Sunday, December 14, 2014

Shopping & Santa

Grandma, Papa, & Santa
Yesterday my dad (aka Papa) invited us to go Christmas shopping with him at Aspen Grove. Men just loooove holiday shopping and crowded malls, see? They can't get enough of it this time of year.

He even insisted on buying Pax this adorable newsboy cap at Gymboree.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
It was the first hat Pax has worn willingly and didn't try to take off. It is worth noting that the only other hat he wears makes him look like a cartoonish fox boy complete with ears and a nose...it has a strap so he can't take it off. I imagine that the seriousness of this newsboy cap gave him a feeling of freedom. Plus, he looked like his Papa.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
The truth is this: one of Papa's childhood chums was playing Santa at Cali & Mo {which just happens to be the shop I used to sell my handcrafted paper goods to!} and Santa's caroling friends were going to be there also.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
My kids loved watching these carolers. They were really good carolers too. They did more than just sing, they entertained.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
Tis the season for puffy vests!
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Cali & Mo is a delightful store. If you need a unique gift idea, check them out for sure.
Grandma, Papa, & SantaGrandma, Papa, & SantaGrandma, Papa, & Santa
Grandma & Papa bought Eisley a newsboy cap too, and she hasn't taken it off yet. Violet opted for a headband with a big ruffly bow. This, friends, is a perfect example of their personalities via the millinery.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
When it was time to see Santa, their true colors started showing.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
Paxton was a champ and tolerated it for a few photos, but his face slowly became more pouty with each second. Papa pulled him away just in time before he lost it.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
Eisley was all over this Santa business. They had serious wish list items to discuss.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
Violet put one foot in the shop, spotted Santa, and proclaimed, "I DON'T WANT ANY PRESENTS!"
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
Hopefully Eisley put in a good word for her sister, who refused to go anywhere near St. Nick. Even if she thought it meant no presents for her on Christmas.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
She did, however, accept a candy cane.
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
And we got this awesome picture. I didn't notice Eisley's pose until I got home and uploaded my photos. This kid cracks me up!!
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This was WAY better than going to one of the big and busy malls and waiting in line to see Santa while some disgruntled elf took the kids' photo. Santa will be there on December 20th too, so if you'd like to see him and his friendly caroling friends, mark your calendar!
Grandma, Papa, & Santa
Oh, and free horse drawn carriage rides! Forgot to mention that.

Cheers,
Heather

Monday, December 8, 2014

Decked Out

You know how I previously said that I wanted to experience a flocked tree at least once in life?
Christmas Decor 2014
Well, see? It turns out that once you've gone flocked, you're not going back. I've decided.

{And yes, since some folks have asked, let me assure you that this is a REAL live Christmas tree. It's a noble fir. We have to water it and worry about fires and mites and all that good stuff. It's great.}
Christmas Decor 2014
But boy...does she shine or what? Decked out with all our Christmas ornaments. I love it. I had no idea what a difference the flocking can make. Our Advent season is off to a great start in every way.
Christmas Decor 2014
Yes, Advent. A lovely part of Christmastime that we observe as part of the man-created church calendar, in anticipation of the big 25th. In our house, we decorate for the Christmas season and observe Advent, despite some liturgical worshippers thinking it can't be done. Justin and I think it's best to keep Christmastime Christ-centered, attending Advent services and looking forward to His second coming {there's been lots of that lately}, while also not nitpicking or criticizing others about home decor and carols. In fact, I enjoy seeing how other Christians observe Advent differently. In our home, we're going to be bringing out the nativity in stages. ;-) 
#adiaphora #notlaw #letspickourbattlesfriends 

"Nor is it necessary that human traditions, that is, rites or ceremonies, instituted by men, should be everywhere alike." - The Augsburg Confession
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So you can betchabottomdollar that I enthusiastically decked this flocked tree with our collection. As you can see we've got a bit of a sweets theme going on. 
Christmas Decor 2014
The girls each picked out a new ornament this year at Hobby Lobby. I let them choose glass ornaments and Violet, of course, picked the princess. Eisley picked this adorable snowman with eyelashes longer than mine.
Christmas Decor 2014
Pax is too little to be trusted with glass {which is why the top 1/3 of our tree has most of the ornaments on it} and so I just enjoyed pulling out those baby ornaments I picked out for his first Christmas last year.
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Don't you just love ornaments and how they can carry such good memories? This is Dopey from the 1950s. It was my dad's ornament, on his tree during his childhood. Yes, it is actually Dopey from Snow White. Disney looked different back then, huh? Dopey is very fragile, despite not being glass.
Christmas Decor 2014
I also love new vintage ornaments, these ones I've picked up at antique malls.
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In the 1980s Bristol Ware reproduced these antique "roly poly" tabacco tins from the 1910s. You know, back when tabacco companies were allowed to entice children with sleazy advertising? So my parents have one of these Santa roly poly tins. Every year during my childhood, mom would fill him with those Brach's peppermint nougats with the Christmas trees in the middle. He was part of my childhood, every Christmas. Anyhoo, a couple years ago I thrifted one of my own! Then last year I found the mini version next to him.
Christmas Decor 2014
Then, two weeks ago I found this matching roly poly ornament! It's becoming a thing.
Christmas Decor 2014
Speaking of Santas you can hide your tabacco in, last year I found these two sets of matryoshka Santas and the girls tried to make them their toys. So this year, we displayed them where they can't reach them.
Christmas Decor 2014
It's not that I'm a grinch, it's that they can be choking hazards. 
Christmas Decor 2014
Okay, I'm a little bit grinch too.
Christmas Decor 2014
I love seeing how other people decorate for the holidays, so if you blog please link up with me if you do a Christmas decor post!
Christmas Decor 2014
All of this was thrifted except for the cute stockings Grandma Holly made the kids last year.
Christmas Decor 2014
My bust girl gets in the Christmas spirit too by wearing a Santa hat marketed for cats!
Save a cat this Christmas: repurpose pet costumes.
Christmas Decor 2014
Justin bought us tickets to see the Colorado Ballet's The Nutcracker next weekend. I'm so excited!! It's been several years since we've been. I love The Nutcracker. I love Tchaikovsky, I love fairy stories, I love the ballet, and I love the sugarland decor!

Obviously, I've channeled some Sugar Plum Fairy in my house this year.
Christmas Decor 2014
Erickson tradition states that you should provide crudités and liquored up egg nog and play The Christmas Revels and/or A Prairie Home Christmas with Garrison Keilor whilst you decorate your tree. Well, this year we were in a bit of a time crunch and so the kids helped with the lights and then went to bed while Sander and I finished---without our booze and crackers and Christmas songs from Lake Wobegon--and so the kids woke up to a living room sugar land that just appeared.

Paxton didn't take it so well.
Christmas Decor 2014
That is, all morning he tried to get his hands {and mouth} on all the ornaments decking out the lower 2/3 of the tree.
Christmas Decor 2014
When I scolded him and wouldn't let him desecrate the tree, he had himself a pout-fest.
Christmas Decor 2014
I tried not to laugh at his over-the-top pity party. He called me a grinch.
Someone is getting nothing but coal in his stocking. 

Anyway, hope you're enjoying the season as much as we are. 
For God so loved the world... 

Cheers,
Heather


P.S. Sorry if sound snarky about Advent. Sort of. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Finding our Flocked Tree

I've been telling Justin for a few years now that one of these Christmases, I was going to have myself a pink flocked tree!

My dad was telling me the other day how grandma insisted on a flocked tree, one Christmas in nineteen-sixty-something. They brought it into the house, put it in the Christmas tree stand, and their Airedale promptly lifted his leg. Just like that they had a yellow flocked tree. I think that dogs must think this is our Christmas gift to them: indoor bathroom. Anyway, I just think it's cool that flocked trees were the thing, some fifty years ago, and they have recently come back into popularity.
Finding our Flocked Tree
Look, it's 2014, and I really wanted to cross a flocked {pink, preferably} tree off my list before the world ends. I think I've wanted one ever since Blueprint put one on the cover of their magazine. So, yesterday we piled into the Volvo and headed up I-25 to 58th, where Paulino Gardens is. Paulino Gardens is the most amazing garden center on his side of the Continental Divide. It has to be.

Even if you don't need a plant, go there just for the experience. Or for gifts.
Finding our Flocked Tree
We saw a few flocked trees were in the front, but most of them we were told were in a warehouse in the back. So we ventured through the tropical plants...
Finding our Flocked Tree
...through the forsest of shaped trees and citrus trees...
{yeah...they have lemon trees for sale...as if this is Arizona or something...it smelled wonderful}
Finding our Flocked Tree
...through the caves of cacti...
Finding our Flocked Tree
...through the troves of terrariums...
Finding our Flocked Tree
...through pastures of poinsettias...
{have you EVER seen so many poinsettias?!}
Finding our Flocked Tree
...and eventually we ended up back outside at the front, and were directed to walk through and behind the building again...look, this place it ginormous...we bought our wisteria here last summer. It's even more amazing during spring and summer.
Finding our Flocked Tree
I'm not done with the poinsettias. Look at the leaf covered planters these babies reside in! Beautiful.
Finding our Flocked Tree
Finally, there is was. Nondescript and unassuming. Warehouse #7. Dun dun dun!
Finding our Flocked Tree
Home of the flocked trees.
Finding our Flocked Tree
In every color. "We'll be flocking more tomorrow," they said. "So if you don't find the color or size you want, we can take an order."
Finding our Flocked Tree
I got poor little Violet's hopes up about the pink tree think. I thought that was what I wanted. Violet is a princess face girly-girl through and through. She amazes me. Tough, bruiser, spider-killer...but she is ALL about the makeup and princesses. I adore that strawberry hair...now if only it'd start growing.
Finding our Flocked Tree
Paxton kept walking up to the black flocked Christmas tree. It actually was sort of pretty because it was covered in sparkles and looked like a starry sky at midnight, but in this photo it just screams goth.
Finding our Flocked Tree
We wandered around warehouse #7 while discussing the pros and cons of both white and pink flocked trees, only to find another greenhouse filled with MORE POINSETTIAS in the back! Is the rest of the world missing its poinsettias? Paulino Gardens is hoarding them ALL.
Finding our Flocked Tree
Finally, we picked a white flocked tree. After seeing just how pink the pink flocked trees were, I decided all my equally colorful ornaments might look garish on a bright pink flocked tree. Some trees were more flocked than others, we decided we didn't care for the ones that were 100% covered in whatever the flock flocking is. We liked the ones where the natural tree could also show through some. A tree that looked like it had literally just endured a light dusting of snow.
Finding our Flocked Tree
I still think Paxton preferred the goth tree...
Finding our Flocked Tree
We actually had priced shopped a bit, and it turns out Paulino had not only the better selection--compared to nearby tree lots--but also better prices on flocked trees. I think it's because they do their own flocking. {I'm really trying here, people.} You can get really little ones starting at $30. I mean really little though. We definitely paid more than we usually would for a tree, but it was just one of those things I wanted to experience in life.
Finding our Flocked Tree
They tied it onto our car and we headed home to decorate it.
Finding our Flocked Tree
I can't wait to show you how our flocked tree looks with all my sickeningly sweet ornaments covering it. I'm so glad we got a flocked tree, it's absolutely beautiful all lit up and decked out.

To be continued...


Cheers,
Heather