Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
Happy New Year!
So far the first days of this year have been full of adapting back to everyday at work, catching up with friends and coworkers after holiday vacations, and scouring the Target after-holiday sale to see if that one cute Christmas camper decoration was on sale and/or sold out yet (it was, and it was. Womp womp.)
While this may be a bit belated, it's one of my goals this year (resolutions is such a weighted word) to blog more frequently, and to share more of myself, and to do it for the creative and emotional outlet and not to be quite so concerned with styling or phrasing or coming off looking like every day is smooth and shiny and perfect. I've found that my best-liked posts are the ones that are a bit more raw, whether that's a dissertation on modern dating or just a recipe post about how I had to re-do something a few times to get it right.
So, I wanted to give you all a peek at this year's festivities. We actually had a fairly busy year over here at FDS - boyfriend Charlie met several family groupings at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, my brother traveled to Denver for a 10 day ski trip, my parents and I picked out a Charlie Brown tree that still managed to dwarf the rest of our living room furniture, and there was lots of delicious food and fizzy drinks.
For the past few years, there's been a not-at-all-unspoken tradition (meaning I remind my family to gain credit and extra love) of my parents and I and my brother going to pick out the tree, and then we bring it home and my dad arranges it very precisely in the stand, and then I decorate the entire thing while my mom cooks dinner or my brother is out with friends.
At some point, usually later that night or the next day, my mom comes through and rearranges some of her favorite ornaments that I don't particularly care for and have placed somewhat haphazardly on the tree. This happens most frequently to the creepy hand-sewn harlequin jester doll ornaments (they're like bean bags with ceramic faces and hands) and the Christofle silver dated ornaments that have the hard-to-hang ribbons.
And, of course, I have a few favorite ornaments that I make sure to personally place in primo positions.
The penguin below replete with knit hat and cute messenger bag was an Anthropologie purchase from a few years ago, as was the "hipster boyfriend" ornament I bought as a laugh last year.
I don't have an extensive personal ornament collection, but it's growing bit by bit!
Every year we have cracked crab for Christmas Eve dinner, except for last year when the massive crab shortage occurred due to some algae thing. It was so nice to have our tradition back again!
Christmas weekend itself was spent primarily in front of the fireplace, watching Star Wars and Harry Potter movies on repeat, and in the kitchen.
Though I helped bake the cheddar jalapeño corn cobs seen below for our family's Christmas Eve dinner, my mother truly deserves credit for every other dish consumed that weekend. She designed a multi-course meal for our family and her sister's family (minus one cousin) who joined us that night.
Spike and I spent some quality time snuggling in the living room, close to the fireplace and in view of the tree...
Later, Sophie enjoyed a nice respite in the bay window with the freshly hung boughs of fir.
(Can you spot her?)
And, I got to make some headway on my first sweater project in a long, long time.
(My first attempt ever involved Michael's store yarn and a beautiful pattern with a too-loose gauge. Mock turtleneck sweaters aren't meant to slouch like that. But, lesson learned!)
New Year's weekend was also spent at home, having a last-blast dish of fettuccine alfredo with capers and salmon, to kick off my mild attempt at almost-veganism this month.
A vegetarian friend and I have decided to give up dairy for January, though I'm still allowing myself eggs and butter as a pass, and then I'm giving up meat on top of that. I used to eat a mostly vegetarian diet when I could, and the fact that this week has been so difficult for me shows me truly how many animal products I've gotten accustomed to eating of late!
(If you haven't seen Forks Over Knives, I really, really recommend it. It's on Netflix!)
As mentioned above, I'm not setting Resolutions so much this year as I am vocalizing my goals, intentions, things to strive for. There's no judgment if these goals aren't met, but there is the same spirit of trying to constantly better oneself. I could go on about this for hours, so there will be a post forthcoming with nicely organized lists for your reading pleasure.
In the meantime, I hope you all had a very lovely holiday season with your loved ones! Do you have any special traditions? Share your favorites below!