Oh Pretty Christmas Tree

I have seen lots of pretty Christmas trees posted on Pinterest and on blogs since Thanksgiving (and even before!). I am pretty sure I have posted pictures of our tree on this blog and on Instagram in the past but it looks the same every year.

You know what? That's perfectly great - in fact - it is awesome. Our tree is a memory keeper. It includes ornaments we have purchased on trips or for momentous events (our wedding, the year 2000, etc.). We hang little crafts the kids have made and pictures of them as well. Some of the ornaments were gifts from others. When we hang them, we think and talk about all of these things. The kids love to ask questions about where things came from. Since my brain is filled with useless junk then I can often drag out the answer without much thought. I love that my kids also like to buy ornaments when we are on trips. I try to write their names on them if I remember so that down the road, I can pass them along to them when they have dingy apartments that need some Christmas cheer.  My mom did this for many years and that's how my brother and I got our collection started.

In other Christmas news, we have been able to pack in a lot of fun this season.  I took the kids to the Meadowlark Gardens Winter Walk of Lights while a friend was visiting with her daughter a few weeks ago. It is a lot of fun even in the pouring rain (almost no one was there!) - definitely recommend it if you live in the DC area.

We also made our first ever trip to the American Girl store in Tysons Corner which I LOVED. OMG - If I was 7 years old today, I would have to have everything in that store. My daughter, however, is not at all interested in dolls (never has been) although she was fascinated by the store (it's hard not to be!). And they have a doll hair salon and ear piercing station!

Jim and I also took the kids to the Nutcracker at Warner Theater. This is a special production by the Washington Ballet with a DC theme - cherry blossoms, George Washington nutcracker, etc. It is a lot of fun but long for 5 year old boys (and 43 year old husbands), but we rewarded everyone with a nice downtown dinner afterwards.

This weekend or next week while my family is visiting, we plan to visit the National Christmas Tree at the White House and maybe go to Mount Vernon which is always beautiful during the holidays. We are definitely making the most of the season!

Here's our holiday card this year. We send out about 160 now which seems insane but I love getting them in return! Photos this year are by Wendy of Blue Lily Photography. I cannot say enough good things about her - creative, fun, and relatively affordable.

Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays!
Happy New Year!