Home for the Holidays

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. - Maya Angelou

Is there anything better than going home for Christmas?  My mom is finally back in her newly renovated old house and it is wonderful.  Gorgeous hardwood floors perfect for sliding on.  Lots of windows and natural light for photo-taking.  And a huge kitchen, exactly right for dance parties.

Wrapping Paper: Sugar Paper LA via Target

We went treeless this year for the first time ever, so I opted to dress up a green chair with all of the wrapped presents.  Had to keep it festive!

My mom always decorates with little touches here and there.  A homemade painted tree here, a holiday runner there...

And of course, lots of baking!  We debated going to get a tree on Christmas Eve, but instead we put music on, my brother and I started dancing, and my mom starting making her famous Tollhouse cookies.  Two hours later, the house smelled incredible and I needed a nap from a serious workout.  

Christmas Eve just might be better than Christmas Day.  Every year, we trek all the way down the street to my grandparents' house for Christmas Eve dinner, which is composed entirely of appetizers.  My mom makes "The Big Dip", I make spinach & artichoke dip, and then there is kielbasa, shrimp cocktail, chicken wings, guacamole, cheese & crackers, and seemingly endless other snacks.  Each year, we try to make a new cocktail and this year, we ended up with Red-Nose Punch.  Delicious and dangerous!

Christmas morning, we slept in (which happens when the only "children" in the house are 29 and 30) and opened our gifts in the brand new living room.  It's bizarre being in your childhood home when it's so familiar, yet so different from what it was.  Change is a good thing, but that doesn't make it any less weird.

And yes, I opened presents in sequin leggings.

Sweater: Cotton Addiction (similar); Leggings: Nordstrom (options here, herehere); Socks: Woolrich (love these)

My brother made homemade tags for his gifts.  They were entertaining to say the least.


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