Christmas Traditions

Well, friends, Christmas has come and gone. I hate to admit it, but I barely managed to get all of the gifts finished and wrapped with minimal last-minute panic. There always seems to be at least one gift that takes all the way to Christmas Eve to finish.

I have to say the Fellow did awesome with his gifts – a giant, fuzzy blanket (one of my favorite things) and a pour-over coffee pot – two things I’ve been wanting, but kept putting off getting myself. Those are the best types of presents!

Christmas Day stays stressful trying to make travel plans and get to two family gatherings.

Christmas Day the Fellow had to work, so I headed to my family’s Christmas. After a brief mix-up with directions, trying to meet up with Grammy, we finally made it down home.

My family always eats oyster stew for breakfast on Christmas morning. With us getting there a bit late though, we somehow managed to stay on coffee and missed the stew! I did get some yummy fried oysters at lunch though.

We exchanged gifts, and I got to open a little box that I’ve seen at least 24 times before, but this time it was on my pile of gifts – a tea towel calendar. As it says on the box, “Use it  as a calendar for a year; use it as a towel forever!” My mother gifts one to both of my grandmothers every single Christmas. With the purchase of the new house, she added me to the list.


I had a wonderful Christmas time with both of our families and friends – good food, conversation, Christmas carols, and holiday spirit. And now Happy New Year!


It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, the presents are (pretty much) wrapped and under the tree, and everything is buzzing with the holiday spirit.

We’ve had a lot of fun activities at work: visits from Santa, Comfy-Cozy Day, Holiday Tie/Scarf Day, Holiday Hat Day, hot cocoa, pie-eating contests, gingerbread-decorating contests, gift exchanges, and more. It’s fun when everyone is in the holiday spirit.

I’m sorry for the lack of blog post last week. With the holidays, things are crazy but fun. I’m so excited to show you my Christmas decorations. Basically, everything I have came from my grandmother. She painted ceramics in the 70s, and I remember them being strewn around her home. I’m so excited to have them out at my house this year!

These carolers on my mantle are probably my favorite. I love the way the wind is blowing their skirts. The lamppost lights up, but it isn’t close enough to an outlet for me to plug it in.


I was so excited about having a mantle to decorate when we bought the new house. These milk glass owls have been with me since my first apartment, and they seem right at home.


I don’t have a lot of surfaces to decorate, so I decided to make use of what I have and decorate the window sills. The nesting Santas and angel bell were a gift from my grandmother, and the box book was a gift from the fellow’s mother.

I was so excited to dig this ceramic Christmas tree out. Both of my grandmothers have one, and I’ve always loved them.


And finally – the tree! I got my little 6-foot tree at Goodwill for $5.00. The balls are all vintage with one or two exceptions. The spindle at the top is my favorite part.


The chair is an antique as well. It was my great Aunt E’s, and I love it. My mother was worried about the red with the blue of my room, but I think it works just fine.

Only 3 more days until Christmas!

No Pan WV Road Trip: Family and Fiestaware

On the second of day of our trip, we were up bright and early to continue our quest to visit every county in the great state of West Virginia. On our way up the panhandle, we decided to swing by the house of a relative whom my folks hadn’t seen in nearly 30 years.

Now in our neck of the woods, it’s pretty common for people to drop by unannounced, so we hadn’t called ahead to see if they were home. Actually, we didn’t have a phone number – just an address from a Christmas card. On our first attempt, we missed them, but since we were in the area, we thought we would give it one more try, and fortunately that time we caught them.

They were the sweetest people, especially with us just turning up on their doorstep. We sat around their kitchen table, and my father and his cousin reminisced about relatives and started puzzling out details on the family tree. I absolutely loved getting to know them. It’s wonderful to meet new (new to me) members of the family.

It turned out there was a lot of “family” on this trip. They rang us later and invited us to breakfast before we headed home the next day. So nice. In addition, skipping forward a bit, on our way home we stopped to attend my great-aunt’s 90th birthday party. It was amazing. All of the cousins, aunts, uncles, children, chatter, food, and fellowship. I was so glad that we went!

But back to our trip – as we drove up along the Ohio River, we were able to check off the counties of Ohio, Brooke, and Hancock. We visited the Homer Laughlin Fiestaware Factory in Newell and checked out the World’s Largest Teapot in Chester. Traveling back down to Wheeling, we spent our last evening of the trip shopping at Cabela’s and taking in the Festival of Lights again. Now we only have two counties to go – Webster and Monroe!



Now that we’ve returned, my focus has switched to Christmas, and I’m so excited about showing some of my Christmas decorations in the next blog.

For now though I want to leave you with a picture of these sweet harvest foxes a lady at work gifted me after I admired them. Just had to show them to you. Look how sweet!



No Pan WV Road Trip: Festival of Lights

It’s December first, and Christmas is in full swing.

After our adventure at the fish market, we headed to the initial reason behind this road trip – getting Mama to the Festival of Lights at the Oglebay Resort in Wheeling. She liked it so much that we ended up going twice!

This was one of those situations where I’m glad Daddy drives. The holiday light show is one of the nation’s largest, covering more than 300 acres over a six-mile drive throughout the resort. As we went so early in November, it wasn’t terribly crowded, but there were still people out and about.


Not all displays are Christmas-themed, but they are all absolutely amazing. I think my favorites were the giant swans on the lake, while Mama was impressed by Cinderella’s Castle, the jumping horse and rider, and the snowflake tunnel.

If you can make it there, it would be a marvelous addition to your Christmas festivities!