Holiday prep: tree trimming, trains and tacky fun

We usually travel to South Dakota or Ohio to be with our families for Christmas, but this year we decided that we wanted to start making holiday traditions in our own home – so we’re staying in Virginia.

We’ll miss seeing all of our family and friends back home (we miss you!), but we were lucky enough to coax Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Rod to fly out from South Dakota and spend the holidays with us this year – so we won’t be alone.  We can’t offer a white Christmas like South Dakota (since it was 70 a few days ago!), but we’ll have plenty enough holiday fanfare to make up for the missing white fluffy stuff.

Since we are staying home, we of course had to buy a big Christmas tree.  A bigger tree means more room for more gifts from Santa, right?  Ha.  Ryan – being a kid at heart – was eager to put up the tree, so we set it up Thanksgiving weekend.  We got some help from our good friend Barbara…thanks Barbara!  Noah gave the shatterproof ornaments a run for their money, but they indeed did not shatter (whew!).  He had a great time decorating…just look!






The only goof for our very first tree trimming was buying glittery ornaments.  Yes, everything in this house now has the glittery Christmas spirit…furniture, toys, curtains – everything.  And if you visit us anytime soon, you will too!  Ha.

Here are a few fun pictures of us in front of the tree.



And the decorating didn’t stop there.  Noah decorated the windows with some snowman and penguin clings, and we hung up our advent stocking calendar to help us count down to Christmas.  Thanks Grandma Debbie (or Debbiddy as Noah likes to say)!  We also hung up some of Noah’s art projects from preschool and daycare.  Yep, our house is a winter wonderland!




A few weekends ago, we were lucky enough to get tickets to ride the annual Santa train on Virginia’s Railway Express (commuter rail line).  This special event is a fundraiser for Operation Lifesaver (a nonprofit focusing on train safety) and Toys for Tots…two great causes.

The ride lasted about an hour; we boarded the train in Burke and went to Manassas and back.  The highlight of the ride was seeing Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Noah still doesn’t care too much for Santa, but he LOVED Mrs. Claus.  Hopefully she passed on a good word to Santa on Noah’s behalf.  We’ll see soon enough!  Here are a few of our favorite pictures from our train ride.






And of course, there’s nothing better to get you in the holiday spirit than a good National Lampoon-style light display…and we found a great one nearby in Springfield, VA.  “Holly’s Tacky Christmas Lights” (coined by Holly, not me) were AWESOME…so awesome that we’ve gone back for a second and third viewing!  Check out this short clip.  The music is programmed to a radio frequency so you can listen from your car.  Holly may have the Griswolds beat…

Stay tuned to read about Grandma and Grandpa’s visit.  Noah is keeping them busy!  Until then, we hope you have a Merry Christmas!

2013 Holiday Card

Categories: Holidays | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Holiday prep: tree trimming, trains and tacky fun

  1. Sandy Steen

    I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. How long are your folks going to be there?

    We had 14 people here yesterday. We had a nice visit and exchanged gifts. Rondo was here for lunch also since Alan, Steph, Theresa and Mike were here as well as Tom, Jeanna, Janet, Sam, Connie, Doug, Gary and Rose.

    It was nice to see all of them and get to visit.

  2. Merry Christmas! I love the pictures and the holiday card. That light display is crazy…is it sad that I’m thinking “so cool, but man their electric bill is going to be hiiiigh…”

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