Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, I can allow myself to get into the Christmas spirit.  And with the craziness of the past couple weeks at work, it was a nice feeling to relax with Scott and decorate our place yesterday.  Since it's our first Christmas as a married couple, and the first together in our condo, we were excited to buy some new decor... and of course, a tree!

We started the morning with a peek outside and discovered the city had been transformed into a winter wonderland overnight.  A few inches of snow covered everything, and the bare branches of trees wore a blanket of white.  Since we didn't have to trudge through the cold to work, it was a beautiful sight and just the thing to get us in the holiday mindset.  We turned on the Christmas tunes and made chocolate-chip pancakes, a weekly tradition in my family (Dad, I'm getting better, but my pancakes are still not as good as yours!).

The view from our back porch

Our building's courtyard

Pancake ingredients

The last of the batter = one big pancake

Delicious brunch

If you need a little Christmas cheer, here's the playlist of my homemade Christmas CD, compiled by my dad a few years ago and lovingly entitled "Coming Home For Christmas."  It has a handwritten note on the cover list that reads "Can't Wait 'til You're Home. Dad," and the songs always return me to time in Kansas with the family, decorating the tree, eating Christmas cookies, and opening gifts.

1) Celebrate Me Home (Loggins)
2) White Christmas (Crosby)
3) Silent Night (Crosby)
4) It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas (Crosby)
5) I'll Be Home for Christmas (Crosby)
6) Christmas Song (Nat King Cole)
7) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Chicago)
8) Medley: Jolly Old St. Nicholas (Ray Conniff)
9) Medley: Let It Snow (Ray Conniff)
10) Linus and Lucy (Vince Guaraldi)
11) Christmas Time is Here (Vince Guaraldi)
12) March (Nutcracker)
13) Christ the King (Fogelberg)
14) Ave Maria (Kenny G)
15) Auld Lang Syne (Kenny G)
16) Christmas Memories (Sinatra)

After a little shopping on Amazon (love gift cards to buy all the books I want - lots of writing related ones this time around!) and a little Christmas card ordering (ordered on Snapfish to be picked up at Walgreens and they were ready within a couple hours!), we headed out to Marshall's and Michael's for some decorations.  About $100 later, we had stockings, a tree skirt, tablecloth, striped ribbon, an angel tree-topper, a nutcracker, garland, a wreath, and lights.  Next stop was Home Depot, but the inventory of artificial trees was picked over... nothing in the size and price range we were looking for.  So it was decided... we would get a real tree!

The Christmas tree lot

The view from the parking garage at the shopping center

We headed home for some food to refuel and then went to the little school parking lot across the street that has been transformed into a Christmas tree lot.  It is the same place my roommates and I would go for our tree so it felt like a tradition to me.  We picked out a beautiful, well-proportioned tree, just right for the space we had.  Real trees require watering and dealing with needles, but the smell truly fills a home with the scent of the holidays.

With the addition of some ornaments and other small decorations we already had on hand, our main living/dining room is now ready for Christmas.  We sat back and admired the twinkling lights, and it finally felt like Christmas is near.


  1. Hey Mel and Scott-
    Very impressed with what you did for Christmas. Sounds like you had lots of fun. First Christmases are special. Brought back lots of memories of my first Christmas with Arn. Enjoy these times. Love, Pat

  2. So fun! :) You did a great job! Can't wait to celebrate with you two soon.

    PS I can't believe I'm saying this, but I miss the snow... only for Christmas time!

  3. I love the tree! And this makes me think of the year that you, Katie, Jill and I were at Joys and just decided that we needed a tree RIGHT NOW! Remember dragging it down Melrose and sneaking it up the freight elevator? I miss our Christmas party too and can't wait to be back in Chicago for Christmas fun. - Sarah

  4. Thanks for all the sweet comments!

    Sarah - I definitely thought of that wonderful memory! How could I forget?! Needles and sap everywhere! So much fun celebrating with you girls...

  5. Melissa, What a great Christmas for you two! Your sentimental Dad is so happy that you feel his love through his little attempts to say so. Looking forward to spoiling you two as best as I can. Dad

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