Twas the Night before Christmas - 2015 Edition

As Colin's Godfather and family were going to visit on Sunday before Christmas, we had to get our living room ready by then. Colin took the opportunity of clutter-free space to remodel it to his hockey arena:

When I was like "how are we gonna eat when all the chairs are taken? He suggested to have lunch in the penalty box, hahaha:

Then we were on our way to Bethlehem. I mean, to Eichmatthof, my new favorite Christmas Tree Farm:

Colin climbed into the "tree wrapping machine" for fun:

Hannes, my father's old schoolmate, played along and wrapped my son:

There's my tree. How am I going to set it up? 
Colin tried to help, but he was just not tall enough.

We had to wait till Daddy got home. Tadaaaa!

Good times with Colin's Godfather and his family!

Last day at work. 
Colin's school break started Dec 18, so I had to take some time off as well.

Every other Wednesday morning I allow myself the luxury of a cleaning lady to take care of our house. 

Dec 23rd was an excellent date for it in terms of being prepared for Christmas on one hand. On the other hand it meant for C and I we had to vacate the house at 8am on a day off. 

Where were we going? To the mall of course! Call us crazy. 

Traffic was excellent, though. Most people appeared to be taking time off from work, and there was no jam whatsoever. Which actually made us early - stores weren't even open yet!

So we witnessed the early morning briefing at Apple's:

Made a list of things to get, ordered our groceries for pick-up later...

and hit the candy store at 9am sharp for the strawberry Fanta he'd been dying to try. 
Who's a happy guy?

We took our first purchases like the wonderful roasted almond scented tea lights I was happy to have found to the car around 9:45. 

Wow, the parking area was full already!

Zero / 4,500 spaces available!

C went to kids' paradise, and I had myself a healthier beverage than the artificial soda!

I had just bought my own Christmas gift that hubby was going to give me at Ritual's when I got a call on my mobile. 

The lady at the mall childcare said I needed to pick up Colin.  Please no more knocked out teeth!! 

Obviously he had a tummy ache. No wonder, drinking crap like Strawberry Fanta that contained so much sugar, artificial stuff and food dye that actually made his teeth red!

After drinking some water he said he felt much better, and can we go down the tube and have lunch at the Sushi place and later go to SBUX..?

I was so glad I didn't have to go home early because I wasn't done yet. Still needed to buy a couple of things.

The bag of whole bean coffee you can see next to the cinnamon roll is Pike Place Special Reserve. My dear airline friend Paul who keeps traveling back and forth to Seattle to supervise the new Boeing aircraft for SWiSS was standing in line at the Pike Place Market Store for hours to get me some, and today I wanted to have it ground.

The barista at the register just wanted to ask his supervisor if he was supposed to grind "no name coffee" for a customer when he noticed it was an actual Starbucks coffee. One he has never seen, though. 

"What's this?" Call it the ultimate Starbucks coffee, kid ;-)

Dec 24. The Elf and her bear buddies are ready for Santa to come down the chimney!

Mr C got his first gift in the morning.

And we were off to the hair salon!

On our way back I stopped at a wine specialty store. I haven't been happy with my wine glasses for ages, I just couldn't get the white film off, so I decided it was time to do something about it!

"Cocktails and Snacks" at the office was next. 

Wow, wow, wow, my coworker who got put in charge because I had my hair done, went all the way and therefore got the permanent assignment of Office Christmas party person!! Look at that! Awesome!

Somebody he knows contributed this fabulous Casino cake!

Back home Colin opened a Lego gift and was happy and busy for hours to come!


And believe it or not, I was done as well! For the time being at least! I got an actual hour to spend on the sofa, scrolling through FB and being silly with Lori whose family had already opened the gifts and was in the process of assembling, building, playing, you name it!

I liked memes

Then there was this one status that said something like "I don't have a Christmas tree, I haven't wrapped any gifts, and I haven't baked any cookies, but I am just happy and lucky to be at home with my family, cause this summer I spent some time at a psychiatric facility, and I just heard of a friend whom I met there. She committed herself back last night."

Sad and inspiring at the same time. 

The Holidays stress out a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. Considering the big picture, gifts and cookies should not contribute to the pressure. In fact - and I don't mean to mock anybody - there are simple, practical, yet decorative ideas for situations where there are plenty of good intentions but oh so little time (and much laundry):

The laundry tree - can't remember who originally posted it
The blanket gift wrap - thank you, GS!
By the way I feel there's a piece of the lady above in most of us. I said no to cooking this year and purchased meat and sauces for a fondue, and I didn't have any cookies either. My Mom brought some that she bought herself at the Christmas market - win!

Don't get me wrong - I did bake! 

Like every year I contributed to the buffet at our village's Christmas Tree Lightning Event that takes place on the last Thursday of November - this year it coincided with Thanksgiving.

This is what I made, in large quantities:

Chocolate Snowcaps
The crowds wolfed everything down within five minutes. 

I made some more for at home, and it didn't survive either. So for the sweet teeth among us I made candy cane sleighs for decoration / snacking.

I did spend a little time in the kitchen for Christmas Eve dinner! 
Wild Alaska salmon on toast with avocado:

Last minute idea: Toast with cutouts so the sauces don't make a mess on your plate - you're welcome!

Merry Christmas!

See previous episodes of Twas the Night before Christmas at the Gerber's house here: 2012, 
2013 I was sick, and we were invited at my parents'
and 2014