We kicked off the 2014 Christmas season by putting up our Christmas tree about two weeks before Thanksgiving. Last year was similar: we couldn’t wait any longer, so we just put it up. We chose a snowy Sunday that we deemed too dangerous to drive to church, and spent the morning getting the tree set up and lit (thanks to Danny for spending over an hour on the lights!). We hung the ornaments a couple of nights later (I like to put them on when it’s dark out and only the Christmas tree lights are on), and I decorated the rest of the house after Thanksgiving.
^^ Danny in his traditional putting the tree up attire. ;) ^^
We helped put up my parents’ tree on the night before Thanksgiving (seen here), and helped Danny’s parents, alongside his brother and his wife, on the day after Thanksgiving.
All throughout December, we watched Christmas movies, as many as we could get our hands on (from the library) – The Santa Clause 1, 2, and 3 (next year we’ll definitely skip all but the first), Arthur Christmas, and The Christmas Card. Next year we really need to make it a priority to watch Elf, Home Alone, and White Christmas, all ones that we intended to watch but didn’t get until after Christmas…at which point we weren’t feeling too Christmas-y anymore (even though our tree
was is still up).
^^ Watching The Santa Clause and stringing popcorn and cranberries for the tree. ^^
During the first full weekend in December, we met up with my parents and Mysteridge and spent Saturday morning volunteering at the Operation Christmas Child processing center in Denver. We’ve been doing this for as long as Mysteridge and I have been old enough, and always enjoy it very much.
In what’s becoming an unintentional annual tradition, we had lunch at Chipotle afterwards and then checked into our hotel. We relaxed in the afternoon before heading downtown for the Parade of Lights. When I was growing up, we went to the Parade of Lights almost every year, but then in high school and college, we got busy, and it just didn’t happen for a while. This year, however, we made it a priority and made plans three months in advance to spend that weekend in Denver and go to the parade. It was cold, but not too cold, and a lot of fun. I love the big balloons, marching bands, and the magic of a nighttime parade, lit up mostly by Christmas lights. After the parade, we were ready for a snack, and Mysteridge suggested Voodoo Doughnuts. It was our first time, and I think we all thoroughly enjoyed our treats, which we picked up and ate back at the hotel. I had no idea they had such a large selection of vegan doughnuts!
The next day we ate breakfast at the hotel and walked around the 16th Street Mall before parting ways with my parents and Mysteridge. Danny and I had lunch at a hot dog place with vegan dogs on the menu, spent some time at Barnes & Noble, and met our friends Amanda and Oliver for an afternoon of coffee and homemade vegan pop tarts.
Two days later, Danny left for Charleston and I joined him a few days later. The day we got back from Charleston was Danny’s company Christmas party at the Broadmoor. We had fun dressing up, eating tasty food, listening to great music (Denver & The Mile High Orchestra), and seeing many of Danny’s friends and coworkers.
P.S. I know the picture of us is a tad blurry, but it’s all I’ve got. :)
The following weekend, the last before Christmas, we went to Greeley for the wedding of our friends Andrew and Anna Gray, and were able to squeeze in some Christmas activities while we were there, including making and decorating Christmas cookies and driving around to look at Christmas lights.
On the eve of Christmas Eve, my parents came down to our place to spend the next couple of days. We spend the first day visiting Danny at Compassion, wandering around Bass Pro, eating our traditional meal of chili and cornbread for dinner, and going to the Electric Safari at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
On Christmas Eve, we went to church with Danny’s parents and siblings, had dinner with them, and opened gifts together. It was a very nice evening, and we were so busy having fun, I forgot to take any pictures! Next year I will really try to do better.
On Christmas morning, we opened stockings, ate blueberry coffee cake, and gave gifts to each other. Christmas morning is my favorite…the food, the gifts, being together, wearing our pj’s…I just love it.
^^ Our stocking have become too heavy to be hung by the fire with care. ^^
^^ Best meal of the year? Quite possibly. ^^
^^ I know it looks like a misshapen tennis racket, but turns out it’s actually for racquetball! And I obviously don’t know how to spell racquetball because the computer kept trying to correct it and I kept writing ‘racketball’ until I finally Googled it and realized I was way off. ^^
^^ “Find Momo,” one of 2014’s best book finds. ^^
^^ I surprised Danny with a helicopter (and I say surprised because I think we ended up buying almost all of our own gifts, and this was probably one of the only things he didn’t know he was getting) and he played with it until it died within 24 hours. Sad but true. Hopefully next year Santa will bring a higher quality helicopter. ^^
^^ Some of my Christmas morning spoils. ^^
In the afternoon, we went to my aunt and uncle’s for lunch/dinner, games, and a few more presents.
^^ My grandparents, two of their three kids, four of their seven grandkids, plus Danny. ^^
The next day we played games and relaxed while Danny was back to work (I took the day off). My parents and Mysteridge left in the afternoon, and we started slipping into our January hibernation. Compared to the busyness of December, January has pretty much consisted of going to work during the day and staying inside all evening, watching movies, playing games, and enjoying the tree some more. Don’t worry though, we’re having a little Super Bowl gathering this weekend and I’ve decided that the tree must be down and put away before then. But before that…one more Christmas gem: