On the 12th Day of Christmas, one last look at some of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Christmas decorations, covered in snow (finally!):
It’s been two weeks since I finished our Christmas cookie baking, but we just finished our share of the cookies a few days ago! This year, I baked somewhere between 50-60 dozen of seven different kinds of cookies…sugar, gingerbread raspberry-almond thumbprints, chocolate peppermint, cranberry white chocolate, chocolate chip peppermint m&m (which we used to make ice cream sandwiches on Christmas Day!), and Saltine Christmas crackers.
It took about three days to bake all these cookies…and they were very full days! We watched a lot of Christmas movies throughout the baking process, especially different productions of the Nutcracker. Mostly, though, it was a fun family tradition, that looked a lot like what we made last year, plus a little something different, just for fun!
It’s hard to believe that another Christmas Eve and Day have come and gone already!
As always, our celebration started yesterday, with my favorite meal of the whole year…the “pick out dinner.” We had summer sausage, cheese, and crackers, jalapeno popper and buffalo chicken dips, sausage squares, deviled eggs, toasted ravioli, mozzarella sticks, cheese squares, buffalo chex mix, and pizza bagels. Oh, and the chef’s favorite sour beer:
Then it was time to get ready for church. I wore my traditional Christmas Eve dress and brooch. I’ve featured the brooch here a lot, but I’ve been wearing this same dress every Christmas Eve for at least five years, and I’m pretty sure it’s never appeared here before!
As they did last year, “The Bigs” sang for Hope Lutheran church in St. Louis’s Christmas Eve Divine Service.
After we got home, I took lots of pictures:
And we had Jesus’ birthday cake, and lit all of the candles on the Advent wreath:
Everyone always opens one present on Christmas Eve. Ryan and I both got slippers, and the children each got a new pair of Christmas jammies:
Ryan and I also always play Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries on Christmas Eve. The final score was 162 to 131…I’ll let you guess who won!
After the children went to bed, I made sure everything was ready for the morning.
They always get to open their stockings before Christmas Day church:
I really love our very delicious tradition of cherry coffee cake for breakfast on Christmas morning!
Another Christmas church service means another Christmas outfit (with a new brooch) for me!
This year, all four of “The Bigs” served as acolytes. This was Turkey’s first opportunity to be crucifer…he was very excited (and a little nervous)! Bunny was the book bearer, which seemed fitting, and Moose and Ladybug both served as torch bearers.
I always have to get another picture (or eight) after church:
When we got home, we had a quick lunch, and then we listened to Ryan read the Christmas story. Chickadee still loves acting it out with our Little People nativity:
And then there was a flurry of gift opening!
This Christmas has been a little different, but it was still a wonderful weekend to celebrate our Savior’s birth, and spend time together as a family! Merry Christmas!
This year, more than ever before, I’ve had a lot of fun planning Christmas-inspired outfits. I’ve shared a lot of them over the last month…here’s a wrap-up of all of my Christmas fashion.
I finally got to wear several red and green outfits I had been saving (because I knew they’d look too Christmas-y at any other time of the year):
I also put together two monochromatic outfits in Christmas green and red:
I wore my Christmas tree skirt as much as possible:
And I also got a lot of use out of my blue and white harlequin skirt (which I’m looking forward to continuing to wear all winter!):
I even have two brooches appropriate for the season:
Christmas and fashion are two of my favorite things, as is evidenced by how much I write about each on my blog. I’m glad I found a way to put the two together!
It doesn’t matter how many times we visit the Holiday Lights at the brewery in St. Louis (and it really hasn’t even been that many years, yet), there’s always something new to see (this year we saw wood carvers and a sand sculptor!), and the lights are always at least a little bit different. It’s one of my favorite Christmas activities, and it’s still FREE!
I love Christmas in St. Louis!
The Kemper Center for Home Gardening at the Missouri Botanical Garden once again has a big tree decorated with Gourdaments. What is a “gourdament?” you may ask:
Bunny had no trouble choosing a favorite!
Ladybug found her favorite quickly, as well:
There were others that I thought were particularly special:
The creativity needed to decorate each of them blows me away!
In addition to the gourdaments, there are other decorations on the tree, including a lot of natural adornments, candy cane mice, and the elusive Henry Shaw:
It’s a beautiful tree!
If you stop by the Kemper Center, you can vote for your favorite of the gourdaments…the real challenge is how to choose just one!
You know how, in A Charlie Brown Christmas, Lucy tells Charlie Brown, “We’ve even got a Christmas Queen!”? Well, that’s me…the Christmas Queen. And now I even have the perfect Christmas skirt, from the Oblong Box Shop, that has the same mid-century modern feel as the aluminum trees that the Christmas Queen in the special favored! Instead of aluminum trees, however, this skirt features the ceramic trees that were so popular with everyone’s grandma!
I think my favorite way to wear the skirt is with a green peasant top from Pinup Girl Clothing…the colors are perfect together!
It also looks great with white (also from Pinup Girl):
And I’m still trying to break free of my wariness about wearing red and pink together…this pink top (another staple from Pinup Girl!) goes so well with the Sputnik lamp ornaments “hanging” from the waistband of the skirt!
Did I mention that the Oblong Box Shop even has a Sputnik lamp brooch to coordinate with the ornaments on the skirt?
This is my most Christmas-y piece of clothing yet, and I love wearing it every chance I get!
When we went to the Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden last month, we took the Christmas tour of Tower Grove House again. I was expecting it be pretty much the same as it was last year, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that quite a few of the decorations were different. I love how much attention went into decorating every room…even the bedrooms! It gives me something to aspire to for Christmas Future! I also love all the little details, especially the paper fans. Everything was so opulent and beautiful…more inspiration for the future!
Santa Lucia Day has become one of my favorite days of the year. The lussekattes are such a special treat that I literally only make once a year, and the unmistakable smell of cardamom and orange zest makes it very clear exactly what day it is! The girls’ enthusiasm for helping out always warms my heart, as does the fact that the boys are still willing to play the part of the Star Boys. And I look forward to reading our Santa Lucia stories every year, as well. It’s just another highlight of the Advent season in the Markel house!