Monday, December 3, 2012

The countdown begins!

The countdown to Christmas has begun for this family! As just looking at my Christmas to-do list has me a tad stressed, I’ve decided there is no point in agonizing over everything and so we’ll just take the holidays a day at a time this year. If I can cross off one thing every day we’ll be in great shape! And if I don’t cross off anything at all, well the boys will probably both still enjoy this Christmas tremendously. As I keep this diary of our holiday projects and celebrations this year I hope you will add to it by sharing your preparations and what you’ve been doing to celebrate the season.
Day 1: The day actually started off not-very-fun as we had company over the previous night and the kitchen was quite a mess. However it ended with a perfect kick-off to this countdown, with the Greenville Poinsettia Christmas Parade.

First came this fire engine, decked out in full!
We arrived a little over an hour before the start time of 6pm, which was almost too late to secure front-row seats along the parade route on Main Street. I squeezed us in between a lady that was saving curb space for her mother and a father that had four lawn chairs set up awaiting his wife and kids not participating in the parade. It was a tight squeeze, and every time the police officers and parade patrol came by to check viewers weren’t encroaching on the street we had to pull our legs up, as the curb was the official do-not-cross line. I saved our spots while the boys took a walk, and the hassle was completely worth the prime seating as the parade was much more enjoyable close-up and without the jostle of standing several deep on the sidewalk.

"You're as cuddly as a cactus, you're as charming as an eel!"
Dance groups, scout troops, high school marching bands and even the Senator, Lindsey Graham. As he was passing he made a comment about the current state of affairs and I was amused that my husband was the heckler that shouted out “well, fix it!” So, South Carolina, when things “get fixed” you can thank my husband, who Senator Graham referenced when he pronounced “I will! For that guy!”
We later asked Lauris who his favorite was, and he chose robots – I think there was a robot, but I couldn’t tell you who it was with. I can tell you that Lauris waved to every single person that marched past, and even some other bystanders.

Mikus was unmanageable before the parade started and I was worried at how we would contain him once it had started. Completely unnecessary it turns out, because the kid was held in thrall by the lights and the sounds, and watching his face was better than watching the parade.

Day 2: Happy first advent!!! We decided to take advantage of the 70 degree weather to pick out our Christmas tree. I would have preferred to cut one fresh, but in our area the only cut-your-own trees are cypresses, cedar and white pine. We prefer Fraser firs, for the smell and the sturdier branches, but the three hour round-trip to North Carolina to cut our own was a little too much for us this year. We found a farm near our home that had pre-cut NC trees and headed out.

After expending some energy in the tree farm portion we returned to the firs and chose our tree. Not an hour later the living room smells of fresh needles and now all that remains is to put in the lights and decorate it!

Photo credit: Lauris


  1. Love the photo of little Mikus's face - completely awestruck! Nothing beats the smell of a real tree, does it. You're so lucky you get to have a choice of fresh tree available to you too. We only have the standard pinus radiata in Australia, which they trim to shape. No pretty firs of any description. I'm not sure why as there are lots of different types of firs and pines in Australia, they just don't grow them commercially?! xx

  2. Love all the pictures. They make me homesick for SC. I bet you aren't missing the Charlie Brown Christmas trees we have here in France.

  3. Beautiful photos (especially the one taken by Lauris - I TOLD you he's got an artist's eye!). I've already fallen behind in my one-thing-a--December-day-getting ready for Christmas; but I'm trying to be accepting! Day 1: baking piparkūkas with half the students of the Chicago Latvian School (20 pounds!). Day 2: not much....

  4. That parade looks like it was a good one!


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