November and December Round Up

This has been an extremely busy year with November and December being even more so than any other year. I can’t believe we are at the end of 2015, where did the year go?!

I thought I was doing so well this year by starting early with my Christmas shopping. I would pick a little up here and a little there depending on what I saw. But the closer Christmas approached the less shopping I was doing until it was Christmas week and I still had several people on my list I hadn’t even given a thought to.

Thanksgiving came and went in a blur. My daughter and I went to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra Thanksgiving weekend and had a fantastic time. I have always loved their Christmas music and it all started with a YouTube video of a house decorated with lights synchronized to the song Wizards of Winter.

trans siberian orch 4 trans siberian orch 16 trans siberian orch 5

We’ve decided this is going to be a yearly tradition now, got to go see TSO! This was such an awesome show and the vocals on some of these women are outstanding!

We also hit a few holiday craft bazaars as well. Usually it’s just the one that lasts for a full month from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, but this year we took in a few extras. I love wandering around looking at everything. It was a great opportunity to pick up some unique gift items as well as helping to support our local artists and craftsmen.

Then it was time for our yearly trip out to Fullner Christmas Tree Farm for our Christmas tree.


The view from their farm is absolutely gorgeous. Check out those mountains in the background. It was an absolutely beautiful day to cut down a tree, it wasn’t too cold, it wasn’t raining, the ground wasn’t wet…all in all a perfect day.


I couldn’t resist taking a picture of their log home. Can you imagine living in that and seeing that view every day? I’d never leave the house.

xmas treet

The only thing wrong with a full tree is I usually can’t hang all of my ornaments. I have a bunch that are pretty heavy and there are only so many branches that can hold them. I think I might have to have two trees next year, maybe make on a theme tree with all of my Disney ornaments or maybe all of my handmade ornaments.

During November and the first part of December I was attempting to crochet three very long stocking caps to wear during the Jingle Bell Run. I was experimenting a bit so each one was slightly different. I’m really going to have to take some time and write down the pattern. One person even asked my daughter where she got it because she would totally buy one.

jingle bellers

I wanted the hats long enough to be able to wrap them around as scarves as well. They wrapped around perfectly and were nice and toasty warm. They needed to be because once again it was a tad bit wet during the walk. Yeah, I didn’t run, just a nice leisurely stroll with a few hundred others.

We even squeezed in the theater and saw The Nutcracker for the first time ever! It was a small local ballet company and was pretty good. Made me really want to hit the big one in Seattle next year.

Next up….the Vancouver Christmas Market. This is definitely a yearly trip. My daughter and I were hoping to get a few more people to go with us this year but it just didn’t work out.

xmas market vancouver 2

xmas market vancouver

As you can see it was rather wet, but we live in the PNW so we don’t really even pay attention to it. It had been snowing in some parts but not within the city limits. Big fluffy white flakes of snow would have made this even better.

xmas market vancouver 3

It really is like the Weinachtsmarkt that I went to in Germany. They even have my all time favorite vendor, Kathe Wohlfahrt. Every year while I was in Germany I would add to my collection of Christmas ornaments. I love their wooden ornaments best, but they have a large variety of ornaments, from balls, blown glass, glass and so much more.

xmas market vancouver 4

Here are the three ornaments I picked up this year.


Hand painted glass ornament.


Had to get the little baker!


Another Santa Claus to add to my collection. This one is a Christian Ulbricht wooden ornament. I love their nutcrackers, which are pretty darned expensive. But oh so beautiful. The detail, the natural sheen of the wood, absolutely gorgeous.

Wish I could afford one of their pyramids…the one I liked was only $900 or so in Canadian dollars. I have a very basic and cheap pyramid that I’ve had for almost 30 years now. When the candles are lit the heat rises and turns the paddles which make the figurines turn as well.


This year seemed like everyone was so busy we weren’t even able to get everyone together to do our annual cookie baking. I started on a Friday afternoon and then my daughter came over early on Saturday and helped with the rest. We made 13 or 14 different types of cookies and candies, not mention decorating every sugar cookie. We usually never decorate them all but this year I made sure we got it done.

cutting out sugar cookies decorated cookies

One of the new cookie cutters I picked up this year was the cute melted snowman. I’m sure you’ve seen the cookie on Pinterest with the puddle and a large marshmallow as the snowman’s head. This cookie cutter is the puddle and a separate cutter for the hat. I think they turned out pretty cute, but it is a large cookie!

santa claus cookies ashley cam snoopy cookies ashley cam

baking day

The cookie tray for our family Christmas dinner.

the cookie tray

We celebrated an early Christmas with the family because my brother and his family were going to be out of town during Christmas. What a fun time. We played one of the new games someone got as a gift called Reverse Charades. Don’t know if anyone has ever played it before but it was a total blast! Instead of one person acting out the word or phrase one person is the guesser and everyone else on the team acts it out. Think it’s easy? Nope, not at all. You can’t confer as a team to figure out what to do so each person just starts acting something out. As the guesser you have to try and figure out which person to watch because there is no way you can watch all of them. It was a wild time, my poor daughter got beat up a bit. My brother used her to demonstrate the Heimlich maneuver and wasn’t at all gentle. My son was swinging his arms around so much at one point his elbow clocked her in the jaw. If you are looking for a fun family game I highly recommend Reverse Charades.

reverse charades

Christmas Eve my daughter and I watched a bunch of Christmas movies starting with The Muppets Christmas Carol. Our tradition is to eat appetizers and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and my mom came over and watched the movie with us. I’m not even sure when we started this tradition but no matter how many times we watch the movie we always cry at the end. We really enjoy the quiet, stress free evening before the madness of Christmas day starts.
xmas eve movie

Muppets Christmas Carol

xmas eve snacks ashley cam

Snacks. Our favorite is cream cheese spread over thinly sliced deli beef and wrapped around a pickle sliver or green onion. Mmmmm….I had to make them three times this year. I made them for Thanksgiving and then had special requests for the family Christmas dinner and of course Christmas Eve. They are so addicting!

its a wonderful life xmas eve

It’s a Wonderful Life

Finally Christmas Day. After a hectic month which finally culminated in a lot of great gifts and a tasty dinner. My son gave me a new toy to play with this next year, an airbrush kit for my cakes. I can’t wait to try it out. I had wished I had one for the guitar cake I made and mentioned it at the time. Guess my son was paying attention.

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Christmas dinner. I love a pretty table don’t you?

So that’s my November/December round up. I really wished I had posted as time went along but I never seemed to have a spare moment. Hopefully this next year I’ll be able to post more regularly.

Hope everyone’s holiday was happy and you were able to spend it with family and friends. I hope the next year brings you continued happiness and prosperity.