprigs.  I may or may not get around to that}
Andrew hung the lights this year!  He did a great job!!

The rest of our Saturday was filled to the brim with family Christmassy activities...
Starting with "Cookies with Santa" at Charlie's preschool.  
They decorated cookies, made crafts, sang carols and spent a little time on Santa's lap. 
 I keep thinking this is going to be the last year Andrew truly believes,
but I'm really hoping for one more.  Christmas isn't quite the same once you lose the magic of Santa.  
I know, I know, it is about celebrating the birth of our savior,  and that should be magic enough, 
but there is something so special about that wide-eyed wonder and innocence on 
Christmas morning that makes some of life's best memories.

Charlie has been a bit reluctant around Santa, but his face when he saw him come through the double doors was one of awe.  So sweet to get it on film, even if I accidentally cut Santa out.  
Charlie and one of his little friends went right up to the man in red and gave him a high five.

After nap time, {which is taking place in a big boy bed!! yay!} 
we walked to the corner Boy Scout Tree Sale to pick out our tree.  
Clearly Daddy did not get the memo that it was a puffy vest occasion.
{Note the new boot socks too.  Love.  From Madewell!! Grab 'em while you can!!}

We found the tree in lightening speed and held on tight.
While Charlie discovered the tree lot to be the perfect tag/hide and seek set up.
He brought a drum stick in case we needed a stand in for the saw.

He was fascinated watching the Scouts trim the trunk with their saws.
Of course electric would have been better,  but any sort of manly tool captivates this boy.
I wonder if this means he'll be handy later in life??!!
This Mama can only hope because I've always got a project list! :)

Once darkness hit it was time for Luminaria.
It is always one of my favorite village events every year.
Each street is lit up with luminaries and we all walk to the old towne square for
carriage rides, caroling, Santa and the lighting of the big tree.

Sunday, the rain returned and I had a matinee movie date with Andrew  
to see "Arthur Christmas" -- a very, very sweet movie!! 
Then we came home and prepared a perfect, if I say so myself,
 Sunday night dinner to the sounds of Frank Sinatra Holiday {Michael Buble Holiday is good too}
on Pandora while my boys played with their daddy.
My Mum always made Sunday night dinners special.  
I remember her spending the whole day in the kitchen with
lots of good smells filling the house as my brother and I played.
I don't quite spend all day in the kitchen.  A couple hours maybe, but I do
try, most of the time, to make something a little extra nice on Sunday.
a Cherry Chutney and Blue Cheese Crumbles from the current issue of Southern Living.
Uh-Huh!  Absolutely as divine as it sounds.
Big, HUGE, hit.
{as if anything coated in a potato chip crust could be anything else!}

That's it.
Now you are all up to date.
I'm off to remove all the dead real greenery downstairs and try again.
I have no idea what happened this year, but my greens dried up in a matter of days.
Off to pull some of the fake stuff (uck!) out again.
Merry, merry!!


  1. tessa.
    Everything looks great and alot of fun !
    I love the little town idea just love it!!!

  2. How fun! You have a beautiful family (love your Christmas tree shopping outfit..tres chic)!! Did you make that biscotti? That is a serious weakness of mine. I am sooo glad you didnt' include a recipe becuase then I would feel obliged to make it:)

  3. I did make that biscotti, now I'm going to have to email you the recipe. it's incredibly good!!

  4. What gorgeous photos! Your house looks lovely and you and your family look great, as usual. :) Glad to hear that "Arthur Christmas" is a good one - I want to take the kids to see it over the holidays.

  5. I want to live where you live! It reminds me of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls!!!! Love your cute outfit too! BTW, Michael Buble holiday and Glee Cast Holiday are two of my favorite Pandora stations.

  6. I think I need to move to your neck of the woods!

  7. As usual, your post put a smile on my face! Thank you! Oh, and your red skirt, boot socks ensemble is so cute!

  8. I want to move to your neighborhood! Your house is beautiful! Did you make or purchase your window boxes? I LOVE them!

  9. thanks so much, my lovely blog friends! :)

    jessica ~ the window boxes were made. they were on the house when we bought it, but one was in disrepair so we had a new one built by our carpenter/handyman.

    kat ~ oh my goodness, you are so spot on. it is sooo much like stone hollow. i miss the gilmore girls!


  10. your house looks so festive! And I love your outfit!


  11. Tessa, you just exude with class. You're house looks so merry and bright and inviting! What a charming neighborhood you live the red skirt! JCrack? Lands End? Once again, I'm wanting to invade your wardrobe :)

  12. Tessa, what a lovely post! Christmas HAS arrived at your home. Who sets up all the luminarias for your town? Our boy scouts do it here, and our little town celebration with cocoa and caroling it this Sunday evening. I have almost all of my decorating done except for the tree...guess I am a little backwards in my decorating! (Save the biggest project for last.) My greenery is not holding up well either...wonder if the drought this year has had an effect on it.

  13. why is it sometimes i can reply to a comment through email and other times not??!!! shouldn't have this blogging thing figured out by now?!!!

    elizabeth ~ you are waaaay too sweet! i'll need to reread your comment on those days when i'm feeling rather un-put together! :) my skirt was a $4 clearance item at zara last winter in chicago.

    kelly ~ our luminaria is a fund raiser for our local mom's group. each home buys a kit and we set up our own. the mom's group sets up the remainder in the village.

    xo, Tessa

  14. Your house looks straight out of a magazine- wow! I like the santa picture too...and your family picture is beautiful. LOVE yor outfit!

  15. Tessa - Cute outfit and beautiful family! You never fail to motivate me to spruce up a little area in my home or try a new recipe. Today, I'm setting up some electric luminaries along our walk that I found at Home Depot last year. I put them on a timer and they stayed out all winter in the snow without any problems - your real ones are prettier though!

    My greenery always dries out quickly too - this year I'm spraying it with a product that I picked up at a local nursery. It's called No Wilt Plant Shield and it's supposed to keep greenery fresh longer. We'll see...

    Thanks for all the gorgeous photos!
    Kansas City

  16. You have such fun holidays traditions, a gorgeous family, and a beautiful home!

  17. you really have a beautiful home and a wonderful sense of style....
    I love all of your skirts and boots and boot socks and wintery vests. :)

    I pinned your it.

    okay....some questions that I should know the answers to but I don't.
    {1} Are you British? Please don't called your mom, "mum," so I really wanted to ask.....
    {2} do you guys live in something similar to "row" houses?

    It seems like such a quaint, perfect spot to live.....

  18. And yay for Charlie in the big boy bed!

  19. Hi Tessa,
    I just had to stop and say hello! I found you a few weeks ago when Holly Mathis bragged about your gorgeous master bedroom. I was admiring all the beautiful things you've done, and scrolling through your previous posts, when all of a sudden I recognized Mariemont Square! I am currently living with my little family in northern California, but am an Ohio girl by origin, and grew up going to Graeter's in Mariemont for every major celebration! My family still lives in Madeira, where I'm from, and I'm just praying we get back there someday to live and raise our kids.

    Anyway, I thought it was such a fun connection, so I wanted to say Hi and tell you it's been great to see your blog and live vicariously through you! Your Christmas decorations are gorgeous! :)

  20. woww!! love all of your decorations--i especially adore the candle jars on the steps--precious!