I am so behind on the holidays. I guess I'm a little overwhelmed with this whole first married Christmas deal, and I spent the entire season behind! We traveled to NC for Thanksgiving (though we had a second turkey meal the next week with Garrett's parents here in Birmingham), we visited Garrett's paternal grandparents/uncles/cousins the weekend before Christmas and then traveled to see Garrett's grandmother in Kentucky the week of Christmas. Then I headed to SC to see my mom's family for a night.
It was nuts. I meant to buy a lot of presents online this year but with all the traveling and busyness my time dwindled and I was afraid I wouldn't get them in time. So I did a lot of stressed out last minute shopping. Not recommended, FYI. I really think we'll try to spend Christmas at home next year (though it will kind of mean having Christmas with Garrett's parents since they live in the same city with us). I really like the idea of Garrett and I starting some of our own traditions (this year we bought a charlie brown tree from Walgreens which was pretty perfect for our limited space, but there was little else in the way of decoration).
via you are my fave from desire to inspire. and yes, i am filling this post with pretties to avoid seeming like a complete and utter pessimist.
During our travels I randomly went to a marriage website I heard about on the radio and the featured article was about splitting time between families and how stressful it is. It is so stressful. Both of you are used to spending Christmas a certain way and one of you has to sacrifice for the other to get that. And it is in no way fair. I've spent this past year away from my family (not to say that I didn't choose to move to Birmingham nor that I don't absolutely love it), so it was really hard to think I had to pick holidays. I was really selfish about it, and I hate that my mind tries to justify it by saying that Garrett's family is here in town and thus can see him whenever they please. Big fat mess.
via oh, hello friend. i am in love with this advent calendar! I never had an advent calendar growing up but Garrett did, I'm hoping I can find or make a good one for next year! this year we had a chocolate one. but we weren't good about eating them and we still have a lot left!
For everyone that will be spending their first Christmas together next year, go ahead and talk about it with each other and your families. There are so many feelings and people involved. And if you want to spend Christmas together, do it. This was our first year together on Christmas Day, and while it was with Garrett's family in Kentucky it was really nice to be together for once. I can't wait until the next Christmas, I'm already feeling like decorating with lights and buying a big ol' tree.
Okay, enough of that, and onto the good stuff! One really fun thing about this Christmas was all the ornaments we received! I know Garrett and I both have a lot of ornaments at our parents' homes but since we didn't have a big tree this year we didn't retrieve any of them. I'm kind of glad, I like the idea of my old ornaments staying on my parents' tree and starting a new one. And, I'm really excited that most of the ornaments we got are vintage style glass blown newlywed themed.
Garrett's Grandpa got us a newlywed set from a Christmas store (Bronner's) in Michigan, and it's so cute. I had never heard of this tradition so it's really cool that we got it on our first Christmas!
Traditional European Newlywed's Collection
researched by Olga Whitehurst, 1953
photo by me, these are our ornaments!
•A heart signifies love in the home
•A flower basket represents beauty in the home
•A teapot symbolizes hospitality (and our wedding had a teapot theme, so that's neat!)
•A pine cone symbolizes eternity
•A fish symbolizes Christ as well as fertility
•A church or angel symbolizes God
•A house signifies family shelter
•A basket of fruit symbolizes plenty
•A bird in a nest means confidence in the shelter (ours has no nest, and I hope this doesn't mean we'll be homeless!)
•An animal symbolizes peace with nature (ours is a beaver which is super cute!)
•A rose is the symbol of the Virgin Mary
•Santa is the symbol of giving and sharing
We also got some really cute ornaments from other family members. My Grandmother gave us the LOVE ornament on our wedding day, we received the "our first Christmas" ornament with peppermint stripes from Garrett's aunt and uncle on Christmas, and the heart with our picture inside was in my stocking Christmas day, with the photo included (such a small thing but it saves me so much trouble and helped me instantly appreciate it!)
I also received a very cool present as part of the EAD holiday gift swap, I was paired with Emily of the Culinary Couple and received one of her cookbooks! Thanks so much!
I can't wait to hear about all the other Newlywed Christmases and I hope they were more dream than drama!