Can I just say — y’all rock! We received the coolest, craftiest collection of ornaments we’ve ever seen in the first annual SW Holiday Ornament Swap! We can’t wait to repeat next year, and hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did! Below, a small sampling of our loot:
How fun are these!?
Merry Christmas Eve, y’all!
Whitney: Once a year, my family ventures into the attic to retrieve the boxes upon boxes filled with Christmas decorations. There are enough ornaments, garland, wreaths, and lights to make the Davis home put Clark Griswold’s house to shame. The Christmas tree is decorated with ornaments that my brother and I made throughout elementary school as well as an ornament from every major destination that we have traveled to. Cranberry wreaths, made by my mom each year, hang on every door. The fireplace is always lit (Davis women are cold natured) and Christmas CDs are played on repeat. On Christmas Eve, we gather around the tree and read The Polar Express. My family loves its traditions and it seems that no matter how old my brother and I get, the traditions don’t change. For example, on Christmas morning, my brother and I are required to wait at the top of the stairs as my dad prepares the video camera. Yes, I’m full grown. Yes, I still get excited that Santa leaves me presents. Yes, this is well documented by my father every year. New Year’s Eve will be spent in Charlotte at my best friend’s house this year. I look forward to counting down to the new year with my closest friends!
Emily: I feel very lucky to have always spent Christmas morning in my own house, with every member of my family. This year will be the same, except we’re adding my sister’s fiancé to the mix (hi Cormac!). But our festivities start long before Christmas morning. First, we always cut down our own Christmas tree at a small, family-owned farm near my house in Connecticut. My parents will set it up and string the lights (tiny white bulb only, please!), but wait for my sisters and I to arrive home to hang ornaments. On Christmas Eve we usually attend both services (7pm and 11pm) at my home church since various members of my family sing in the choir and play handbells, then it’s home for a reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas before bed. My family takes an exorbitantly long time to open presents on Christmas morning (because we do it soooooo slooooooowly), but after we’re finally finished it’s usually about time for my Dad’s family to arrive for Christmas dinner. The next morning it’s off to Maine to visit with my Mom’s family for a few days, then home in time for my best friend’s New Year’s Eve birthday.
Katharine: Though Emily likes to joke that I am the yin to her yang, the one Christmas tradition she and I (and both our families) can agree on is that Christmas tree lights should always be white! No offense to our readers who love their colored bulbs (my Kyle is with you on this one!), but one of my very favorite things about the holiday season is the hundreds of twinkly lights decorating Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg. The weekend after Thanksgiving, my three younger siblings and I trek to the Christmas tree farm with our father. We bicker about whether pines or blue spruces make better Christmas trees (blue spruce, please!) before Daddy finally picks the tree, chops it down himself and straps it to the car. Would you be surprised to know that my father actually has a designated tree-cutting outfit? Well he does, and trust me: this is something you don’t want to miss! Pictures forthcoming. As much as I love (l.o.v.e.) Christmas and everything that makes the holiday season so magical, what I’m really looking forward to is the upcoming New Year, which I’ll be celebrating in New York City with Kyle and my family. This New Year’s Eve will be extra special, as it is the first holiday Kylie and I will have shared in our four-year-long relationship! Love and joy from the Waterman Family to yours!
Lara: Oh boy! We are all about the colored Christmas lights at my house. Including the old-school bubble lights. The more colored lights the better! My favorite Christmas memories are sitting with my grandmother, lights dimmed, and she would tell me old stories of Christmas’s past. We’d squint our eyes to see the glow of the tree, the sparkle of the ornaments. The Christmas holidays are jam-packed for us. Ari’s birthday kicks things off on the 17th, my birthday (30.. eeek!) is this Sunday and we’ll celebrate my grandmother’s 92nd two days after that. I’m currently home in Florida with my parents and grandmother. My brother is off on what we’re calling his “national tour”… driving across the country and picking up friends to come back home along the way. Too fun! I’m sad that Ari is working till the 26th in Chapel Hill, but excited to see him on Saturday for a full week off. I just completed the first of a (real) national tour of workshops designed to fire people up for 2010, so my mind is buzzing with new ideas for Southern Weddings. I’ll most likely spend Christmas relaxing with my family and planning for the new year. I’m so grateful to have this time to reflect and give thanks for all of my many blessings. Merry Christmas, y’all!
What are you doing for Christmas?