|A warm welcome at my parents' front door.|
You know how some years, Christmas kind of sneaks up on you before you even have the chance to really enjoy it? It's happened to me in the past and I felt like the holiday got by me without giving me the chance to really take it all in...but this year, we managed to make the most of the entire season. If Christmas had a bingo card, I'm proud to say I believe we marked every spot. Let me take you through the fine, practiced art of Christmasing (bonus points for yelling BINGO!).
|I'm not normally a fan of nail art, but this was like a tacky sweater for your hands.|
I'm a firm believer in dressing for the occasion, and we all know that at Christmas, more is more. That would explain how I got talked into some very festive nail art at the salon last week. I have to admit, as resistant as I was to bedazzling my finger nails, these little Christmas trees on my ring fingers made me smile every time I caught a glimpse of them.
There is a house in South Charlotte that is always (literally) shining with Christmas spirit. Before we left for the holidays, we made sure to stop by to enjoy the display over in Sherwood Forest.
|Now those are Christmas lights.|
We packed our car with gifts and treats and headed to Georgia for my parents' house a few days before Christmas. My mom loves to decorate, and she had her halls decked when we arrived. We counted eleven plus Santas, three Christmas trees, a gaggle of gifts, and a buffet of cookies, cakes, and treats that would send a personal trainer into a fit of hysterics. Ah, holiday bliss.
|A sampling of all those Santas.|
|At least one Santa for every room...as it should be.|
Mom also set up an A Christmas Story display just for Clint, since it's his favorite holiday movie. We watch it on a continuous loop on Christmas day, and Mom even has the collectibles that include Ralphie's house, the prized leg lamp, figurines of the incident at the flagpole, and the infamous bunny suit.
|Scenes from A Christmas Story. Complete with BB gun, naturally.|
This year we decided to venture out and try the Stone Mountain Christmas festival, which was a dazzling display of lights, attractions, and even (man made) snow! We went to the park on Saturday and arrived just in time for the nightly tree lighting and Christmas parade.
|A very high tech tree at Stone Mountain park.|
|The Snow Angel kicked off the Christmas parade.|
|Followed by a toy soldier all aglow.|
|And of course, the man of the hour: Santa!|
|We never miss a chance to visit with the man in the red suit. We've been good (wink).|
We decided that next year, we are also taking full advantage of the snow tubing that is part of the festival. A good time was had by all.
Our Christmas Eve tradition is to make eggnog, enjoy a smorgasbord of hors d'ouvres, watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and open gifts. We decided years ago to open presents on Christmas Eve so that everyone could relax and sleep in on Christmas morning, with visions of all their loot dancing in their happy heads.
|Homemade eggnog in our moose mugs. Refill, Clark?|
|We even got a visit from Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.|
|Gathering around the tree with Santa before opening gifts.|
|Naturally, a Toccoa, Georgia Santa has a truck as his sleigh. Dash away, y'all!|
Christmas day brought lunch with family, a few more gifts, and an afternoon of movies and snacks. Once the sun went down, we went for a drive to look at Christmas lights around my hometown.
|Our Christmas day table setting, including Dickens Village houses.|
|Our favorite light display even included Cousin Eddie and his RV! |
It's full, if you know what I mean.
|I couldn't have said it better (or brighter) myself.|
Before we left on Tuesday, we watched another one of our favorites, Holiday Inn. It's an annual tradition and I love continuing the Christmas celebration an extra day. We lounged in pajamas beside our family tree and just enjoyed savoring the holidays for as long as possible.
We're back in Charlotte now, but I'm continuing my Christmas festivities this afternoon, meeting a friend for cocktails, and then tomorrow night we are looking forward to still one more gift exchange. I'll worry about that "new year, new me" stuff next week, but in the meantime, I've still got more Christmas cookies to eat.
We had lights, sweaters, Santas. Eggnog, treats, trees, gifts, and beloved movies. We filled December with songs, celebrations, and memories to last until at least next year when we can do it all again. We had a merry little time, indeed, and dare I say it? BINGO!