Sunday, December 11, 2011

Finding the Spirit of the Season

There are lots of fun things about living in Louisiana that we get to enjoy - crawfish, shrimp, alligators.....but cutting down your own Christmas tree isn't really one of them.  It is pretty hard to find a decent Christmas tree to cut down so we made do with buying the trees that are shipped in.....

As more people get artificial trees, it is getting harder and harder to find pretty "real" trees.

However, this year, we happened upon the perfect tree right away!

It was a unanimous vote!

This one was the lucky one.

We also got a small tree for the girls up stair's room ~ it was a Douglas Fir and smelled divine.  I can only dream about what a fresh cut Christmas tree would smell like.  There are some farms in Mississippi and maybe one day we have that experience.  

When you think about it, it really is an odd tradition of ours...this cutting of a tree, bringing it indoors and decorating it all sorts of ways!

 Ellen learned to operate the drill .....

and Sara carried the little one upstairs!  Thank goodness for Sara - the comic relief of my blog! 
The other day I heard one of her friends ask her, "Sara, did you see the picture of you that your Mom put of you on the blog?".(basically they were in disbelief that Sara would tolerate the unflattering pics I tend to post of her! ....she responded....yes ~ when she needs something to write about, I just try to help her out and she laughed!  

 For the upstairs tree, a garland of popcorn and cranberrys was strung. 

It is time consuming but worth festive in the tree! 
 Hmmm - looks like I burned the popcorn a bit there! 

With Christmas in high gear, Ellen had some friends over to bake cookies
 and make ginger bread houses!

The cookies were delicious.

For the Gingerbread houses, they divided into two teams of three and decided to have a
 friendly competition! We had two kits which made it a bit easier, but not much.  If you have ever made a Gingerbread house, you know that it is difficult to get the pieces to stick together! Hats off to those who actually make the pieces from scratch and get them to stick together! 

Both teams were coming along very nicely - strategising , plotting and scheming ~ ideas just pouring out their heads about how their house would be the best! 

I, of course, could not judge with Ellen in the competition so I walked over to our neighbors and asked them to be the Grand Judge.

 This work requires steady hands!

Creative minds!

A mother that is not afraid of sugar and icing all over the place! 

Ideas that are hysterical! 

 Ideas that are serious!

Ideas that are adorable!

 Finally, after many hours of hard work, it was time to be judged!

However, it was just too hard for them to choose

Our neighbors really couldn't make the choice....which one would you pick?

This one???

"The Indian Teepee" Christmas House - when the house fell apart - they recovered quickly by creating an Indian Christmas! It was all in good fun; they just laughed, propped the two sides together, and wrote Indian Christmas in icing on back of the house....all the while giggling and laughing non-stop!

or this One???? (this was not the team Ellen was on - I don't think she will grow up to be a chef!)

Look at the attention to detail - they even thought of foot-prints on the roof, a cute little ladder, icicles on the roof and  a chimney with Santa going down it!
So which one - This One ..... or

This One - Whoops there goes the Teepee..... I know it is a tough question....with both houses being so evenly matched!!!!!
Think about it for a while...sleep on it and come back and leave me a comment to let me know what you decide!!!!!!!!! The girls are eagerly awaiting your decision as to who the winner should be! 


  1. love seeing all the preparations! we tried to do the popcorn and cranberry garland this year but my 3yo was faster eating the popcorn than we were stringing it :(

  2. I am right there with your three year old.....that is the best part about stringing popcorn ~ eating it! (and the way it looks on a tree)

  3. Okay, lots of comments on this one! :)

    Gorgeous tree! My mom planted a bunch of Christmas trees up in the country one year- I think you ought to try in- make a little forrest of them and have friends out to cut them next year!

    Sara is hysterical and such a good sport. Love her. Always has such a great attitude!

    We bought those cookie cutters today! LOL! I love target!!! We are going to make some cookies tonight.

    Oh, and no contest on the houses... sorry Ellen. :) Oh, and Charlie asked me to tell you that "NATIVE AMEWICANS live in teepees, not INDIANS, silly!" Ah, from the mouths of babes. Though I suppose THAT house could be in some 3rd world part of India, really... :)

    Miss y'all and wish we were there to share in the festivities!


  4. Great idea! The Leland Pines grow really well in the country ~ maybe we could find a after Christmas sale on them this year and plant some....the only problem is once they grow to be big and pretty, I wouldn't have the heart to chop them down!

    Tell Charlie thanks for the history lesson!


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