Friday, December 2, 2011

cleaning for holiday party

With the holidays coming, we've been doing some spring cleaning sorts of things, except, you know, winter. We've all been cleaning up our individual rooms and getting rid of clutter. I went through all of my paints and got rid of the old dried up tubes, and made sure my containers of various crafts were neatly put away. Ember had a lot of stuffed animals, and decided to get rid of them, so Wednesday when we had a half day (teacher in-service) we took them to the laundromat so that we could use one of the enormous washers to give them a good bath before being donated to a local shelter for abused women and their children.

I know that in a lot of families, they put up the Christmas decorations right after Thanksgiving, but in both my and Fin's family, it's traditional to put it up much closer to Christmas, because it has to stay up through out Epiphany. This year Yule, the Winter solstice and the holiday that Ember observes, is on the 22nd, and all of our schools have stopped for the winter break by the 21st, so Fin says that we can put the tree and decorations up on the 21st, so that things look festive for Ember's holiday too. I was worried that putting up a Christmas tree on her holiday would be bad form, but Ember says bringing greens inside the house is actually an old pagan custom that got co-opted anyway, so it's fine.

We're going to have a party on the 22nd for friends of ours to come over and exchange gifts, since most of us will be busy with family any closer to the holiday. Fin found these boxes online and printed them out for us for putting our presents into. I thought that you might like the link as well. Joy's over the moon planning all the cookies she's going to bake, I think that she actually likes that there's so many different religions and places of origin and stuff with all of us, because it gives her a fine excuse to make even more treats, and even try some new things! She was telling me some yesterday about how she can use substitutes to make some thing or other that normally isn't vegetarian so that Ember and Riley can have them too.

Fin's also encouraged us to make gift lists, but I haven't gotten to mine yet. Have you made a wish list? What have you asked for?


  1. This is Taryn, I am glad that you are able to work out when to put the tree up and that it was good for all of you, it is hard to get things together in our house too ..

    You should have tons of fun with your party and it is great that you can take time to do that with your friends before Christmas.

    I have a couple ugly dolls on my list for Christmas, I cannot wait to see if I get them, then there are some clothes that I would like to have, we shall see what happens come Christmas Day.


  2. Hi Aurora,
    Our family puts up a tree too, but we call it a New Year Tree. My cousins were saying that it's really Christmas tree, but I agree with Ember. It's an old pagan tradition, so shouldn't it be okay if we call it a New Year tree?

    What are your favorite sorts of holiday treats? My Wisconsin grandma makes all kinds of cookies, but I like oatmeal chocolate chip best (Hillary Clintons) even though they're not really a holiday cookie.

    As for gift lists, I am asking for some accessories for my Calico Critters red panda family. I'd also really like Ivy the American Girl doll. What are you hoping for? Perhaps you and I can exchange gifts this year. :)


  3. Salut, Aurora!
    Here, we usually put the tree up after Thanksgiving. Of course, that is somehow made dramatic by some of the Americans. Lilly really, really loves Christmas, so she wants everything (especially the tree) to be perfect.
    I've started my list. I want a black blazer the most, followed by a sweater dress and gray pants. I'd also like a new cell phone.

  4. Hi Taryn! It is nice that the timing worked out so that we had off school and could all help put the tree up in time for Ember's holiday. Some years I have school on the day Yule falls on and I guess Ember's lucky that she has a home school co-op rather than public school because I can't imagine going to school on my Christmas! I hope that you get your ugly dolls!

    Inky you know, I was thinking, and people have house plants and cut flower arrangements - a tree is nothing more than a really big version of those! So there's no reason you can't have a New Years Tree, or heck if you wanted, an Easter Tree or Summer Tree or whatever! My family has a really old recipe for these kind of cookies that are a bit like cakes that is such a pain to make we only make them this time of year, and I look forward to those. But I really have a sweet tooth, so mainly I don't have a favorite, I like them all! You know, I was just really hoping to get some more things for my room - a long time ago person was going to make me a rainbow granny square blanket and I never got it, so maybe I can get that for Christmas from someone. Exchanging gifts would be fun!

    Salut Sabine! Fin is like Lilly with her trees (she has two, they're both themed! isn't that kinda a little crazy) too. Oh wow, I hope you can find a black blazer - wouldn't a velvet one be awesome? You know, I saw a sweater dress the other day, and actually thought of you! I thought that was so sophisticated like you.

  5. Hi Aurora - I love reading your blog and about the holidays y'all celebrate. :) I want Julie's Christmas outfit for my Julie doll so bad this Christmas! I also want some new clothes - it's hard to decide if I want toys or more grown up gifts. I just put my tree up this weekend, but I was a little late this year. Hope you have a great rest of the week!