Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gearing Up for Christmas

With Thanksgiving over, Christmas is looming close on the horizon. It is time to start thinking about Christmas decorations, crafts, presents, and more! I don't do a ton for Christmas normally. I rarely decorate my house. Instead, I follow a few traditions every year. The one that is the most fun is making Christmas candy with my family. This year, we are going to do it at my sister's house for the first time, which should be fun. We always put together a list of candies we want to make, invite our friends over, and spend a few hours together in a group stirring, baking, dipping, and creating Christmas candies and cookies.

A few from last year that are favorites are toffee and chocolate cremes.

As a family, we only have a handful of other traditions, all of which are either Christmas eve or Christmas day (such as opening one present Christmas eve before going to bed, doing stockings before breakfast Christmas morning, etc.).

In the past couple of years, I have started sending out Christmas cards as part of my holiday routine. I normally try to get the picture for them taken by the end of November so that I can start doing card shopping and have my cards ordered and arrived early enough to send out sometime in the second week of December. I feel like for the card to really be appreciated it has to arrive early enough for people to hang it up and look at it for a while before the big holiday hits.

Last year, I took some good photos of the animals. I was lacking a good photo of me with them, though. This year, I am hoping to come up with a good photo of me and a good one of the dogs. But, I am already doing my card shopping. Tiny Prints has an amazing Christmas Card selection and has some great deals. Plus, I like that I can personalize the cards with text or pictures how I want to arrange it. My biggest problem is going to be picking out which card layout to use.

I was sort of leaning toward the postcards at first. It seemed like a simple way to send out the Christmas cards to my family and friends, with cheaper stamps, no need to worry about envelopes, and all that other fuss. If I get enough good Christmas photos, I might still do a post card and go with this layout.

But, I am also sort of rethinking the idea of doing a post card. I'm not sure if I want pictures of me and my dogs visible to every person who comes in contact with the postcard, especially with my return address right there on it. I might be just a little bit paranoid like that.

Additionally, I really like the weight and elegance lent to a larger folded card that arrives in a slick envelope.
This design is pretty appealing to me, especially since some of my family and friends are either Jewish or non religious. Sending a Happy Holidays card is a great way, in my mind, of being able to include everyone without so much risk of offending anyone.

If I don't end up with enough pictures for either of those cards, I will have an even harder time deciding. There are a ton of different options. I think I just need to do my Christmas photo shoot and pick a card once I look at the pictures.

Do you have any Christmas traditions that you feel have to happen for it to really be the Christmas season?

*Disclaimer- I will receive 50 holiday cards in exchange for this post about Tiny Prints. However, all the opinions expressed here are very much my own and in no way were altered by this. 


  1. We have so many traditions.. but of course, we have a house full of human kids too. We like to make the entire season special. That candy looks delish! Too bad it's chocolate. :-(

    Boondocks & The Love Shack Pack

  2. Loads of Christmas traditions. The picture infront of the tree being one of them :-)

    Interestingly its not called 'The Holidays' over here only Christmas!

  3. Those candies look fabulous! I've never really had the knack for homemade candies, so I'm envious!

    We don't really have many Christmas traditions around here. We kind of go with the flow - last year I had professionally made cards with Argos on them... this year I'm going to attempt to do it myself. I guess I need to get on it soon!

  4. Those chocolates look so good!!

    We have a few family traditions like having a fondue on Christmas Eve, hanging stocking Christmas Eve, and backing thumbprint cookies:)))

  5. Mmmm candy..yum yum.

    Our family has a Christmas tree farm up in Washington. So, we help with the u-cut operation the first 2 weekends of December. It's fun to help families pick out and load their tree. We make our own wreaths and evergreen baskets too. The smell of fir and cedar boughs...
    Wyatt's mom

  6. Mmmmmm. I need to get baking. :)
    A tradition that my husband and I started last year was to wrap our gifts in front of one another and then unwrap them. We're both blind so it doesn't ruin the surprise effect and we both get a good laugh at the irony of it all. LOL

  7. Cards would be my vote! But, I'm private enough to not want everyone looking at my photos. (and yet, I blog, LOL).

    And, do you share recipes?!? I want both of those- they look phenomonal!!

    Jen and the mostly Black Dog Crew

  8. Mmmmm.... Those chocolate creames look DELISH!! How do you MAKE them? ALL the candies look GOOD!! ;)
    I was ADMIRING your picture of Koira and Pallo. They look like MIXED BREEDS. What kind of dogs are they?

  9. I really love your title bar picture. So funny! Let me know if and when you decide to go for a greyhound, I'll give you some pointers on picking the right one and I'll help you with the group in your area. Some don't understand the "performance" world.

  10. YUMMY♥♥♥ those pictures look so good!plus the pups in santa hats-too cute!! i go all out for Christmas: baking,cooking,decorating,crafts

    i like holiday cards with you privacy but also protects the cards from getting damaged.

    ♥yuki and rocket

  11. Mmmmm those candies made my mouth water!
    Every year our family watches "Christmas Vacation." It's a classic and no matter how many times I watch it I never get tired of it!

  12. I have made my cards in the past featuring everything from a santa goat, floating rabbit balls and a hamster shopping. I just never seem to have time anymore. I always bake goodies but have never tried candy...hmmm..looks very good..we also always have to have a trifle for dessert..yummy! really should check out a cat show. They are really entertaining and the people are super nice. I have a few pics of that show to post in the future.

  13. Wow, what chocolat!
    I love the tradition to send Christmas cards and I should prepare them now. Your photos are always so good and beautiful that I'm sure your card is going to be fantastic!
    xxx Teje

  14. Last year was my first Christmas in my forever home. Our traditions include a BIG Chinese meal for the humans on Christmas Eve evening. They also get smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and champagne for breakfast on Christmas Day.

    Sounds to me like they get ALL the fun!

    We always have Advent Calendars to open every day in December and an Advent Candle in the dining room which we TRY and remember to light and burn down a bit every day.

    Love and licks, Winnie

  15. mmmm homemade candy?! Can we join your family :) Love the pictures of with the Santa hats!