cozy nights of christmastime

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

the gifts are starting to appear under the tree.  

anticipation of christmas is growing in this household!

we are continuing our tradition of 4 gifts per child plus stocking stuffers.  
1. want
2. need
3. wear
4. read

i hung the stockings on our front staircase this year.  i like it.  they have always always hung on our
mantle...but change is good.  and its an excuse to use some cute ribbon.

the kiddos are fully aware that daddy and mommy fill their stockings.  not santa.  and they love it!
they still get filled on christmas eve.  personally, i don't understand the big dilemma of saying 'no to santa'.  believe me, there is no lack of excitement in this household!

are those stockings not fabulous?!?  my neighbor (a single older lady) hand made each one for each of us last year.  she could use some extra income and i told her i could probably find some people who would order one for next year (wink wink).  if you're interested email me.  i'm thinking $40.

she is so sweet and has no idea i'm putting this on here.  we'll see.  it could bless her socks off.

outside we put two blue spruce trees from lowes out front and i strung 100 lights on each.

we'll plant those trees in the spring.  perfect.

lowes also has swags of fresh greens in their garden area.  i just tie them up with floral wire under each light and add a red ribbon.  easy and classic.

so tonight was totally a grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner night.

everyone likes it. its easy and the sandwiches can go on paper plates.  an easy clean up is a bonus!

chunks of cheddar cheese melted on buttered bread?  a simple indulgence really.  and perfect for a cold, rainy night.

the grilled cheese must be paired with this soup though.  we're a two box family.  

just pour it in a pot and is seasoned perfectly.  so good.  it has become a pantry staple.

since this post is full of random goodness i must i stopped by the fabric store.  

i decided 'sara, why don't you make a little handmade present to give to each of the ladies of the family?'

two days.  i can totally do that.  right?  

it was a good excuse to go peruse the fabric store and pick up these lovelies.


  1. I would so love to have two stocking:) I have eight kids but can't do eight at once) Can she make some in pastel colors?

  2. elma :) email me if you're interested in the stockings. i'll have to ask her about the pastels :)

  3. Your tree is beautiful. I made stockings last year ~ simple and plain ~ and it took me forever! I can't imagine how much time these took her ~ they are beautiful!

    I've had grilled cheesed stuck in my head all week ~ guess what we're having tomorrow night for dinner? :)


  4. I LOVE the stockings too! Is it possible to get a better look at them? :)

    Christmas wishes from Norway :)

  5. We've just started our own family traditions (our daughter is only 18 months), but we've decided to also do "no santa" and it's so nice to read about other people who do the same. :)

  6. Wow..what are you going to whip up with that fabric? I always have these high hopes before the holidays but I always run out of time.

  7. Your post made me smile. We had the same exact thing for dinner here tonight right down to the same *awesome* soup for our rainy Indiana day. I also went to the fabric store today to make a last minute gift. Good luck with getting yours done! =)
    Merry Christmas!

  8. I love the 4 gifts tradition. What a great idea!

    The stockings are great and think I may hang mine on our staircase next year for something different. Good idea!

    Blessings for a wonderful Christmas celebration!

  9. Love grilled cheese and tomato soup! It's the perfect rainy night dinner ;)
    Love the 4 gift tradition, might need to talk this over with my husband and make a new tradition next year.
    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  10. I absolutely love your blog! I am from France, live in Arkansas. I have two little girls and I too say no to Santa. And I agree my girls are just fine. We are to celebrate Jesus' birth and I am not going to lie to them.

    Your house is beautiful! Merry Christmas!

  11. What a beautiful home you have. Looks like you all are about ready for Christmas. Those Lowes trees are just adorable!

    Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup...mmmmm...sounds good!!

    Merry Christmas to you & yours!

  12. i love simple dinners...they're perfect. and i love that you do the four gift thing. it probably really helps when you're shopping! i'm going to have to remember that for next year. and i can't wait to see what you're making with that pretty fabric!! do share :)

  13. it all looks perfectly wonderful sara
    merry christmas!!

  14. I love, love the 4 gifts...what a great idea. Your home looks lovely :) Grilled cheese and tomato soup sounds really yummy right now. My husband makes the BEST grilled cheese :) Merry Christmas.

  15. Of course you can get stuff made in 2 days! Show us what you did - can't wait! Now I'm off to finish up MY handmade stuff that I've put off till the last minute:)

  16. Hi Sara! It's been awhile since I've been here. Love seeing all the fun things you're doing. Your godly influence on your family is such a blessing to see. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  17. Love your 4 gift tradition, was wondering if you could elaborate on how you do it...a dollar limit for the want? what determines a need, in our house a wear would be a need...stockings? Lots of little stuff or candy? Love your blog and home. Merry Christmas.

  18. Sara,I love your 4 gifts per child idea. It even rhyme's. LOVE THAT!!!

    Thanks for being a guest blogger for me.

    You are so awesome!

    That is also one of my favorite soups too! YUM!!!

  19. I too love your 4-gift tradition. But I'm curious how this applies to other relatives? Grandparents can really spoil a child -- I can see my husband and I explaining the 4 gifts only tradition and then the entire lesson goes out the window when we get to Grandma's house and there's a PILE of Christmas presents. Any tips?

  20. I found your blog because your boys bunk room is amazing but keep coming back! You have such a warm home and I am continually inspired. Thank you! This post made me take the time comment (finally!) because we decided before our first (and so far only) baby was born that we would do "no santa". I've been made to feel very "bah humbug" and like a mean parent. I had no idea anyone else did this but have stood my ground. It was so comforting to me to know that we're not the only ones!

    Sara, thank you for inspiring me in little and big ways. Merry Chirstmas!

  21. Love this four gift idea! I am wondering how you deal with friends and family giving gifts? We asked our family to keep gifts small simple and limited so the theme was consistent. But no one listened. How did you handle that?

  22. Hi Sara. Love the 4 gift idea. And totally appreciate the honesty with Santa. If Al and I are blessed enough to have children one day, we're picking your and your hubby's brain : ) Hope your Christmas was great!

  23. love seeing pictures of your home at christmas...your tree is beautiful.

    like the idea of want, need, wear, read....
    we don't do santa either, and i kind of think we have MORE excitement.

    they are SO grateful for everything that they know WE handpicked for them. :}

    we don't do many gifts at all throughout the year, so we don't really have a "system" for what they get...we just have them make a wish list and we choose what to get them from the list.

    great post!

  24. Just a note...I love your ideas about Christmas. We did do Santa in our house but if I had to do it all over again (our children are grown) I think we'd probably not. I'm going to put a link to this post on my blog.

  25. Hi sarah! I bought some of the tomato soup you recommended and it was delicious! Any future posts about easy dinners for families with kiddos would be wonderful! Thank you!


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