Galaxy of Lights

Monday, December 29, 2008

It's become a yearly thing now to drive through the Huntsville Botanical Gardens Galaxy of Lights display. It's so fun to see what's new and what's changed every year. Some of the displays have been there ever since I've been going, and every year there are new ones to see as well.

This is my absolute favorite part of the whole display- strand after strand of icicle lights. As cliche as it may sound, the effect is absolutely magical.

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Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas morning and Christmas Day were simple and completely enjoyable this year. Nothing was rushed, everything was ready, and we all had a great time.

The tree was totally decked out and stacked with gifts underneath...

We had my little brother on chat from Baghdad- I moved the iMac downstairs to the living room for the occasion so Mom, Dad, and I could all talk at the same time.

And Mom had great fun discovering that even the Wii Fit gets into the Christmas spirit.

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Christmas Eve at Willowbrook

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I've always loved Christmas Eve services at Willowbrook. They're so simple- Christmas carols, candlelight, and a wonderful message of what this holiday is really all about. And, since I play in the orchestra, I get the backstage view. :)

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Downtown Fayetteville

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I realize that it's probably something of a misnomer to call downtown Fayetteville "downtown," because really it's just a small town square. It's full of wonderful old historic buildings, and they were decked out with some of the most beautiful Christmas displays.

They may not be the largest of light shows, but I love the vintage feel of the old square.

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Wrapping and Baking

Monday, December 22, 2008

The last couple of days have been a major gift wrapping and baking frenzy. I made a lot of my gift tags this year- much earlier this year when I actually had time to do such things.

We baked several different kinds of cookies- everything from regular Nestle Tollhouse cookies to cinnamon sugar cookies to chocolate peanut butter truffles. The dishwasher has never run so much!

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Christmas Decorations, Part 2

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Decorating the house for Christmas is always an adventure, and I probably got more into it this year since I pretty much completely missed out on it last year.

It all starts with the tree, which is the easiest thing to put up.

At this point it's time to get out the ornaments, which is the cats' favorite part of the season. They're convinced that every year I erect a tree in the living room and hang all kinds of toys on it just for them.

Over the years I've acquired a lot of ornaments, and I've noticed that they tend to fall into "collections."

I've got lots of figure/ice skating ornaments...

And many, many Star Wars ornaments. Hey, everyone has a stormtrooper and some Ewoks on their tree. Right?

And since I've played the drums/percussion for many years, I've got a lot of drummer boy ornaments. Dad painted the one that's pictured center top.

And lots of Hello Kitty, Sanrio, and Care Bears (and other cartoons and 80's icon) ornaments.

These Murray Kiddie Car ornaments are replicas of the larger kiddie car models that my Dad collected for years. I have them both on the regular tree and the miniature trees.

And then there are the ornaments that have been given to me over the years.

I've had these two small trees since I was very little. My brother and I each had one, and then when I moved out I inherited both of them and have been decorating them each year since. The toppers are old, too. The angel was one that I found after a Christmas parade when I was younger, and I made a new dress for her. Mom and Dad made the mouse when I was an infant.

There are a few decorations scattered here and there around the house, mostly on tables and counters.

Most of the decorations that are around the house are nutcrackers. I love nutcrackers and have a growing collection of them. This year Mom and Dad added a new one- a nutcracker with skis in honor of my recent snowboarding trip (they said they looked for one with a snowboard, but no luck...I like the ski guy very much!).

I also got a few lights up on the front porch- that's the first time I've had lights up on my exterior since I bought my own house more than 7 years ago.

Poor Griffin...all the decorating work was just too much for him, and he had to take a nap.

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