Christmas Eve & Christmas 2015

I can't quite believe that Christmas has already come and gone again. I look so forward to it all year and then I blink. Gone. This year was a good one, one for the books. Having a child around at Christmas time makes it even better. This time last year, Marin wasn't walking yet and wasn't totally aware of Christmas and presents. This year, she was all in. That kid made out like a bandit. We won't need to buy her another toy for a long time. 

Christmas Eve started at the Hollen's for brunch and presents. 

Since I work for a church, my afternoon and evening was spent working on Christmas Eve. We held a service at our building. There were a million cookies, hot cocoa, and glow sticks to end the night as we sang "Silent Night." It was a wonderful evening but I was very glad to go home and put my feet up. Ryan and I opened a few gifts from each other before bedtime. 

Marin has been taking Thomas everywhere. 

We woke up fairly early the next day to finish opening our gifts and for Marin to open up her gifts from us and of course, Santa Claus. I was so excited to give her the toy kitchen and all of the fun food stuff that comes with it. Ryan also killed it with my gifts. We haven't been able to afford gifts for each other the past few years so it was really fun being able to buy for each other this year. He is a great gift giver. 

We headed down to my parent's new home to open up presents with my side of the family. It was really fun being in their new home. Marin is in toy heaven. Christmas evening was spent at my Uncle's and Aunt's home eating amazing food and having a White Elephant gift exchange to end the day. 

Christmas of 2015 was a good one. I love that almost all of our families are close and that we can celebrate with everyone. Christmas time though the eyes of a child is like nothing else I've known. 

Merry Christmas, everyone. 

The Hollen Home | Christmas 2015

I clearly have a throw pillow addiction....

Decorating for Christmas is one of my very favorite things to do in our little home. My husband can attest to the fact that this year I was a little early on the decorating and had mostly everything done the weekend before Thanksgiving. I know...I know....I'm breaking some cardinal rule but I love the soft glow of the lights and the tree. I want to enjoy them for as long as possible without heading into the territory of...So...when will you be taking your tree down? Valentine's Day? 

I bought a few new things to add to the Christmas decor this year. Since we don't have an awesome fireplace with a mantle, I use the top of the piano instead. Someday I want a house with a mantel that I can decorate. 

I still love our white Christmas tree. 

All of the presents but one or two are now wrapped and under the tree. Now if I could find a way to keep the cat and the kid away from them...that would be good. 

Marin enjoys pointing out all of the Christmas trees in our house. We have some on the TV stand. A bunch on the piano. A few in the master bedroom. They are kind of all over. The best part is that she doesn't pronounce it "Christmas" but "Criptmas." Pretty darn adorable. "Merry Criptmas!" 

And of course, we have to set out Blinko the Snowman. Marin says hi and goodbye to him every time she goes up and down the stairs. "Hi Snowman! Hi Blinko!" 

I thought it would be fun to put links to the decorating of Christmas Past. It's fun to see how our home and decorating has shifted over the last few years.