Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Trees, Decorations and Cookies

Not exactly in that order.

What a weekend we had. Since the first two weekends of December were busy for us and most of us weren't home those two weekends, this past weekend was the getting ready for Christmas weekend. Better late than never!

What we usually do over the course of two or three weeks during the Holiday season we had to cram into one weekend, plus baking 5 batches of cookies - a new family tradition I decided we need to add so that Leda and I could do something together.

So our weekend started on Saturday morning by getting up and getting dressed and getting out of the house by 8:30 or so to get out to the Christmas Tree farm early so we could get a tree, get it home and start cleaning the house and preparing it for the Holiday. Oh, and we invited the Durhams and Aunt Karen over for dinner. Crazy us!

It was cold! Not as cold as previous years, but cold enough. Thank goodness we found a tree pretty quickly (albeit, not one of my favorite trees, but it will do!), because Leda could pretty much only handle about a half hour of traipsing around the forest in the cold. And, she had lost interest in dragging Duff around.

Off hunting Christmas Trees

The tree we found was actually about 20 feet tall! It had about 5 feet of blank trunk at the bottom, but looked pretty perfect at the top. Of course, it was at a different angle than we are used to (on the ground!) so when we got it home, I realized it was a little uneven, a little lopsided, and it had a few bare spots. But, not exactly a Charlie Brown tree. And, besides, it was about the time that Leda had whined for the 50th time about wanting to be picked up and carried, so it won the prize of being picked by the Yates! We dragged our tree home and put it up in the living room to be decorated on Sunday with Granddad and Fay Teal.

The rest of the day consisted of cleaning and preparing for guests. Leda was all excited about Paige coming to play with her. She was jumping up and down yelling her name when Paige got here! And, Aunt Karen brought her niece Sydney over to play, too! Leda had the two girls in her room and boy did they do a number on that room! But they had lots of fun!

On Sunday morning, we woke up late because of all the fun we had the night before and Leda and I got to work on making cookies! The kid, she sure takes after me because before we even got the first ingredient out, she was wondering, "when do we lick?" I spent most of the time making the first batch of cookies (snickerdoodles) keeping Leda from licking everything and anything she could get her tongue on. She was handsomely rewarded with the spatula after the dough was made. She then promptly left the kitchen and spent the rest of the morning watching cartoons!

Leda helps with Cookies

Three batches later (oatmeal and chocolate chip!), we were pulling the decorations for the tree down from the attic. GrandDad and Fay Teal arrived around 2 or 2:30 and we started decorating the tree. Leda really had lots of fun putting all her ornaments on the tree. Aunt Joan had sent us a bunch of ornaments last year that are good for kids - the won't break if played with! Leda was having so much fun putting them on the tree (okay, Mommy gave LOTS of direction, else everything would have been on the same branch, but Leda had fun anyway!)

Leda with Christmas Tree

After we were done with the tree, we got the sugar cookie dough that Mommy made the night before out and made some cut cookies! And this was all before dinner! Daddy made the famous Shrimp Soup and we had a great dinner while we watched the Eagles do something that put a smile on my face for the first time pretty much this whole football season - beat the Cowgirls! Yeah! Take that Jessica Simpson!

Leda was packed off to bed at 8 - it was a busy, busy day for her, especially with no nap! She's really looking forward to Santa coming!

Christmas Tree, 2007 version

Tonight, I finished off the sugar cookies, made some split seconds and am about to put together the baklava! And, then, I am done. Well, except for a few more presents that are needed and a few tins and baskets for the cookies we will give the neighbors and some others we know! It's gonna be a busy week - Grandma will be here tomorrow night and Wed we are out shopping to stock the wine fridge and then Thursday I have my last minute shopping night and then Friday night we are off to Grandpa and Nana Yates for the weekend. Back home on Sunday, praying the boss gives me off on Monday (or at least a half day) and then over to Aunt Rachel's for Christmas Eve dinner and then, THEN, Santa gets here! Woooo Hoooo!

I'm gonna need a long winter's nap somewhere in there!

So, off to layer phyllo dough and then to bed. Not sure how much posting will happen this week - will probably update next just before Christmas day! The week before Christmas is always so crazy!

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