Thursday, December 17, 2009

We're No Scrooges....

Merry Christmas!

As the cheery sounds of "It's a Marshmallow World" dance down our hallways, I am writing this blog post to give you a peek of our very first Christmas at Neverland!

I have immensely enjoyed our decorations thus far. As of today, I am done with tutoring until next year (I think Christmas break is even better as a teacher than it was as a student), and I am basking in the simple pleasures of the season; taking a few extra moments to shake packages under our red and silver Christmas tree, standing under the mistletoe with Stuart (many, many times a day!), and reading my favorite Christmas stories.

I hope you and your loved ones can find time to do the same in this over-too-quickly time of year!

Enjoy the photos!

Our staircase wrapped in Christmas garland...

Our front door Christmas wreath....

A close up. I love the butterflies and the fruit, even though it was a giant pain getting the latter attached!

This is the miniature tree we put up in the office for Stuart. I went up there one day, and peeked in and it made me sad that I was enjoying all of the decorations everywhere else in the house while he was stuck at the desk. So, voila! He has his own Christmas cheer near his desk!

This is a portion of my Christmas library. All of the downstairs windows are sporting their own Christmas titles, including some of my childhood favorites like Madeline's Christmas... it is so fun to decorate with books!

This is Iorek (pronounced "your-ick"), and he actually doubles as Christmas and Valentine's decor. Look at him, living the life on our bed....Stuart gave him to me, because he loves to give me stuffed animals...

Our sophisticated, not cheesy at all, snowman countdown piece.....

Ah...this is my "A Christmas Carol" table. This year most of it consists of snow, because I am slowly building my Jim Shore figurine collection. I have two more to get, and some other copies of the book as well. I just love it though! Especially Jacob Marley's miniature chains....such a great Christmas story! I don't why, but Chuckie D. (I call him that because we're pretty close) just makes me want to cry like a baby....

Here is our first beautiful Christmas tree! We've had one neighbor stop by and compliment us on it and the wreath! And I must admit, Stuart and I are very proud of it. We worked hard coordinating the colors together...well, Stuart told me what he envisioned and I coordinated, but still, it was a team effort! We're thinking about adding other trees as the years go on....huh. It is funny, but I never pictured us as "Christmas people." You know, the ones who have 12 trees in their house and all that, but we have had such a good time decorating together, that I think we might be after all! Maybe next year we'll add a UNC tree for Stuart and a Victorian one for me! I'm also thinking about a Travel tree. It is our tradition to buy a Christmas ornament wherever we go, and we've accumulated quite a few! It would be fun to have them all on one tree as a tribute to our adventures together!

Okay, our stockings were so fun to pick out! We went to Target together and decided to pick out each other's stocking. Our only rule was that it had to "reflect" the other's personality. And all I can say Stuart knowingly picked out a pink Shabby Chic stocking for me, trimmed with pink velvet and adorned with a jeweled crown. I was more worried about Stuart's...mine was so obviously me, but his was harder to pin down. Then I saw it! A reindeer stocking dressed in green (a color Stuart is in half of the time), with the little reindeer holding a chalkboard. Augh! Stuart loves chalkboards. Stuart has a chalkboard. I remember when I would visit him at UNC, I would write little love notes on the chalkboard he had for him to see when he would practice his math problems on it. And whenever we made a meal together there, we would make up a name for our imaginary restaurant and I would write it on the board in artistic lettering. Anyway, the stocking was such a perfect representation of that piece of his personality that of course I picked it up and waved it in triumph! We've hung them on our little banister at home...

In short, we're really embracing our Christmas together! We've watched several Christmas movies together, and are making many new traditions together, but trying to keep some old ones as well. Stuart was actually leaning towards not going home for Christmas, but having our own celebration here, and just going home for New Year's Eve, but eventually decided against it because both of our families are expecting us already. So, we're keeping that tradition for now! Also, for those of you who don't know it, Bedford is actually "The Christmas Capital of Virginia." Seriously. We have a sign and everything. We've gone to look at some great lights, but missed the town meeting in the square with the hot chocolate, carriage rides, and the decorating of the town Christmas tree. Also we missed the Christmas parade. We just found out too late because it is our first year here. Next year we'll be there because we love living in a small town and want to show our support!

We're trying to do something Christmas oriented every night, so tonight I think we're decorating Christmas cookies together, and I'm trying to find "Charlie Brown's Christmas" or the cartoon "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" because Stuart hasn't seen either one of them. Sadness. They are two of my favorites! When he first told me that I thought he was teasing me, but no! There are really people who haven't seen these Christmas classics! One thing we do have in common is our love for "Mickey's Christmas Carol." We ordered it off of Amazon last year and love it, it brings back great memories of childhood for both! And of course we both love Patrick Stuart in "A Christmas Carol" as well as "It's a Wonderful Life" and many others!

I encourage all you bloggers to do something fun this last weekend before Christmas! It only comes once a year!

Signing Off,


  1. I love this post Haley! Your home sounds so delightful and nostalgic. Picking out the Christmas stockings for each other was a cool idea. I picked ours out at Hobby Lobby 5 years ago. The Christmas Travel tree, is an uber cool idea. We just put all our ornaments on our tree, our tree would fit closely in the red-neck category, though there are no beer cans or fishing lures. Our Christmas tree is so special to us because it is full of ornaments that we have bought on all our excursions together. In fact, I went to a Christmas party the other night and we were suppose to do an ornament exchange. Well, there simply wasn't an ornament I could part with so, each one has a unique story that I could tell you. This year, we started letting the girls pick out an ornament at the store so that they could build up their own little collection of ornaments. Christmas is so wonderful!!

  2. Haley
    I loved reading your post. It is so obvious that you and Stuart are very much in love. Your Christmas decorations are beautiful, I loved the story about picking out your stockings and your Jim Shore display (which is what brought me to your blog) is very creative. I love how you decorated with books.
    Merry Christmas and I hope that you and Stuart keep loving each other and growing together.

  3. Dana,
    While I do love our Christmas tree, I am also looking forward to the day where I can have a tree decorated with paper stars, baby photos, and glittered Styrofoam! Children make Christmas so much more precious with their excitement and innocence. Just the other week when we were decorating with Zoe and Zara, I realized why Mom and Dad have always said that Christmas when we were children was the most fun! They were so fascinated with everything! I just held Zara and let her touch all the ornaments to her hearts content (and then took them away from her before she could pummel them against the coffee table). I sincerely wish I could spend a Christmas with your family and see all three little faces on Christmas morning! And I LOVE that you are letting the girls start their ornament collections like you and I did later in life. Thanks to that tradition, I had a whole box of special ornaments to open up when I got married! Imagine what they will have to remember dating all the way back to when they were little...


    I am so honored that you read my blog! It is always so neat to make blog friends and meet people with the same interests (like Jim Shore). I hope you come back and visit sometimes. I am looking forward to checking out your blog too!

  4. Haley, you've done such a great job decorating our home! And thank you for my 'chalkboard' stocking (looking forward to lots of chocolate in it come Christmas morning). And I'm happy to have a little tree in my office.

  5. I loved all the wonderful photos and the stories to go with them. Your home looks so beautiful!!! You and Stuart just sound like you are having THE best time with one another! Never, ever lose that! It's a blessing to be TOGETHER at Christmas and really any time of year! But may each Christmas only grow in the beautiful love between you two.

    Love, love, love the stockings. After years of cheap stockings, last year post-Christmas I bought us some lovely ones (even baby Elyana, who was still inside me).... I picked out one Jonathan LOVED... beautiful birds (cardinals? I forget...) stitched on it. It epitomoized everything he loves. I think if you count the bird pictures in our house, there are like 8 or 9 pictures throughout... So fun! I would love to see Stuart's up close! I love how well you know him! You are a sweet wife and his perfect partner! :)


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