Traditions and Wishes and a Well-Dressed Little Tree

It’s officially Advent tomorrow – even if it’s not quite December, but that pretty much means I can now unashamedly inundate you with posts about Christmas!  (Okay, maybe just this one. MAYBE another one closer to the 25th.)

Sweet finally caved after I’d wrapped 2/3 of our presents and they’d been piled on the coffee table for weeks, and let me put up our little tree.  I’ve never had a real tree like my friends, or an 8 ft high pre-lit monster of festivity to take over the room like my dad  – but my little 4 ft one comes out of its box every year, perches on a table with a little red tablecloth, an excited Rose Kitten pawing at it, and gets decorated with baubles and bows from the dollar store (goodness, I’m starting to sound like Charlie Brown here).  This Christmas may be our second one together, but it’s our first proper one living together in our own little house, so I decided the tree deserved an upgrade.

We bought a nice big long string of lights – the twinkly, warm, environmentally unfriendly ones because they’re so much more cosy than the LEDs.  We bought Proper Decorations that cost more than a two dollars.  (Except they came without hooks or strings – point?? – so we had to improvise with paperclips.  I swear that’s the only ghetto part of the tree this year.)  We bought bows and garlands and even some really meaningful ornaments that’ll serve to remind us how blessed we are, and to do what we can to help others.   I lucked out on amazing wrapping paper and spent an evening curling ribbons to a collection of indie Christmas music (I’m allowed to bring out the indie versions before December – I’m hoping to get around to posting a mini indie Christmas mix! – but next week, bring on Josh Groban).

My dad always asks me for a Christmas list every year, and the last couple of years, my lists have really made me feel like I’m getting old!  Over the last couple of Christmases I’ve asked for (and received!) an electric hand mixer, canisters to store teabags and sugar, a crock pot, a rice cooker, and a sewing machine.  What happened to gizmos and music and makeup and clothes?  Looking at this year’s list, I tried to make things a little less quarter-life crisis and a little more fun.

This Star Trek T-shirt from the amazing  Or just a gift voucher for their whole online shop, because everything is way too awesome.  Especially the office supplies 🙂  This Doctor Who one is pretty cool too.

The most amazing USB hub ever:

Yes, I found it on – I don’t care!! I want one!

Books!  Audrey Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry, Terry Pratchett’s new one The Unseen Academicals, Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked and The Lovely Bones are all on my wishlist.  I plan on reading way more in 2010 than I did this year, and these all sound like very good books to take with me to the Dominican in January.

Games! Because Sweet and I live together now, we can get each other something we’ll actually use together: A WII. So I asked for rock band and karaoke revolution.

A cheap laptop, so I can go be a Starbucks blogger, a ceramic curling iron, ‘cause I’ve never owned a curling iron and I think it’d be fun, and gift vouchers for restaurants, because nothing beats a nice night out.  Not a utensil in sight!

Now we’re living together, we’re also starting our first holiday traditions.  Last year we snuggled in my little apartment and watched Love, Actually (incidentally the first movie we ever saw together at the cinema) and The Polar Express next to our little ghetto tree.  I also made a batch of hot butter rum batter for warm drinks.  We’ll be doing the same this year, and throwing in a holiday (/engagement, since we never had one) party with friends, drinks, games and good times – and one year to go until we officially tie the knot this time next year!  I love starting traditions, and I love the anticipation of them when December approaches.  A personal one of mine every year?  Cranking up No Use for a Name’s punk rock cover of the best Christmas song ever.

What are some of your holiday traditions? And what’s on your list this year?


  1. Some of my favorite things about the holiday season are those little moments like putting up the Christmas tree and snuggling on the couch with a good movie. 🙂

    This is the first holiday my husband and I are spending together as a married couple, and I’m looking forward to starting our own traditions together… it’s going to be memorable. I’m SO excited to put up our Christmas tree today!

    1. Oh yay! You guys should get a special ornament for it being your first Christmas as a Mr and Mrs 🙂 I’m thinking about getting one for our “engaged” year 🙂

  2. Me? Christmas? noooooo wayyyyy…. I’m not religious, in my opinion religion has been the basis for some of the most horrific things humanity has ever done to each other and our earth… And everyone i meet who says they are looking forward to christmas, I ask them, ‘Are you celebrating the birth of christ or do you just want presents??’ Don’t get me wrong, I love the time of year when everything around you just stops for a few days, and you get to catch up with family, I never ever EVER expect any gifts nor ask for any from people i know or family members who do celebrate. But other than a few days of R&R I despise the way christmas is shoved in my face prepacked and ready to be sold for a few hundred pounds…

    1. Hay Shareen,

      Christmas isn’t about religion it’s about stuffing your face, spending time with your family and friends thanks to someone else thinking it would be nice to give you the day off. It’s about thinking of others by finding the perfect gifts for them and just and letting them know you care and little to what them, as well enjoying what you have! This all is definately worth celebrating……

      Like Emily I love putting up my little tree and the little traditions that come every year. Because, I’m sure Emily will agree you mix yours with your your partners and come out with your own, which makes it unique and special to you both and you alone.


  3. The first year I was out west, I inherited an old ratty tree from work. I lovingly fluffed the branches, spread the wires to cover the gaps, and picked out baubles from the dollar store. Late at night, when Roomie and I were putting up the tree we noticed none of the decorations had hooks. We had to resort to the only thing we had in the house that could work — dental floss. Whenever we passed the tree we’d get the slightest smell of mint. 😉

    1. LOL!! I thought about using string but I was rubbish at tying the knots so I just bought a pack of paperclips, way easier lol. Do they sell them separately?? Am I the only one that doesn’t understand the logic in Christmas baubles without hooks??

  4. I love the holiday season. We put up our tree and decorations today. I love looking at all the ornaments and remembering who gave them to us. Some we have bought ourselves but a lot were gifts. We have one for the year we were engaged, one for the year we got married, I think two for the year Jordan was born. They are all fun. I love having the Christmas lights up in the house. It makes the whole house just feel extremely cozy. Last year, we did the 12 dates of Christmas and my hubby and I tried to sit and just do something fun without the TV on after J went to bed…we did pretty good until J was in the hospital for an infection and then we were all about him.
    I love holiday traditions. They are really important to me now that we have a kiddo. Most of all, I think it’s about making sure to spend time together. 🙂

    1. Oh definitely 🙂 We’re having a “12 days of Christmas” at work starting Dec. 7 and basically everyone can just sign up to do something festive on one of the days – I wasn’t there last Christmas but they said people do things like carol singing for other departments, bring in Christmas baking for everyone, even a door decorating competition – sounds like it’ll be fun!!

      I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas this year as a family 🙂

  5. My favorite Christmas tradition is decorating the tree with Ted. I love unwrapping all our little ornaments together.

    All that’s on my wishlist this year is a baby…though I did manage to find some things that I want that people can actually buy for me too. 🙂

  6. Those are some fun things to wish for! Oooh I wanna be a Starbucks blogger too. Oh and I read Her Fearful Symmetry, it was interesting, to say the least. The Lovely Bones is a really good read too, imo.

    My tradition is to decorate the day after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately I don’t have my own apartment this year so I can’t do that. Oh and in my family we always open at least one present the day before Xmas. Although the year before last I think we opened them all. Lol!

  7. I can’t wait to see your Christmas house, your place is just perfect for this season! /sigh

    I love that you’re putting more fun stuff on your list – as it should be, lady!

    1. Yes! Two years definitely = tradition, at least that’s what I’m telling myself about the Polar Express 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever had a BBQ anything at Christmas before!!

  8. Fun post! I love the holidays!

    I used to have a holiday party each year, but the guest list kept getting bigger and my tiny little condo just can’t comfortably hold all the guests anymore. 😦 So I have to hold off on holidays parties until I am in a house.

    One of my favorite traditions is putting up my tree – then my best friend comes over and decorates it for me because I suck at all things crafty and she is so good at it and realy enjoys it. So I make hot cider and put on Christmas music and she comes over and works her magic!

    And yea for putting fun stuff on your list!!

  9. Oh how sad, that’s exactly how my Christmas lists have become, lol. I’ve gone from items from Sephora and Best Buy to items from.. Home Depot and Walmart. And now, inspired by your tree, I am off to figure out where I put our box of xmas decor…

  10. Aww this is great! I keep hearing so much about Love Actually around the blogosphere and on Twitter. I’ve never watched it but clearly I must!

    Traditionally, Eric and I never really have any time to ourselves on Christmas because we are so busy running around to both families houses. But this year I’m really hoping to change that! I’d love to start our own Christmas morning tradition of breakfast in bed or something!

    1. Ooooh… Christmas breakfast in bed – that might be a tradition I may very well have to start this year 🙂 We have tonnes of running around on the day usually as well so that sounds just about the best way you could possibly start Christmas day 🙂 And YES!! You must watch Love Actually this year! It’s wonderful!!

  11. I freakin’ love Christmas! My parents did the outdoor lights on Saturday and yesterday my mom and I spent some time getting things in order so that we can get the inside done! Tonight the tree goes up and it’s always fun going through the ornaments from when I was a kid. this is my first Christmas living at home in about 5 years so I’m kind of excited about it! When I lived on my own I did indeed have my own tree with ornaments, lights, tree skirt and outdoor lights.

    I love your Christmas list! Mine has also been super practical the last few years so I tried to add some fun things this year like books, CDs and Pink UGG Boots, you know, cause I can 🙂

    I LOVED the Lovely Bones! Just finished it last week!

  12. Oh fun!! I remember when we lived back in England I’d always go over to my nan’s and see her tree decked out in ornaments from at LEAST thirty years ago, it always looked so cool. Awesome list – I didn’t know UGGs even came in that colour!

    I saw the trailer for the Lovely Bones the other day when we went to see New Moon, and when Kyla told me it was a book I decided I had to read it 🙂

  13. I love Christmas too. I’m having to work up some of my own traditions this year as I’ve gone through a bit of a life change this past year. I’m happy to do it though!

    I’ve already started shopping for a few gifts and am hoping to have them completed within the next week or so!

  14. I am an avid supporter of the Wii. Wii wii wii! Do it.

    Also, for the cheap laptop alternative, have you considered a netbook? I hear those are a fraction of the cost of a regular laptop.

  15. I can’t open it before Christmas!! Doesn’t the world implode, or seven years bad luck befall us should a present be opened before Christmas? (In November!) The next few weeks will be a test of willpower (but don’t bet on me :))

    I did consider a netbook – but they’re so little! I feel like I’d get one of those messages like Homer Simpson got – “your fingers… are too fat.” lol

  16. I have a laptop but I’m not a Starbucks blogger because they don’t have free wireless. DUMB! I bought the Acer Timeline a few months ago and I LOVE it. 8+ hours of battery life, thankyouverymuch!

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