Sunday, December 22, 2013

Seasonal Scenes

Oh, I just love this time of year! This Christmas season has proven to be, perhaps, my favorite ever. Banks is at the oh-so-magical age of 4, where Christmas and Santa and elves and reindeer are things of mystical wonder and worthy of great Jingle Bell awe. Not only that, but Raleigh is beginning to discover the magic of the season, too, and loves seeing our elf and his crazy elf-nanigans, naming all the familiar faces she sees in our holiday cards, and staring at the illuminating wonderment reflecting from our Christmas tree. 

We've been swimming in seasonal cheer, from most corners of our home: 

Our home by day...

...and night.

A cardboard "L" covered with ribbon to personalize our front door wreath

Our entry way table, with our annual Santa photos, a white fabric wreath adorned with a snowflake ornament, festive bunting, and 'O Holy Night' chalkboard art

The view from our front door into our family room

Stockings were hung by the chimney with care

Our 2013 family ornament

Easy-to-make jingle bell banner hangs along our second mantle

Our gingerbread house, made by the kiddos, and our Charlie Brown trees

My favorite holiday decor: Beautiful photo cards from family and friends, prominently displayed in our kitchen

Our felt tree came out again this year in the playroom, always a crowd favorite. Homemade snowflakes also decorated the playroom window panes for another festive touch. :) 

We've also been trying to squeeze in every last drop of holiday festiveness that we can fit in our schedule over the last few weeks:

We kicked off the season at Penland Tree Farm, our second year in a row, to chop down our own tree

I attended a fun! and yummy! cookie exchange with some Charlotte-area friends

 Banks and Raleigh got crafty, first decorating their gingerbread house (and eating at least 50% of the candy!)...

...And also painting their own 2013 ornaments: a tree for Banks and a star for Raleigh

Holiday dinner with friends is always fun, no matter the age!

And I've had a ball with my little shopping buddy this year...

...and so has her Daddy!

My duo loved visiting the Big Man in Red

They also enjoyed delivering gifts to the two children we "adopted" for Christmas

We had a special day celebrating my 33rd birthday

We had our annual Momma date to paint a Christmas plate (which will eventually turn into our own special, eclectic Christmas dining set)

We traveled to Aiken, SC, where we soaked up time with our Nana and Pop and all the cousins on that side of the family!

And also traveled to Bryson City, NC, where we boarded the REAL Polar Express...

...and spent a MAGICAL night with family and friends on the train... seen here, when Banks receives his sleigh bell from Santa. Look at that face!!!

Although our Digby wasn't able to visit due to a family emergency, our Bammy came to Fort Mill to visit us at home for a holiday celebration and brought a special guest (Aunt Whit!) to join in the festive fun!

 The kids even received a very special phone call from Santa...

...which both thoroughly enjoyed!

I think it's safe to say our Christmas cheer-o-meter has just about reached it's peak! All that's left from our end is gift wrapping, family playtime, baking and cooking, a Christmas Eve church service, and, of course, Christmas Day itself! We'll be spending the day as just our little family of four and are excited to continue the traditions we started last year. 

This Christmas stuff? It's magic, I tell ya. Just pure magic. 

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