Christmas 2011 Recap


This December has been a whirlwind. If I haven’t been at a party, I’ve been prepping for one. I just thought I’d do a little recap of what’s gone on this month. This post is mostly to remind my future self that no matter how busy the holidays get, I can survive. Even if it’s just by a little.

• P A R T I E S •

I had a fantastic time at a food tasting with fellow bloggers at Station 22. Oh. My. GOSH. Their food is amazing. Their meat was cooked to perfection & they served us the most delicious acorn squash I’ve had in my life. The consistency & flavor was akin to crème brûlée.

Next, I participated in a little gift exchange with the lovely Creative Collaborative folks. I was thrilled with what I came home with! I got an original painting by Brittany Scott (a fellow painter from college). It’s gorgeous. I want to frame it before I share it with you. My Christmas was complete from the moment that painting filled my hands.

Creative Collaborative is one of the reasons why I’m excited to have moved. We’re now a hop skip & a jump away from CC meetings, I look forward to going every month!

Photo courtesy of Alice Lane

The 2nd Annual Alice Lane party was too much fun. I spent the night eating delicious treats & drooling over their gorgeous furniture. They sent us home with fresh-baked buscuits & strawberry-basil jam. The biscuits were inhaled, as was the jam. I’m going to need that jam recipe.

It, too, was a gift exchange & I scored the most delicious batch of peanut butter cookies to ever tickle my tastebuds. It’s nothing short of a Christmas miracle that I can zip up my pants today.

photo by Bri Webb

I baked 6 (YES, SIX!) dozen Lemon Crinkle cookies for a cookie exchange party, hosted by Bri of Collected. The above cookie was my absolute favorite. We all went home practically comatose from sugar overdose & bursting at the sides from all the delicious cookies.

The party was gorgeously decorated & designed, too. Next time, I’m dipping my lemon crinkle cookies in chocolate. I’m also adding a lot more lemon.

After all of the friend parties were the family gatherings. They were fun, but SO stressful. Felix has been teething (his wish is to get his two front teeth by the new year) & Penelope was really naughty. At the first Christmas party, Penelope & her cousin found their way into my parents’ bathroom & proceeded to make a fantastic mess with their shaving cream, soap, mouthwash and baby powder. I don’t think I got any pictures of the chaos, but I’m sure my sister did. The next night (at another family party) Penelope & her cousin went into the play room & proceeded to take out every single board game & mix up every single piece to every single game. Penelope was sure to leave her signature string spiderweb all over the room, too. Her nickname “Penelope the Destroyer” is back in full force.

I’m thinking something about driving 100+ miles every day for family gatherings for 4 days straight might have gotten to her. Perhaps.

• G I F T S •

My sister-in-law dropped the not-so-subtle hint that they wanted personalized mugs for Christmas. Before the hint, I had no idea what to do for them. I bought some 14 oz. mugs from Shopko, personalized them with ceramic paint pens & cured the mugs in the oven. DONE. I’d love to do this for our family.

My sister wanted to surprise my parents with family photos, but her plan was completely foiled when my parents suggested we get together for family photos. In keeping with the same theme, we pooled our photos together & created a family photobook & calendar for them. Since they live on the other side of the country, we thought it would be a sweet to document our year for them. My mom is an avid scrapbooker, so I knew she’d love it.

Paper Coterie provided me with a gift card, so I was thrilled to use that. I was incredibly impressed with their photobook system, ordering, paper & print quality, customer service & packaging. A+ all around. Just FYI: I was not asked to do a review, but I was just so impressed with the process & end product I thought I’d mention it here.

I kept things pretty simple with packaging & wrapping. When I ran out of my favorite Ikea wrapping paper, I used this lovely chevron paper designed by my friends Bri & Melanie (almost too nice to use). The bows are from American Crafts. I love how they look together. So simple.

These are two of the goodies I got from the various gift exchanges I participated in. Felix LOVES his little monkey & Penelope loves her little purse. Penelope kept asking Chris & I (and Santa) for a marshmallow dinosaur for Christmas. I thought it was funny, but Chris was picking up what she was putting down! He made her a marshmallow dino! It’s the sweetest labor of love, ever. Penelope loved her little Christmas surprise.

Santa put down arrows around the house leading Penelope & Felix to various little toys. It ended with the marshmallow dino & a few wrapped gifts. I love her reaction in the video. Total cuteness overload.


Last year Chris & I exchanged love letters. It was the best Christmas we’d done for each other, ever. I knew it’d would be hard to even come close this year. I totally failed. What did Chris get from me for Christmas? Squat. EPIC fail. Maybe now that the bar is at the very bottom, I’ll be able to do something great next year. I feel like an awful wife.

Speaking of gifts from spouses, I wrote this out for Bri, as commissioned by her husband. I believe he put it in a cookbook. Brilliant! If only I could think of clever/thoughtful/sweet things like this for Chris.

How was your Christmas? Win? Fail?

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    1. wow! busy bee! it seems as though i was pretty busy this holiday as well, though luckily my family is close to home.
      after handmaking about 16 gifts for friends and family, running around to find everything i could for our little one for gifts, working, blogging, and entertaining, christmas finally came and i was able to cook for 10 loved ones. we also got to share our news of expecting with richard’s parents and eat yummy food.
      definitely one of the best christmases to date.
      oh, and richard got me a kindle fire. win.

    2. katie says:

      I love that wrapping paper!

    3. Sarah Jane says:

      Melissa, I loved this post! I love your crisp wrapping, and I loved hearing about P, because E has become a little naughty too! I’m hoping to up the patience in 2012 and become more creative with my discipline mechanisms. A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family! xo

    4. I’m in love with the chevron paper! And the last picture with the calligraphy note – definitely learning calligraphy this year.

    5. Polly Scott says:

      LOVE the mugs! We use them everyday. Thanks for the shout out!!

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