‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and it was my very last chance to take pictures to remember our Christmas decor before our little elves ripped through all of Santa’s presents. So I made sure to stay up a little past their bedtime to capture a few. After all, Daddy is celebrating Christmas from the other side of the world and I didn’t want him to miss out on any of the excitement if I could help it. It was our first Christmas in this home [thanks military!] and I had the most fun decorating yet! 

The finding-the-perfect-stocking-spot-without-a-fireplace struggle continues. I mean, I guess we do live in E1-E5 housing and I guess I understand the caution in not offering a fireplace to the 21 year old Private and his brand-new wife [even though that was us five years ago], but five years later I would sure love one! It’s definitely on the must have list I keep for the dream house we’ll build together in New Hampshire someday, but more about that fantasy later. For now, the staircase does just fine to hold our stockings. 

One of my favorite projects this year was adding Julia’s stocking to the group! 

A little history behind the stockings… My grandmother was an amazing seamstress. She sewed all kinds of things for us throughout my childhood [including my first Halloween pumpkin costume Julia wore this year!]. Her infamous stockings hung on our fireplace every year since I was born, and when I got married and moved out, my mom was generous enough to let me take mine with me! So for our first married Christmas, she had a stocking made from the same pattern for Steve, which was so thoughtful. And so started my small collection, and I’ve added a new one every year since. Our second married Christmas, I added Zoe’s stocking. Our third married Christmas I added Mitchell. Last year Loki joined the bunch. And finally, this year, I sewed my favorite of them all! I was so proud of how Julia’s stocking turned out [minus a few buttons because I still need a little more tan thread… it’ll be done before next year], and I know her Great Grandma Brim is smiling up in heaven! I don’t think she knew how much I would treasure this stocking someday. I can’t wait to add more stockings in years to come, and someday, pass on the Nanny stocking tradition to all of our children’s families! 

So back to the living room. The presents started arriving after Thanksgiving and didn’t stop until Christmas Eve. That’s what you get when you have two grandmas that love spoiling their grandbabies. So I kept wrapping up until the big day. 

And piling them under the tree. 

Grandma Martin added a second chair for Miss Julia so she doesn’t have to keep stealing her big brother’s chair! And those darling little Santa pillows to make them just right for Christmas. 

Mitchell has his very own special sack for his presents from Santa! I have a feeling there will be a similar one for Julia next year too 😉 

One of the first things I loved about our new kitchen is the space above the cabinets to decorate. Which is 1,000 times more exciting at Christmas time because lighted. garland. Say no more. There is nothing cozier than snuggling up on the couch under the glow of the Christmas lights. Next year I plan on doing this every chance I get with that husband of mine, because I sure missed doing it this year. 

I love decorating, and I love when the decor has a sentimental value even more. My dad gave this printers tray to my mom when they were first married, and somehow I snuck it out of their house and into mine when we were first married. I just love how it looks up above my cabinets and it reminds me of how far they have come whenever I see it 🙂 

My mother-in-law has sent me so many perfect little decorating touches over the years, it seems she has decorated my whole house. Like that tiny little stool, or the fat little snowman, or that coffee picture. 

And this window that hangs above my cabinets year round. She has the best eye for decorating, and I love it when my house is the recipient of her antiquing adventure finds. There is always a perfect spot for her finds. 

This sign couldn’t be more true. 

The Christmas cards started filling the mailbox. There are several more up there now. The tree may be coming down soon, but these will be staying awhile. 

The Christmas books hit the playroom shelves mid-December, and we started reading a few a day. The concept of Christmas is still a little lost on Mitchell. Next year will be the year he starts to understand things like Baby Jesus and gift giving and all the traditions that accompany the season. 

The Christmas artwork started hitting the playroom display. 

My little reindeer footprint was this year’s favorite. 

And I don’t want to forget the tree Mitchell and I made together one afternoon. 

Even my little hallway workspace got a little Christmas cheer. I’m sitting here staring at this little tree as I type, trying to think of a spring alternative because I love this darling little tree so darn much. 

Mitchell’s airplane room got its own little tree atop his dresser. 

And he loved crawling to the foot of his bed and looking at the Christmas lights in the backyard. He’d say, “Mama, lights!” with a big smile plastered across his face. And that’s why Christmas season is infinitely better with children. 

The hallway chalkboard got a little Christmas love.  

And last, but not least, my little entryway. I love this entryway and our big map where we can see where Daddy is, no matter how far away. 

I remember the day we were out shopping in town and Steve suggested I pick out my very first wreath for our very first home. I felt like such a lucky girl that day, and I feel like that and a million times more to this day. 

Christmas has a way of making home feel so cozy. I love the Christmas lights and everything about the holiday. 

And all of this year’s festivity is documented just in time for my Daddy-Daughter date to take them all down tomorrow. Time to get ready for Julia’s first birthday party! Time flies like I can’t believe. Coming soon on the blog – Christmas morning! Our friends Lindsay and Maybree will be here in less than a week! Julia’s first birthday! And less than two weeks until I leave for Spain to see that husband of mine I miss so much! July to January has been a long wait, filled with many challenges, long work hours, and much-needed hugs from our two little angels. We kicked off 2015 with Baby Julia, and I’m kicking off 2016 back in his arms for the first time in six months, on our first real vacation since our honeymoon! Januarys seem to be a good month around the Martin household 🙂

3 thoughts on “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

  1. Beautiful decorations! And you get extra credit for doing it all without help from the hubs! I have an undying love for fireplaces too. We will be living on base in Virginia and the first question I asked was if it had a fireplace! Unfortunately it doesn't, (apparently only officers are lucky enough to get one) but I told my husband not to worry, I have BIG plans for him and our soon to be fireplace!!


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