Final Countdown to Christmas


Video from Santa, Letters to Santa, Thanksgiving, our Elf, Hanukkah, Shopping and Gifting…


Christmas is BIG in Our Familiarium. More than an event, Christmas is a state of mind.

It is an opportunity to get closer to our loved ones and fill our lives with joy, colors and lights.

We make Christmas a month and a half affair. It stars mid-November with an video from Santa where he tells the kids whether they have been naughty or nice, then letters to Santa get drafted and the “little Christmas” {Thanksgiving} preparations start. It goes in full gear right after Thanksgiving when we go Christmas tree hunting, decorate our house and our Elf arrives. Then about a week before Christmas, we reach the extravaganza’s peak by only watching Christmas movies, only listening to Christmas songs and only reading Christmas books.

Click here to learn more about getting an email from Santa

Letters to Santa

Now the kids know that Santa has a budget and likes to shop the best deals so they prepare their letters early. However, the letters are not final until Christmas Eve because of the bad influence of the TV commercials. 🙂 But at least by Thanksgiving Santa has a good idea of what they want. Butterfly’s letters still start with “Dear Santa, I want…” the title even says “Christmas list” 🙂 but we keep reminding her she has to be polite. So a few drafts later Santa gets a “How are you? I hope you are doing well” 🙂 {I LOVE how she says “I did most things right” 🙂 }

This year they wanted to type the letters because they learned how to use computers but they still have to decorate them before our Elf takes them to the North Pole on Christmas Eve.

Butterfly’s letter

 Letter to santa

Grasshopper’s letter




Every year Beetle Dad goes completely nuts {as in Marth Steward nuts} decorating the house. Our basement is 80% Christmas containers that he has accumulated over the years. The day after thanksgiving we would go Christmas tree hunting and come back home to eat the thanksgiving leftovers and decorate the house and the tree. But that proved too much for Beetle Dad! He decided he couldn’t wait an extra day so this year our house was decorated for Christmas in Thanksgiving.

This year tough we were too tired to go to a Christmas tree farm as we do every year so we ended up getting our tree already cut but the excitement was the same :). We have gotten much better about picking the right size Christmas tree {Our first Christmas tree when we got married didn’t fit through the door and took over 70% of the living room in our first miniscule apartment. Yup… another Beetle Dad extravaganza}.

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This was a very especial Thanksgiving since the kids were old enough to cook. I let them help with anything that didn’t have to do with the stove and they made the pumpkin bread, the sweet potato casserole and the loaded scalloped potatoes au gratin to go with our traditional turkey, ham and fall sangria. They also helped me with a new recipe for a gluten-free cheese cake that came out Ah-wesome!  Especially considering I don’t bake! 🙂


Thanksgiving dinner was a success.


Everyone went around the table saying what they are grateful for and Butterfly Fairy read her story from school. She has been a lot into creative writing lately and we’ll share some of her work in future posts. And these are the things for which Grasshopper is grateful {funny I work full time but he thinks all I do is cook lol }


The Elf

Our Elf on the shelf, D’Orian, appears the day after Thanksgiving and stays with us until Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve he flies back to the North Pole carrying with him our letters to Santa. He is very mischievous. Last year we was definitely more creative, though 🙂

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Baking with friends {Hanukkah and Christmas baking}

Another tradition we look forward too is our annual holiday baking. We get together with some very dear friends that celebrate Hanukkah and make tons of cookies with them. The moms bake the cookies {and drink LOTS of sangria} and the kids decorate them. This year we made gingerbread and sugar cookies.

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Shopping and Gifting

We try to avoid last minute purchases {which are usually stressful and expensive}.

We start our Christmas shopping early November. Since we had kids we do most of our shopping online {one day maybe I’ll dare to post about those days of diaper bags and other horrors 🙂 } . They are usually wrapped by the time Thanksgiving comes and they go under the tree the day after Thanksgiving. We try to teach the kids to be appreciative, grateful, need/want less and think of others. We still spend more than we should but every year we get better, though.


12 days of Christmas

D’ Orian {our Elf} brings candy and little inexpensive toys for the kids from December 12th until Christmas Eve {I think he gets them at Dollar Store!}


Final Countdown…

The last week before Christmas anything “not Christmassy” is banned! Only Christmas, books, songs and movies are allowed. 🙂 Some of our favorite movies are:

School is out! And I’m home with the kiddos until January 🙂

Today we did some last minute shopping {as I said, we are “mostly” organized} and baked cookies.

Tomorrow we’ll decorate the cookies, build ginger bread houses and watch more Christmas movies in our home filled with the aroma of pine, ham, cinnamon  and cloves while we wait for our loved ones to join us for the event of the year in Our Familiarium: Christmas Eve dinner.

The kids will go to bed at 10:00 and will try to fall asleep… because at midnight… 🙂



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