It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Well…Thanksgiving is officially over and we are just going to pretend like this is the first time I’m talking about the holidays and that I haven’t been prepping for this month since November 1. It’s finally a “socially acceptable” time to talk about it. You know what I’m referencing…Christmas!! It’s the most wonderful time of the year 🙂

I’m one of those people- who puts their decorations out right after Thanksgiving although this year I started a little bit earlier. Germany doesn’t do Thanksgiving really, and we were traveling anyways so it really didn’t play a role in the whole timeline of decorating. While I’m not quite sure where/what we are doing for Christmas I am planning on doing a lot. This is our first Christmas in Germany- a country that goes ALL OUT. The country seems to come alive again several times through the year, Christmas being one of the biggest.

I’ve already been planning and ordering gifts due to the length of shipping time and I think everyone will be pleased with what they get. I always look forward to the giddy excitement and joy on the boys face as they realize that they have presents and a full day of eating and watching movies and hanging out with Mom and Dad. But this doesn’t even come close to what I am looking forward to.

I think December is one of those months that no matter what gets thrown at you, you still manage to find a little cheer. It’s full of excitement for the holidays, for the new year, for the relief of another year ending, and a fresh start for a new year. This is especially heightened this year as we are heading into a new decade. We are about to go to the 2020’s and that just brings a whole new level. Christmas and New Years is very big here in Europe. Celebrations are taken to a whole new level EVERYWHERE, from the big cities to the small farm towns, it seems like everybody wants to celebrate and have a good time. If there is anything Europe does right (and there actually is a lot), celebrations/markets/festivals is what it does the best.

So, where does that put us for the most wonderful time of the year?

To start with, christmas markets!! I mean is there anything better than strolling through an outdoor market with a hot mug of some drink looking at all the craftsman stalls? I mean, it’s quintessentially Christmas and I have very high (Hallmark Movie esque high) expectations for what this will be like. This year I am planning on attending a total of 4 (this is counted by city, a lot of the cities have multiple markets that we may visit) and I think that that is probably a good number to stick with every year. I’ve got quite a list of how many I would actually like to visit, but I’m trying not to overwhelm us…or spend to much money haha. Honestly though, who knows what the month will bring us, I’ve already got the list out and am comparing schedules and dates to see what can be done and when (yes I am being that serious about it).

I’m also looking forward to our next long trip. I’m not totally sure (as of writing this post) as to where we are going to go, but I am looking forward to getting away and really getting the chance to stretch our legs and truly explore somewhere new. I wouldn’t say that we’ve played it safe entirely, but we have stuck with some “safe” options. This trip we will be venturing somewhere completely new to us that we’ve never really learned about or experienced. I’m incredibly excited about it!

I’m also just looking forward to the general cheer that comes with December. December tends to be a cold and dark (and here – damp) month, so it’s nice to see the cheer that everyone brings out with the season.

Round The Kettle Ep. 5: A New Tradition

Good afternoon! Oy, It’s been a weekend. A weekend full of wonderful memories that were only created because I chose to not a semi unexpected turn of events affect all of the fun we had planned. After an early (think 4:30AM) phone call calling my husband in to work Saturday Morning, any plans that we did have for the weekend that involved both of us or him in some way went out the window. This isn’t a bad thing (a bummer yes, but ultimately there was only one major thing that ended up having to be postponed) and we made the best of the turn of our weekend.

So, how are you??? Are you ready for December? Ready for the Holidays? Ready for the <gasp> New Year???

How is it already December? The year is starting to wind down and we’ve got a very busy month ahead! I’ve been trying to do some forward planning to lighten the load of December a little bit as it has now become apparent just HOW MUCH is going to be happening this month for us.

We start the month with getting everything sorted for the Holidays. I like to get gifts, cookies, and any plans for the actual holiday sorted as early as possible, so that when that last week comes around it isn’t as stressful and we can just enjoy everything that the holidays really offer.

Then we have back to back family visits, along with different appointments, and a car drop off (to ship my car overseas!!!). Once Christmas hits, it’s a final countdown to getting the things that aren’t being shipped packed away and preparing our house and items for the movers to come and pack everything up.

This weekend we are doing a fun little thing that I am starting to actually do every year. I should clarify, I bake loads every year, all throughout the year. I love to have fresh baked something, whether that’s bread, cookies, pie, cheesecake, whatever. It’s just a nice little thing that I enjoy doing and love to be able to offer.

This year though, I want to start dedicating the first weekend in December as “Mrs. Claus Visits” Weekend in our home. Everyone talks about the big guy, Santa Claus, but Mrs. Claus is like that grandma that always has cookies to offer and is full of warmth. I’d love to represent for her and bring a little warmth to start off the month.

So, “Mrs. Claus Visits”…what is it going to be? Well, it’s a weekend full of baking, love, hot cocoa and that good ole cheer that you feel when it’s FINALLY December 1st. Christmas starts to feel real and I want to start doing this every year.

So, we will be spending our Saturday in the Kitchen. I’ll be detailing more about our Holiday treats in an upcoming post, but it’s safe to say that I’m really excited about this. Between a Saturday spent baking and a Sunday afternoon spent being pampered I think this might be the best weekend I’ve had in a long while. It certainly is setting me up for a successful busy December.

How do you handle the Holidays and this busy time of year? What do you do to keep your head level and your mind straight on track?