It’s Christmas Day, it’s Christmas Day in the morning

And when I say morning I mean M-O-R-N-I-N-G!  The girls tried to get up at 4 a.m. at which we said, uh I don’t think so.  We finally gave up the fight at 5:15 and made our way ( with Grandpa and Grandma Judy – Ken’s Dad and Stepmom who were visiting for Christmas) downstairs to see if Santa had made a stop at our house.  Low and behold he had and boy did he leave us goodies galore.

Thus the weekend before Christmas

And Ken and I took the girls to see Santa,  Ellie and Ken went to the Nutcracker Ballet performed by the New Haven Ballet and Sadie and I made ginger bread cookies.

I love London in December

One of the two trips I am doing this month was a London with MJ.  I just got back yesterday.

It was chilly and rainy and so London in December.  The shops were busting with lights and goodies and the streets and tube stations were decorated.  I love how it really gets you in the spirt of the holidays.

This Sunday I do my last trip of the year.  Edinburgh and more holiday cheer!

Years ago I started the tradition of sending out picture Christmas cards.  When I was younger and single, they were of my travels.  Ken came along and it was pictures of the two of us and our adventures.  Not long after, we had Ellie and Sadie.  The picture cards continued with pictures of our growing family.  Some years it was easy, almost as soon as the picture was snapped I would think, yup that’s this year’s card.  Some years it seemed to be a labour of love to get the right picture.

This year was one of the labour of love years.  Getting an almost 3 year old and a 6 1/2 year old to stand still, look and smile at the camera at the same time is near impossible.  I worked at it for at least a half of hour before Ken took the camera and spent another 10 or 15 min trying to get “the one”.  Which one did we end up with you ask?  The first one I took.  Isn’t the just the way?

I thought I would share some of the bloopers first:

And now (drum roll please) the first picture I took and what ended up being the final product.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you.

Christmas Market?

In Edinburgh?

Sure thing!

We found a wonderful “German” Christmas Market right off Princess Street in Edinburgh.  It was even better because I had a great crew and all of us -but one- went out together.  We explored the market and went to the Dome hotel – http://www.thedomeedinburgh.com/ to check out there beautiful decorations.

It was a bit chilly and a bit rainy but I didn’t really care.  What a great way to get me in the Christmas mood.

Trimming the tree

The neat thing about having Grandma Panko here was she got to help us decorate our tree.

Yes, it’s true, we are one of those families.  The tree goes up Thanksgiving weekend. And I say heck why not?  I am allgeric to real Christmas trees -my eyes swell shut and I can’t breathe, I know TMI but there it is- so we have a really beautiful real looking fake tree.  Everything but the lovely pine smell that makes me go crazy. So why not put it up early so we can enjoy it for longer.

Love the peacefulness of a decorated tree and love the memories that each ornament brings as it is placed on the tree.