I just love Christmas, and the whole holiday season. Everyone tried to tell me that working retail at the mall would dampen my spirit and ruin the holiday for me, but I painted my nails red and decided to persevere. I think I did very well. You can decide for yourself with this (very) picture-heavy post.
Some of you know, and some of you don’t, that two years ago TH gave me an advent calendar for Christmas. I saw it at Target while we were grocery shopping one day and just sort of fell in love with it and the idea of it. TH, being the great listener and gift giver he is, took note, bought it for me and now it’s a becoming a tradition at our house. I didn’t share all the stuff we got last year because I didn’t think of it, and because we were just getting the hang of it.
This year, we’ve got it down.
Isn't it adorable? We trade out yearly so that we both have a chance to get the "big" Christmas Eve door. 🙂
Since then, at Christmastime, we split the days and get each other small gifts through the month of December. This year, I thought I’d share the joy…
On the first day of Advent, I gave to Bubba…
The picture he's been wanting of his bride!
On the second day of Advent, my Bubba gave to me…
Some herb scissors and a sweet caramel.
On the third day of Advent, I gave to Bubba…
The "Key to a Perfect Marriage" Christmas ornament.
On the fourth day of Advent, my Bubba gave to me… lots of things to warm my tummy and my heart…
Some Godiva and gourmet hot chocolate and a Starbucks-looking travel mug!
On the fifth day of Advent, I gave to Bubba:
A book about all the hikes in Tennessee!
On the sixth day of Advent, my Bubba gave to me…the sweetest little accompanied by some sweet treats!
On the seventh day of Advent, I gave to Bubba:
A corkcicle...a freezer stick with a cork on the top to help our wine stay the perfect temperature on the table.
On the eighth day of Advent, my Bubba gave to me: potted plants.
Some tiny potted plants so I can grow my own basil and parsley!
On the ninth day of Advent, I gave to Bubba:
A brand new UT bag tag for our Barbados trip!
On the tenth day of Advent, my Bubba gave to me:
A baby sock monkey (tiny enough to fit in my purse when I travel)!
On the eleventh day of Advent, I gave to Bubba:
Some very manly smelling lotion! Yum!
On the twelfth day of Advent, my Bubba gave to me:
Some delicious Godiva Caramel Gems. Woo hoo!
On the thirteenth day of Advent, I gave to Bubba:
Handy things for my handy man.
On the fourteenth day of Advent, Bubba gave to me:
A diamond dazzle stick to make my ring sparkle and shine!
On the fifteenth day of Advent, I gave to Bubba:
Some Yankee Candle car vent sticks (air fresheners).
On the sixteenth day of Advent, my Bubba gave to me:
A Victoria's Secret giftcard. Woo hoo!
At the end of the day, we made the trip to Kingsport to visit the H’s. We had an amazing dinner (and milkshakes at The Purple Cow–if you haven’t tried it, I suggest you do…delicious…I had a marshmallow heath bar milkshake, TH had a chocolate banana and Mr. H had a Reese’s one), exchanged gifts and had, of course, the traditional H Family Breakfast. We packed up there that afternoon (it was just a quick trip) and came home to get ready for a tacky Christmas sweater party with our friends. I must say, the Bubba’s brought it with our outfits this year. We did well last year, but this year…we took it to the next level, really brought the heat, if you know what I mean. This next level…it included “vintage” iron-on appliques from Mom’s craft closet, glittery puff paint and a holly berry turtleneck. We were very proud! Check out the previous blog for photos from the party. I didn’t want to overwhelm everyone with more than our gifts!
On the seventeenth day of Advent, I gave to Bubba:
A demotivational calendar (for some reason, he loves these).
On the eighteenth day of Advent, my Bubba gave to me: a coupon for a free massage. 🙂
On the nineteenth day of Advent, I gave to Bubba:
A spaghetti portion measurer.
On the twentieth day of Advent, my Bubba gave to me: two Dove Chocolates and a sweet, chewy caramel. These were nice because this was the first night I spent my first late night at the mall this holiday season. I pulled a 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift. It wasn’t terrible as I was able to stay busy and work through most of the shift, but it was still kind of sucky to be away from home like that at work during the week of Christmas.
On the twenty-first day of Advent, I gave to Bubba: some candy kisses and two real kisses!
On the twenty-second day of Advent, my Bubba gave to me: a “coupon” for a dinner, of my choice made by him or at my choice of restaurant. This day was my second late night shift. It’s not so terrible to have the day off, but it kind of stunk not being home the two days before Christmas. Not so bad this night because I knew TH would be out for boys night, but still.
On the twenty-third day of Advent, I gave to Bubba: a sweet note to let him know I love him (see, it’s now always about the presents)! This was my third late night shift at the mall (second in a row), so I had to give that to Bub so he wouldn’t forget how much I love him!
On the twenty-fourth day of Advent, my Bubba gave to me: ALL the candy! The remainder of my Godiva caramels, the regular caramels and the Dove chocolates. Yum!
Then we began Christmas with my family. We headed to my mom’s to eat a feast and open presents and topped the night off by watching my beautiful niece sing in the children’s Christmas program at Grace. She did one duet and a solo! So proud! From mom’s, we brought home a new Kindle for me, a SodaStream soda maker, some clothes, great stocking stuffers, a new work shirt, tie and cuff links for Bubba and some other really great stuff!
On the last (twenty-fifth) day of Advent, I gave to Bubba: a Hallmark card before he got to open all of his really great Christmas presents!
We spent our morning eating breakfast together, opening our own gifts and just generally enjoying our first married Christmas morning together. I got a beautiful sapphire pendant (from Markmann’s) from the hubs, a dress, a clutch, a new pillow and a scarf. He got a couple shirts for work, a UT pullover, a hilarious T-shirt, a shoe rack and some iPod docking stations.
Our breakfast of mini egg and cheese fritattas, glazed bacon (delicious, both from Taste of Home) and basic breakfast potatoes from the Pioneer Woman was quite the undertaking for me. TH had suggested french toast as something out of the ordinary, but since I knew he was doing that for my benefit (since we rarely have that for breakfast), I decided to switch it up. It was worth it.
The bacon gave me a little more trouble than I thought, but Toby is enjoying the few burnt pieces as special Christmas treats. 🙂
Later in the day, we went to my Aunt and Uncle’s house for the big family Christmas lunch and gift exchange. We got some great stuff there, too: a wonderful cheese stone made of local granite, some new Ramekins for yummy desserts, some jewelry and a new planner, some really great bourbon and some moon pies!
When we got home, we called the H’s and talked to them a bit and then my dearest AKSB and her hubby stopped by to visit us. It was seriously a top night.
Even though we got to spend some time with the H’s before the holidays, it was sad that we weren’t able to make it up to see the rest of the family for their Christmas. With the holiday falling on a weekend and my work schedule being a little crazy, it made it tough for us to get there, 😦 but it was a great holiday nonetheless!
We are certainly, very truly, blessed.