Tuesday, December 11, 2012

AM~Erica Wants to Celebrate Festively, Simply & Nostagically

So anyway...

If you haven't figured out that Christmas time has set in, you must be living the hermit life under PATRICK STAR'S rock. But seriously...have you noticed?

Well, it is everywhere. There is no way around it. Like a game of dodgeball: you can duck, you can dodge, but you will be hit with it. Like a big game of Dodge-snow-ball, you get hit with it & it gets everywhere!!

So here we are, dealing with it the best we can...planning, dealing, shopping, prepping, stressing...to make sure the whole Christmas fantasy is perfect & that we can do it all within about 3-4 weeks. And when I say "do it all," I'm talking about our usual routine along with the other 5874.369375 (I'm pretty sure that's an accurate number) things that we want to do on top of that to help get us in that Christmas spirit. Amm-i-rite? The hustle & bustle is what we brace for...and just let it happen!

Guess what! It turns out that marketeering (I don't know if that's even a real word, but I'm using it as such) is taking advantage of that, and has been the last several years. Do you want to know how? Do ya...? Well...DO YA??? Well, I'm going to tell you anyway...

Nostalgia, people. Seriously. They are tugging at our nostalgic & sentimental heartstrings by bringing back our childhood products, memories & decorations in hopes we will buy them so our kiddos (who may or may not even care) can have that same feeling and experience we did. Sneaky & tricky, amm-i-rite?

You know those times when you come across some of those things (toys, treats, decor, etc.), you stop, and you take a deep sigh of remembrance back to a simpler time? Yeah...that's it. That's what they are getting from you. And they seem to be doing a pretty good job of it. From Lincoln Logs to Power Rangers & comic book heros...and the ever favorites of Barbie & Easy Bake Oven. There's the resurgence of tinsel trees, real trees, big bulbs & tinsel stars. It's everywhere!

In a land of crazy-busy & the technology infestation, we long for some simpler times. We see pictures & cartoons from the 50's & before in wonder of what that time might really be like [again]. But because of technology, we have things like Pinterest to give us ideas on MAJOR 50'S HOUSEWIFE throwbacks & ruining my reputation.

But that's beside the point. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with it.
(Oh man...what am I saying? Who is this person pretending to be me??)

However, we are using some of it to our advantage, especially during this crazy holiday season. In all the hustle & bustle, we (the hubby & I) decided we would try to figure out some simpler family times to help get us into the spirit, while creating some memories & hopefully building some traditions!

We started a tradition about 5 years ago of seeing Santa at Bass Pro. Some of you may be scratching your heads at that one...others know exactly what I'm talking about! It has become so popular, you need to get a reservation pass to make sure there's time & to insure you won't wait in line with your kiddos for 3 hours to see some creepy guy & just to pay $30 for 2 tiny pics.

Here's a sneak peak of the kiddos with one of the most amazing Santa's EVER!!!! (Like...I think it was REALLY Santa. Don't roll your eyes at me...I'm serious!)

Teen Boy, Lil Guy (with Meany Chin - will show up in a future post), Santa & Teen Girl at Bass Pro

Just to watch him talking with the kiddos was entrancing. Hubby & I were giddy my his magicality (I don't know if that's even a real word, but I'm using it as such)! And I will tell you that we had quite the creepy obstacle to deal with to get to see this guy. We had to endure the demonic talking taxidermy caribou. Please allow me to share part of that experience with you...

Aren't you glad I shared. Very creepy. If you squint & tilt your head, you might be able to make out that this thing is talking about Facebook. You're welcome for not capturing the creepy, scary laugh. I still shiver. *shivers* Just like that! Nightmares & night terrors could result from this thing.

Another friend (the one who warned me about it) & I decided this must be...
"Damien the Demonic Reindeer, who had developed a taste for blood; and if you come upon him...children, you'd better run!"

Thanks, Bill...collaboration at it's finest!

But we do love this tradition. The set up is amazing! Well...except for the new reindeer addition.

We always work in seeing the lights of Christmas in the Park at Longview Lake. That is coming up very, very soon...YEA!!

A thing we started this year (and hopefully it will continue) is that everyone in the house draws a number; then that's the order we go in to choose a Christmas movie to watch & a [favorite] Christmas treat to enjoy during the movie! So far we've had:

1. "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" with peppermint hot chocolate

2. "The Nightmare Before Christmas" with fudge & egg nog

3. "Elf" with super soft frosted sugar cookies

Because of the numbers in our house right now, we still have 4 more to cover. After that, we plan on catching up on the down week before Christmas. What fun this has been!

We wanted to do Christmas dinner playlists, but time has sadly not leant to that too well. But we will hold out for that one in the future. We also didn't get to have a Christmas open house to show off our trees due to family living dynamics at the moment. So...we really want to do that next year, too.

Another thing my hubby & I do is wrap gifts together. He wraps & I decorate with the ribbons, bows & tags! We are quite the team...

The adorable decorating duo

Just a portion of the decorating duo's creations...thanks to fun with Instagram to show them off
I am also planning on making some Christmas candies & goodies that I remember from my childhood. There was one I especially wanted to find. My grandmother stopped making her goodies about 15 years ago. Ever since I can remember, I would eat these candies that remind me of peanut butter fudge with a chocolate topping. Almost like a Reece's fudge. But I asked & no one seemed to know what I was talking about. But it JUST hit me a few days ago that I must've eaten all of them before anyone else could see them. D'oh! *face palm*

In this time of tradition & nostalgia, I've noticed my style leaning that way, too. The 40's & 50's have been very influential in my style the last few weeks, in a festive sense. (see pic above with hubby)

We are still in the midst of working in all of our church involvement & family get-togethers, too.

It's the most wonderful time of the year...amm-i-rite?

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

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