Don't hate me, but I'm actually enjoying the run-up to Christmas this year. Maybe it's because of the little one (I've discovered that dancing around the house to Christmas carols is sure to result in smiles, giggles and squeals of delight), or maybe it's because I'm home on maternity leave. Yes, even with an infant to take care of, it turns out I find it a lot easier to shop, decorate, bake and make when I don't have to go to work everyday (and of course it helps that Adam is around for much of the day to help out with Hannah). I'm thinking about saving up some vacation time so I can take the week off before Christmas every year.

I did a little extra decorating around the house this year (extra, for us). More boxwood, just like the mantle, but this time from my mom's supply (thanks Mom!). Our Christmas tree was a little tall for our living room, so Adam shortened the trunk and I used the leftover branches to make my first decorative swag. I kind of love it.

I'm using my DIY'ed silver-leafed mirror to display Christmas cards this year. I feel bad that we didn't send out cards (first time in years!), but I fully intend to make up for it next year. They're one of my favourite parts of the holidays (this is a not-so-subtle hint to send me cards, friends and family).

We still have a few small things to pick up, but most of our gifts are already wrapped and under the tree. Thank goodness for clearance ribbon sales at Michael's (in case you're wondering, instead of gift tags, I marked each present with the recipient's initial - those are the black dots).

These photo boxes are also from Michael's (marked down to $2.50 each). They were plain white, so I used gold paint (Martha Stewart) to dress them up a little. I used tape to get clean lines for the stripes and I made a stencil for my polka dots out of stiff card stock and a circle punch. The boxes will be filled with home-made cookies, tied with ribbon and given as gifts.

So far I've made toffee almond haystacks, almond chai cookies, and classic holiday sugar cookies. Next up, cinnamon sugar crinkles and peanut brittle.

I made these dipped spoons as a stocking stuffer. I love how they turned out so much, I may have to make myself a pair. Thanks for the inspiration Tanya!

I can't believe Christmas Day is almost here. Where does the time go?


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