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All year long, if we're driving through a forest, I always like to identify the trees that would make great Christmas trees. It's so fun to head out into the woods to hunt down a tree. And of course, because lots of trees grow on hillsides it can be a little complicated to find one. We tried out a new location this year and I was very pleased with the scenery. We found a great tree (most were far too big). It looked like a reasonable size in the forest, but when we got it home, we could really appreciate how large it is. We probably cut it down/back by half, but it looks so good and holds the ornaments up better than other trees we've had. I'm very happy with it! We sure liked being out in the snow in the gorgeous mountains with family and good friends.

It's the kind of year where I take pictures of the ornaments I made when I'm taking them off the tree. This year's ornaments were embroidered using a Sampler Pattern from Purl Soho. I really enjoyed making them primarily in the company of Ted Lasso.

I made salt dough ornaments this year too. I made handprint Santas of the youngest three's hands. They turned out really cute and only took two tries!

I love the way we roll on Christmas Day, nice and slow and we savor the day. Everyone was so excited to see that Santa had visited in the night, filling stockings. Honestly, watching Maeve open her stocking was a highlight! She was overjoyed with every item! Our daughters were really excited to exchange gifts and while some of the gifts were just right, some had to make us laugh. Maeve picked out her gifts all on her own with an elf at Santa Express. I likely would've steered her in a different direction for one of the gifts, but she was so excited to give it and confident that it would be well received! Maeve worked so hard to not tell what her gifts were and only gave "mints" (aka hints). But when I had just about opened the gift she gave to Conor and I, she couldn't hold it in any longer and told us all about it! So cute.

The rest of the day was filled with good food, family and games.

Our Christmas Eve was just lovely! I did a lot of food prep, but then we had some really wonderful moments together. Our friends' invited us to their Christmas Eve service and it was beautiful. Maeve participated in the nativity as an angel and even though the church and the people were unfamiliar to her, she marched herself up to the front of the congregation with the rest of the angels without any trepidation! That girl! It was a great service and I enjoyed all the carols.

Then, we went to our local park to carol with the neighbors and see Santa (!). The park was blanketed in snow and while we were there the weather gave us thick fluffy snowflakes. It was nothing shy of magical.

And then, we returned home and ate Tortierre and salad for dinner. We donned pajamas and took photos. I cannot wait to recreate the photos of E and Ira below in about 10-15 years. Ha! Those two. We read our traditional Christmas books (which I always hear in my Dad's voice) and laid out our stockings and went to bed. Christmas with children is the best.

Merry Christmas from this full house to yours!

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