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Here we are! Days 6-10 of gift giving.

I’m telling you, ABC Family has ruined the phrase “25 Days of Christmas” for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it that they play Christmas movies for the entire month of December, but I cannot hear “25 Days of Christmas” without expecting something having to do with a Harry Potter Weekend or Harry Potter network television premiere to follow.  Ah well.

I apologize for being MIA for basically all of December.  It was busy.  Very busy.  But we’re back to the grind after traveling home to see family for the holidays.  I wanted to make sure I finished posting about William’s 25 Christmas gifts so today we have days 6-10.

  • Day 6: A Kitchen Sink!  He was so confused by this gift.  I found it at Next Adventure and it’s basically a collapsable kitchen sink for camping.  I thought it was great.  He was quite confused and humored (thus his face in the picture)
  • Day 7: New undies!  And yes, I made him pose in them.
  • Day 8: A new bow tie!  I love a man in a bow tie!
  • Day 9: NIKE store gift card.  I have no doubt he’ll have NO trouble finding something to spend that on.
  • Day 10: This is Washington D.C. by M. Sasek.  It’s not a holiday without an M. Sasek book for his collection.

**Please note his attire on day 10.  This was the night of our Redneck Christmas party and he made himself a make-shift package by sewing a bow on his sweatshirt.  Festive.

Not really.  No one is getting any golden rings.  But the song inspired me to try something a little different this year with William’s Christmas gifts.  Instead of getting him one or a couple of bigger gifts, I decided to try (within a set budget) to get him 25 gifts.  One for every day of December.

All his presents wrapped up tight!  As a side note, I am so pleased with my wrapping choices for this year.  Brown craft paper, alternating 3 types of thick ribbon, topped with red or green raffia! 

I had several reasons behind wanting to do this.  I start celebrating Christmas the day after Halloween. Thanksgiving is a nice hiccup in the middle, but basically to me all roads are headed towards the most wonderful time of the year.  We have a house rule, however, that I am not allowed to talk about Christmas (and if I do I am not to expect William to share my enthusiasm or get my feelings hurt should he not share my feelings) prior to the day after Thanksgiving.  He, and 90% of America, like to enjoy Thanksgiving before Christmas sets in.  I thought starting him off unwrapping presents on Dec. 1 might get him all excited earlier!  And it seems to have worked!  Ha!

We’re through day 5 (thus the 5 golden rings title)!  He’s collected some goodies!  I’ve snapped a photo of him every day so I can document everything.  How precious is this kiddo?

So I don't know how to use Photoshop or Illustrator or anything of the like...so this is my attempt at showing you Days 1-5 out of Word! Probably should have my husband teach me a better method, huh?

  • Day 1: New scarf (Really needed because it is so cold here!  I actually had this as Day 21’s present but moved it so he could be using it sooner!)
  • Day 2: His FIRST Alabama tshirt!  So proud.
  • Day 3: Tooth ornament (Tradition!  I give him an ornament every year, and how fitting that this year’s is a tooth as he is still missing his!)
  • Day 4: Pocket-knife/camping tool (He’s really needed one of these as well–every time we go to the airport they confiscate his pocket knives)
  • Day 5: Shoelaces!

This Christmas marks several firsts.  Some I’m excited about, some not so much.  Tomorrow will mark the FIRST time in my 25 years of life I chopped down my own Christmas tree.  THIS I am very excited about.  I researched a lot of tree farms (and there were a lot to choose from).  But, I have made my selection.  We’re headed to Helvetia Christmas Tree Farms in Beaverton, OR.  I grabbed these from their website.

Getting them all ready to go to their Christmas home!
Check out all of those trees in the background! And if someone has to be carryin’ a tree…it isn’t going to be me!  Sorry Mr. Fancy Pants.

I’ve picked out exactly where I want to have the tree.  I think we need a tall, skinny one.  We have pretty high ceilings so I’m looking for an 8 footer.  We’ve got sunshine in the forecast for Portland tomorrow (shocking for this time of year) and we’re headed out early!  We’re going to have breakfast at our favorite spot and then head out!  Cannot.  Wait.

On another note, I start decorating our home tomorrow for the first time alone.  My mom has been with me every year to make our apartment Christmasy and wonderful.  This year I’m on my own and there is SUCH pressure!  Mr. Fancy Pants is helpful for the tree but decorating isn’t his cup of tea.  I’m not sure if I have mentioned it before but Mr. Fancy Pants has a serious glitter aversion.  I have to limit the amount of glittery decor that enters our house in December or he’s not a happy camper!  Not sure if you’ve ever noticed, but the words Christmas and glitter are almost interchangeable (not in the meaning or what they stand for–that’s not what I mean, it’s just EVERYTHING has glitter).

This is also the first year for me to do a count down of Christmas presents for Mr. Fancy Pants.  I’ll dedicate a couple of posts to this but for your previewing pleasure, I’ve included days 1 and 2 captured below.  One the first day of Christmas his true love gave to him…a Pendleton scarf!  And on the second day of Christmas his true love gave to him…an Alabama tshirt!

Days 1 and 2 down…23 to go!

I started him out with good ones.  All of them aren’t so fancy.  I bought 25 gifts and stayed (almost) at my budget.  So expect to see some funny stuff over the next 23 days.  I thought this would be a fun change to the norm, and we have to travel to Texas with every gift we’re giving this year, so I was thinking ahead!  We’ll only have to travel with the last 3 of his gifts!

T-minus 1 week until our annual Christmas party!  We will miss all of our Austin friends this year but are excited about the plans for the celebration!  AND Mr. Fancy Pants finished our Christmas card today and it’s off to be letter pressed.  He never ceases to amaze me.  I hope everyone has survived the Thanksgiving turkey coma and have pulled on their Christmastime britches!  We sure have!

I’m a list maker.  Tried and true…I love my lists.  On a whim, I posted at the beginning of October all of the fun “fall” activities that I wanted Mr. Fancy Pants and I to do (see that post here).  I’m actually patting myself on the back now because it helped me organize my thoughts.  Pen and paper list…virtual blog list.  Same difference to me.  I am proud of how many of my “to do’s” we actually accomplished!  Six out of eight ‘aint half bad my friends!

Since it worked so well the first time, AND since I am such a freak about Christmas time, I felt a list of all of the fun Christmasy things I want us to do would be appropriate.  I am so thankful that William has most of December off from school–nighttime classes would have really messed with my Christmas activity planning.

I have done a lot of research on the fun, local things to do here in the PacNW around the holidays. The weather alone makes it feel more like Christmas time up here so I am really looking forward to ALL of these things!  So, here goes.  Our calendar for December…booked.

  • Cut down our own Christmas tree for the first time!  There are places to do this everywhere up here!  Oregon is the nations largest producer of Christmas trees!  I’M IN HEAVEN!  There are 775 Christmas tree growers in Oregon alone, covering over 65,000 acres, and producing over 8 million Christmas trees PER YEAR!  Cannot.  Wait.  The question now is which one do we go to!?
  • Host the Tacky Texas Christmas Party!  We’ve thrown a Christmas party every year since we got married.  In honor of where we’re from, this year’s will be decked with tacky Christmas sweaters and anything resembling a cowboy hat, boots, belt, etc.  Got to nail down a date for this extravaganza!
The Nutcracker! A must see EVERY year for me at Christmas time.
  • Go see The Nutcracker performed by the Oregon Ballet Theatre.  We go every year.  No exceptions. December 19th.  Tickets are purchased and sitting right next to me.  AND the Oregon Symphony is playing live that night!  YES!
A Christmas Story at Gerding Theater
The Santaland Diaries at Gerding Theater
  • I’d also love to go see A Christmas Story at Gerding Theater.  The theater itself is in an old armory and we’ve been once before.  I have never seen A Christmas Story on stage before.  I think Mr. Fancy Pants would really like it!  I’d also love to see The Santaland Diaries there too. Both would be wonderful.
Storybrook Lane at Christmas. Sign me up!
  • Christmas at Storybrook Lane at Alpenrose Dairy will also be on our list. After a hiatus of six years, Storybook Lane at family-owned Alpenrose Dairy will be open again this holiday season. Storybook Lane is part of Dairyville, a replica of a Western frontier town situated on the Alpenrose property. You can stroll the lane and peek in the vintage shops decorated for the holidays while being serenaded by local choirs, watch classic holiday movies in the old Opera House, and have your picture taken with Santa.
  • Watch my top 20 list of all-time best Christmas movies.  I’ll do a separate post about that later.
  • Go see the lights on Peacock Lane (December 15-31st).  This is a tradition that has been going on since the 1920s on this street in Portland.  They even have a Christmas song that was written about them.  You can take a horse-drawn carriage ride down the street to look at the lights which I think would be a blast!  Probably going to sign up for that!
  • Winter Wonderland Lights at the Portland International Raceway–Dec. 5th.  The racetrack is turned into a drive through light show that is the largest west of the Mississippi River.  On Dec. 5th it is closed to cars and it’s reserved for bicycles only.  All of the money that they raise goes to the BTA!
Portland Christmas Ship Parade–above is a boat my friends!
  • Watch the Portland Christmas Ship Parade on Dec. 8th.  This year marks the 27th year of the parade.  Around 60 boats are decked out in lights and sail down the Willamette River!
Portland ZooLights
  • Last but not least, the Portland ZooLights is a stop on my list.  It’s exactly what it sounds like.  The zoo is transformed to a Christmas-light filled land of amazingness.  I’ve been wanting to go to the zoo because I hear it’s pretty amazing.  What better time to go!?

WHEW!  I’m excited/tired already!  I cannot believe the holidays are just around the corner.  They will be here and gone before we know it.  I have gotten a jump start on my shopping this year (thank goodness), but I still can’t believe how close it is.  Here’s to finding a happy balance of cozy nights by the fire with a Christmas movie and cramming activity I can into the month of December!  Wish us luck!

Have you ever wanted something that was pretty ridiculous to want?  I have.  Let me rephrase.  I do.

Burberry pattern that I'm obsessed with

I have an unreasonable love for Burberry.  Not sure why.  Not sure when it started but I’m sure it’s not going away any time soon.  I think it’s the preppy girl inside of me that loves it so much.  But boy.  I LOVE that Burberry Haymarket pattern!

I would consider myself one to have crazy expensive taste (my husband might disagree with me.  Ha!) but I am not crazy to think that I will every–or should ever–own this purse.  But this is what all of my spare pennies are saving for. Please keep in mind that I am very well aware that I could feed a third world country for about three months for the cost of this thing BUT a girl can dream right??

Just beautiful. Burberry Haymarket Bowling Bag

Inside of the lovely bag. Legit.

So Mr. Fancy Pants being the awesome husband that he is, snagged this amazing cashmere scarf for Christmas.  AND my mom got me a new bottle of Burberry Brit perfume because I had had my old bottle for about 2 years.  It was a Burberry Christmas.

Christmas scarf!!!

Burberry Brit perfume! What What.

Ok, so that’s my girlie ridiculous want that probably will never (and probably should never) come to fruition.  I’m sure we all have this selfish desires if we really think about it.  Mine just happens to be focused on a British plaid.  Ha! Oh happy day!

I’ve pretty much fallen in love with these.  I bought Mr. Fancy Pants one for Christmas and though he hasn’t worn it yet, a nice little British man on a YouTube video taught him how to correctly tie it (quite successfully I might add). I may be a little bias, but he just looked wonderful in it!

Forage Bowtie that I purchased for Mr. Fancy Pants for Christmas

These are made by the amazing couple, Stephen and Shauna, at Something’s Hiding in Here.  Here’s what they have to say about their new line of bowties:

“why bow ties? as stephen likes to say “they’re the most practical form of neckwear”. they don’t interfere with various working methods like a dangerous, dangling neck tie. it was out of necessity for safe neck accessorizing that we created our own collection of bow ties. we call them FORAGE because gathering the perfect fabric is always quite the hunt.”

Inside of the Forage Bowtie

Each bow tie comes packaged in mason box filled with shredded kraft paper. Both functional and scores huge points on the supreme level of packaging coolness. Coolness.  Is that a word?  We’ll go with it.  Regardless, there is also a swatch of the bow tie’s fabric that can be found on the inside of the box.  Can you say amazing?

As I’m sure you all know, Etsy one of the greatest places to find handmade gifts, decorations, accents, etc.  I turned to Etsy this year for some Christmas decorating help as Mr. Fancy Pants and I wanted a “handmade” and “natural” look to our Christmas decor–as much as possible at least.  Mr. Fancy Pants has an aversion to any Christmas decorations that include glitter, sparkles, or anything “cutesy”.  In my opinion, Christmas is the ONLY time of year it’s ok to have a little glitter and sparkle around so some does appear in 601 Nelray here and there but I’ve tried to keep that under wraps for our Mr. Fancy Pants as it’s only our first Christmas together and I have many more years to break him of his “cutesy” Christmas decoration dislike.  Ha!

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