I’ve been on a break from blogging for a couple of weeks while I got ready for the holidays. And they’ve arrived! They came, they saw, they spread festive cheer all over the house! My in-laws just left this morning, and I’m looking around the house figuring out where we’re going to put everything.

A few days before Thanksgiving, my mom, Hannah, and I went to State Fair up in Belleville to pick up some Christmas decorations. I love State Fair. It is so over the top, but it’s a great way to kickoff a holiday season (other than getting your wrapping paper together).

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We also went over to Monmouth Museum to see the tree and their train set. We have a membership there, we wanted to see the Christmas display.

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Advent calendar!

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Hamilton came with us to pick out our tree this year.

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I forgot to do a wrapping paper post this year! But, I did do an unboxing video.

The week before Christmas I got everyone up at 5:30am to go see the tree in Rockefeller Center. Adam and I thought, Let’s beat the crowds! Let’s get there around 8am, before rush hour is even in full swing! And then on the way out the door, Adam said, Let’s bring the dog! Which I was not prepared for, but we did it. We picked up my mom on the way. We didn’t get there until 9, and we didn’t have any mess bags for the presents Hamilton decided to deposit around Midtown, but we made it work with a good sense of humor and my mom’s improvising.

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H was pretty grumpy by the time we got to the tree, we left her stuffed animal in the car. She was determined to be grouchy about it.
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But we saw the ice skaters, and we picked up some cupcakes from Magnolia’s Midtown shop, and then everyone was happy. Adam headed to work from there, and we headed home. See? Happy in the end. IMG_5268

My mom gave us a gingerbread house kit, which we assembled in full festive fashion.

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We also made festive cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. A college friend gave me a dough recipe that could stand up to abuse from small humans.

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Hamilton hung out under her kitchen tower and got covered in flour and cookie dough.

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I made a giant lasagna for Christmas Eve. I have no idea why I made one so big, there were only 4 adults eating it. But still, it was ginormous. And really good, we polished off the lefovers during the week.

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Hannah asked Santa for a toy telephone, a toolbox, and a tool table. Santa delivered. She helped put the tool table together with her granddad, and it’s gotten heavy use.

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The Christmas feast!

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Boxing Day monkey bread!

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My family came over for Boxing Day brunch, Hannah got more presents. Including a hairdresser’s apron, so she gave everyone a cut and style.

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Adam got me a wand stand for the Ollivanders wand I got at Universal this summer. Because he gets me.

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Then Adam and I spent a night in Atlantic City while she had a sleepover at home with her grandparents. It was a blast. We stayed in an old, cheap resort and binged on fruity cocktails and food from various Jimmy Buffett establishments.

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Then yesterday we went to the outlets to enjoy end of year sales and a last go at getting some holiday treats.

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I got Hannah a little Coach wristlet, it was on sale for $18. She studied “the directions” very carefully.

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And then this morning there was one last family trip to the park, the whole family, before Adam took my in-laws to the train station so they could head to Philly for a night before catching their plane home tomorrow.

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And that’s the complete and total festive season around here. It was fantastic. And now I’m trying to get organized for the new year.