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Decorating for Christmas

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Have I mentioned that Christmas is hands-down my most favorite Holiday?  I have an enthusiasm and joy for it that starts even before Thanksgiving, and somehow extends all the way to New Years Day.  Ever since I was a kid, there’s been something about this Holiday season that has always made me feel safe, grateful, excited, and full of love for everyone around me.  And of course there’s that famous word: “Cheer!”  I would never use that word in my normal life, unless it’s while clinking glasses filled with something alcoholic.  And yet somehow during the Christmas season it doesn’t sound cheesy to me– I even put it all over my wrapping paper and holiday greeting cards!  As a self-proclaimed Christmas Freak, I will tell you that nothing makes me happier than having my first child at an age (finally) where she can actually participate in Christmas!!

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Growing up, our big Family Christmas Activity was decorating our tree together.  I looked forward to it every year, and we always made sure to enjoy the ritual no matter where in the world we were living at the time.  A couple of the years we were out of the country for the Christmas Holiday, so my Mom would get a tree way ahead of time just so we could all decorate together before heading off on our adventure.  I loved carefully unwrapping each ornament, and remembering all together which one it was, where we had gotten it, or who had hung it last time.  My Mom had even saved some ornaments she had crafted herself when she was in her twenties! There were picture frame ornaments, small town souvenir ornaments, joke ornaments, cloth ornaments, and even beautiful hand-painted ones made out of mercurial glass.  I loved how different they all were, yet how beautiful the tree always looked when they were hung up together.  I learned the “Bottom Three Feet Rule” from my Mom, too: decorate the bottom three feet of the tree with unbreakable-only ornaments, so kids can wander and explore freely!

Obviously my brothers and I would fight every year over who got to put the star up on the top of the tree.  It was supposed to be a rotating honor, but by the time we got back around to Christmas, everyone would have forgotten who had been promised the crowning jewel.  Typical!

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Decorating the tree is still my favorite Christmas ritual.  I couldn’t wait to bust out the ornaments with Marlowe and Kyle this year, and decorate for the first time together as a family of three! Marlowe takes after her Mama and loves the process as much as I do.  She especially loves the ornaments with the pictures of Kyle and I on our wedding day.  It seemed to settle the “Who-Does-She-Look-Like” argument when Lowie pointed to it and exclaimed “Mama and Marmo!”.  If that hadn’t been a picture of a grown man in a tuxedo, I would have thought so, too! Haha!  I even dressed Marlowe up in my own Christmas dress from when I was her age! Yes, those are the same little Scottie Dogs and peter pan collar that I wore in 1986! If you really want to feel all of the feelings, do your favorite activity with your favorite people in the Universe, while one of them is wearing your childhood clothes.  There aren’t enough Kleenex.

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I love collecting ornaments, as well as making my own.  We hosted a crazy fun Tree Trimming Party two years ago, and our friends all decorated some beautiful ornaments for the tree.  I had everyone sign theirs before hanging it, and I love taking each of those out and telling Marlowe which of her favorite people created them.

Cute side note: Our hired “Santa” for that Tree Trimming party had each of us make a special wish with him during our photo op.  Kyle and I had been having a challenging time getting pregnant, and I wanted a baby more than anything.  When it was my turn, I wished for a healthy and happy baby to welcome in to our family.  The very next morning I found out I was pregnant with Marlowe!

This year I went all out with our decor to make the Holiday feel extra special for our little girl.  It was so fun dressing up our home for Christmas, and it makes me so happy every time Marlowe wanders in and I hear her whisper “Wooooow” while gazing at the big tree and lights.

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I’m so grateful this year for my child who is so full of wonder and joy all year round.  She really does encourage me to extend my “Cheer” beyond the season and in to every moment of my life.  Thank you, Marlowe Mae, and Merry Christmas to my littlest, best Christmas miracle…  🙂

 

Do you decorate for Christmas or Hannukah? What are your favorite traditions?? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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Photographs by Nina Suh for Love And Lemonade Photography

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12 Comments

  1. Anna says:

    I also love decorating the tree best! My little one is only a few months older than Miss Marlowe and it is so much fun to watch her gaze at our tree and stare at Christmas lights. It makes the season that much more warm and delightful!

    12.15.15Reply
    • Hi Anna!
      I totally agree! Kids make every holiday feel like new again!

      xoxo
      EAM

      12.15.15Reply
  2. Roseanne says:

    Every year we have an assortment of ornaments from our travels around the world. Our four children who now range from 17 to 26 love to decorate the tree. We draw a name out to see which special decorations we each get. The coveted Disney ball is always popular but I especially love the star from Kensington Palace. Wishing you all a magical Christmas season.

    12.15.15Reply
    • Hi Roseanne,
      I love that idea! I might have to adopt that! 🙂 Merry Christmas!

      xoxo
      EAM

      12.15.15Reply
  3. Calley says:

    Eeeeep! How cute that dress was yours!!!!! Loved the story of wishing for a baby and finding out the next day. My husband and I really struggled to get pregnant as well and I found out the day after my birthday which was my birthday wish. Your decorating is gorgous, love your style and ideas. You are one of my favourite follows on Instagram. Merry Christmas!

    12.15.15Reply
    • Calley,
      Awww, I love that story! What a magical thing. Hope you have a fabulous Christmas holiday!

      xoxo
      EAM

      12.15.15Reply
      • Calley says:

        Thank you!! Merry Christmas to you and yours as well ❤️

        12.16.15Reply
  4. Joanna says:

    We bake sugar cookies from scratch every holiday season, decorate them and then deliver them to coworkers, family and friends. It’s been my husband’s family tradition for years and I’m so happy to continue it with our daughter now. I may have a slight obsession with collecting holiday cookie cutters!

    12.15.15Reply
    • Joanna,
      That is an AWESOME tradition. Marlowe is a little young, but I can’t wait to bake with her next year! She is already a cookie-eating expert though…haha

      xoxo
      EAM

      12.15.15Reply
  5. Alexandra says:

    Eva – I have to say I really enjoy reading your blog and love how down-to-earth and kind you are. Marlowe is the cutest thing in the world! I never leave comments on blogs but after seeing the Freddie Mercury print over your mantle I knew I had to…such a great idea!!! I love that! Thank you for the inspiration!

    12.20.15Reply