First Married Christmas

This is going to be the first year that I have not slept at my parent’s house on Christmas Eve.

We decided that if we were ever going to come up with a holiday situation that didn’t involve stressful planning and then travelling all over the place, this year was the year to “take a stand”. So this year, we will be spending Christmas Eve and morning in our own home.

It will be a transition, but it will be a good one, I think.

What I don’t love is how stressful it is to be a full adult at Christmas. There is just so much to DO! You have to buy presents, plan meals, buy groceries, pre-make food, wrap presents, get a tree, decorate a tree, decorate the house, make sure you fit in seeing everyone, go to holiday parties…and it’s not like regular life really stops to fit all those things in.

I think the main difference between this year and previous years is that this is our first full-vegan Christmas. So we have to be in charge of finding and making dishes that we can eat. Because many people find the concept of vegan too intimidating to attempt on their own. I try to tell people it’s not that hard, it’s just a different set of ingredients, but that doesn’t seem to reassure them. (Does anyone have some good recipes / recipe books that are for the omnivore trying to feed a vegan?)

There’s also something missing when you celebrate Christmas with no kids around who are so excited with the magic of the season. It’s hard to generate that enthusiasm on my own.

Nonetheless, I am still pretty excited to eat breakfast and open a few gifts in our living room with the fire place turned on (assuming the downstairs neighbours don’t have theirs cranked up again!). And there are much worse things to do on Christmas morning than baking!

Happy holidays everyone!

What are your Christmas morning traditions?

My Get-In-The-Spirit Movie

…is Love Actually. Somehow, even after watching it around 10 times, I still love that movie. I’m not a watch-things-multiple-times kind of person. The more times I watch something, the more bored I am of it. Except Love Actually.

It has become an annual tradition to watch it in December as the holidays ramp up. I’m not sure why, but my partner puts up with this and has, for the past 3 Christmases, watched it with me. Who knows how long he will keep doing it, but I am certainly enjoying it while it lasts!

Image borrowed from the internet

We watched it last Saturday, in preparation for tree hunting the next day. What is tree hunting? Well, it’s where you take a rifle, and you go out, and hunt a tree to put inside…isn’t that how everyone does it? Okay, fine. We go to a tree farm and cut down our very own tree. It’s my family tradition that my partner and I have adopted into our family.

So we have a tree, we’ve watched the movie, and it’s definitely officially the holiday season. I can now listen to those holiday tunes without squirming. Bring on the rest of it–especially the decorations!

What’s your “get in the spirit” tradition?

What I Got For Christmas

And just like that, the holidays are over. I am now asking myself questions like: “What happened?”, “Where did they go so quickly?” and “Why do I feel so exhausted?”. I’m sure this is normal, something like PHSD (post holiday stress disorder) and with time and counselling I may recover some of my sanity again…

So while I’m waiting for my sanity to return, I thought I’d start out the new year by sharing some of my favourite (and most crafty) gifts that I received from the awesome people in my life.

Thing-A-Ma Jig by Bead Landing

Thing-A-Ma Jig by Bead Landing

The first awesome thing is a “jig”. It is a tool for wire work that allows you to quickly and easily bend wire into all sorts of shapes. This particular one came with several different sizes of pegs which means it can be used for both funky shapes and jump rings. It seems to be of solid construction, so I know the fun wire-bending times will continue for years to come.

Antique Sewing Box

Antique Sewing Box

This is an antique sewing box. Well, it may not be antique, but it is second-hand and made out of a really nice dark wood (close enough, I say). It’s a bit difficult to tell in this picture, but instead of drawers, its top two levels slide up and outwards, so you can see everything at once (see right side of unit in picture). Then when you’re done, it condenses nicely again (see left side of unit in picture). It is going to hold a lot of crafty awesomeness.

The only downside of this thing is that it’s a heavy sucker, so its level of portability beyond the house will be limited to how far I can convince my fiance to carry it. I am also considering putting wheels on it so that it’s easier to move within the house as well.

Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin

Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin

This book was on my Christmas list and is in keeping with my goal to start my own etsy store this year (after I finish planning a wedding, that is). I’m hoping it will be the inspiration and guidance I need to successfully start up my own small (tiny, really) business, and maybe take it beyond that–or at least know what’s required to do so. I am nurturing a tiny seed of hope in that I have decided on what my first product will be (but it’s a secret!).

The Fairy Fastener - Best Invention Ever

The Fairy Fastener – Best Invention Ever

This little miracle makes putting on bracelets one handed a breeze. You just clip one end of the clasp and then hold the handle area with one hand, then fasten it with the other. I’m seriously stoked to have this and may just start making myself more bracelets so I can take advantage of it. Want one? You can get more information here! *

* note: I get really excited about certain products, but I’m in no way affiliated with the companies. I just want other people to have the opportunity to get as excited as I am.

I am extremely spoiled, and definitely got other things (including something very special that will get its own blog post later on), these were just a snippet of the ones I thought would most correspond with this blog. We also got something like 6 (!!) vegan cookbooks for Christmas, and I’m hoping I can convince my lovely fiance to do a guest post that talks about each of them.

What awesome things did you receive (or get for yourself) for Christmas?

My First Wedding Photo Shoot

I have discovered a talent that I did not suspect of myself. I discovered that I missed my true calling as a wedding photographer.

A Penguin Wedding

However, it helped that I had such wonderfully photogenic subjects.

Penguin Love

Yes, they were a dream to work with. We can only aspire to a love as pure and adorable as theirs. (If you’d like to see more photos of this beautiful wedding, head over to my flickr account!)

This small scale wedding was super fun to put together. With the help of my partner, we made a backdrop of paper, and used stuffing for the snow. I had several tiny penguins (and one tiny snowman) as the guests, and a large snowman to marry them.

Penguin Wedding Setup

 

Part of my motivation to do this was the yearly contest over at mochimochiland. The other part of it was just because it was awesome, and I had all the penguins/snowmen all ready anyway.

This weekend also marked the beginning of the holiday season. Which meant that we got to break out the decorations! To my dismay, I discovered that we do not have sufficient decorations for our little home, and I may have to get a bit crafty to fix that problem…what a shame, right?

So what are your favourite things about the holiday season? Do you have any favourite holiday crafts you’d care to share?