‘Twas The Day Before Christmas

And we are at Lake Tahoe up in the Sierra Nevada mountain range
It’s a beautiful alpine lake which my husband and I had visited some 20 years ago

This time we are back with 2 kids to ride on the powdery snowed out mountains
And I am beginning to see why this is the best thing to do during winter
We will be hanging around till Christmas

Back home, the wet and cool weather during this time always reminds me of a white Christmas
So it is kind of a dream come true because this time we are truly having a white and very cold Christmas
Yet, there is a part of me that misses the kind of Christmas we have back home

December, my favourite month of the year
Orchard Road will be lit up with beautiful christmassy lights where Christmas songs are played in every shopping malls
And it always puts me in a mood of wanting to bake something yummy and craft something pretty and dress the house up in christmassy colours and decorations

Usually my side of the family would gather for simple home cooked meal
Christmas is about spending time with our loved ones
Being in a faraway land, living in a space that is not exactly ours and only for a temporary period of time puts me in a dilemma on how much we want to do for Christmas

But I couldn’t stop once I got into the groove

We put up more decorations for the house with scraps from our ‘treasure box’
This time, I ditched the paint brush and went for the spray can

We decorated our fireplace with fallen sticks, pine cone, moss and dried fruit around our neighbourhood

And we decorated another little tree branch

I got into this baking frenzy (again) and baked a few batches of cookies
I tried to decorate the plain ones but they didn’t turn out as nice as I would want them to be

Thankfully I found these Martha Stewart cookie boxes from the craft store and fell in love with them
They were sheets of cardboard with pre-creased lines so I could easily fold them into cute little boxes for the cookies
They came with sleeves for the boxes, ribbons and labels

These, with some simple cards, turned my otherwise ordinary home baked cookies into lovely gifts

I had some ladies over at my place the other day for crafts
I baked some chicken drumsticks and put together some fruits and snacks
And we had an early Christmas celebration

Because we are traveling during Christmas
We let the boys open their Christmas presents early
We ended up with some pretty decent shots fit for e-greetings

So here’s greetings from our home to yours
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas !

 
 

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My Pig’s Intestine Christmas Wreath

The other day, I was invited to an American friend’s house for crafting
I was elated to find out that we were learning to make a burlap wreath

We spent a couple of hours in the morning chatting, snacking and weaving burlap through a ring
I figured out how to make a bow and completed my very first homemade wreath

I took a picture and proudly sent it to my mum
She replied shorty that what I had resembled a pig’s intestine

She did have a point
With its colour and the curls and waves
I thought it lacked the Christmasy look

But I couldn’t exactly figure out what was missing
I consoled myself that my mum probably never seen a burlap wreath before
I spent the next couple of days thinking of a way to make my ‘pig intestine’ wreath look less piggy

I went for a run the next morning and came home with this

I felt like a little girl gathering ‘treasure’ for her treasure trove
A friend who drove past the neighborhood saw me in action and sent me a text message
‘I saw you picking grass !’
I must have looked like that weird Asian girl doing strange things

I came back with some mosses, which could be found hanging on most trees here and some dried fruits and pine needles

I painted the dried fruits

Bundled them up using the pine needles (I almost thought I could rub some rocks and start a fire)

I coiled the mosses around the pig’s intestines
Secured everything to it and hung a few snow flakes

And had it back onto my front door
I thought it looked pretty neat

But I hesitated before sending a picture to my mom
because I needed to be prepared in case what I got was a
‘Hey ! that looks like a bird’s nest !’

And I wonder why some adults never grow past approval seeking

 

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Tale Of A Dead Tree Branch

We just came back from a trip to DisneyWorld in Orlando
It was helluva world !
We couldn’t see all of the park in 4 days !
I am quite sure I can’t squeeze the details of the trip in 1 post either !

So we came home on Sunday night and our neighbour’s house was nicely decorated with Christmas lightings

The Americans will take down Halloween decoration after Thanksgiving and put up their Christmas decoration thereafter
It’s interesting how different countries do it differently
My Finnish friend told me that in Finland, they only put up the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and by 6 January, everything will be taken down

Anyway we were thinking of not getting a tree as we will be traveling quite a bit in December

Then a couple of weeks ago, my neighbour was clearing his shrubs and part of a tree branch came crashing into our back yard
It was a nice part of a tree and I told him that he needn’t worry about clearing it cos I would be keeping it
He must be thinking what a weird neighbour he has got, to keep a dead tree branch

The tree hugger in me, has always wanted a tree in my house, even if it’s dead
So it was like a windfall to have a tree to fall into my backyard
Unfortunately, the tree branch was more than just dead, it was sick and covered with fungi and I had to leave it in the backyard

It’s been more than a month and with the cold and dry weather, everything in the backyard has dried up, including my lawn and the fungi on the tree
So a couple of days ago, after we came back from our trip, I finally dragged the dead and dried tree branch into the house

I spent some time removing all the dried leaves from the branch and I was quite sure my husband wasn’t very pleased
He had been bugging me to get rid of it and now he has to live with a once plagued with fungi, bald and naked tree branch

It was quite heavy and I had problems getting it to stand
I don’t have a pot or vase big enough, neither do I have soil or sand to stick it in

After racking my brain, I managed to prop it up with 3 red bricks and an Amazon cardboard box
Yay ! A naked tree in my house !

I attempted to paint it with acrylic paint
But then I realised that it would take me days to finish the paint job

So I made a trip to Michael’s and bought a can of spray paint
The job was done in a jiffy and after the paint dried, I lugged the tree back into the house

We hung up the lights and the decorative ornaments

Then we put up a star
Almost everything was hand me down from another family who was here last year

So that’s how a dead tree branch made its way from our neighbour’s backyard to our living room

 
 

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