A Very Beary Christmas

christmas treemantle

So, I’ve obviously been a little busy, but I’ve had these photos marked to post for some time now and I’m just getting around to it. This is how we did our first Christmas living together. First, we decorated. Big time. There was not one room in the house that didn’t have a touch of the holiday spirit. We went all out.

The tree and skirt were his Grandmother’s, who passed them down to his brother, who passed them down to us when he and his wife upgraded to a real tree last year. A set of ornaments was also passed down from Bear’s brother, but I had a TON of my own. Some from my solo trees from recent years passed, some from my parents’ tree, and some from my dad’s tree when he was a little boy. A little bit of trivia: My family is a sentimental bunch. I’ve watched (and helped) my Dad unwrap ornament after ornament over the years, exclaiming with each one “Oh! This is from our first Christmas after we got married,” or “Your aunt gave this to you when you turned five,” or “Do you remember making this in Girl Scouts,” etc… You get the picture. This year it was my turn, to carefully unwrap ornament after ornament and tell Bear where it came from and why it was special. (He didn’t get too bored of it since we had Christmas Vacation on in the background.)

We wound garland through the stair rail and placed it on the bar area. We set up Charlie Brown’s tree on my Grandmother’s sewing table. I put garland with lights and ribbon on top of the mantle with my two nutcrackers. We hung our stockings by the chimney with care. (Those are going next year! I’m not a huge fan of felt. Felt! So cheap and yucky… But we made them last year at his apartment, so it’s only fair they at least make it to Christmas in our first house.)

Because it is our first house, even though we are renting, I got a wild hair (again from Pinterest) to make a commemorative ornament out of salt dough. The recipe is simple.

– 1 cup salt

– 1 cup flour

– 1 cup water (add it gradually)

Then I just took our house key and made a deep impression in a cookie, poked a hole and baked. Since there was plenty of extra dough, I also made ornaments to tie on to everyone else’s presents too. (Presents wrapped with ornaments dangling from them look soooo Martha Stewart and never go unnoticed!)  Here are the completed ornaments:

salt dough ornaments

Finally, I used the same cookie cutters as the salt dough and prepared some SUPERB Christmas cookies. Bear and I were supposed to do this together, but I encouraged him to have a guys’ night since  his birthday is Christmas Eve. So, on 12/23/2012, I baked and watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” and Bear got to go actually live a wonderful life. (I’m a pretty cool fiance. What can I say?)

The sugar cookie recipe was pretty easy too. (Little tip: I ALWAYS take cookies out about 1-2 minutes before they tell you too. Then they’re always soft.) After they cooled, I decorated them with chocolate, sprinkles, icing, and the works. Here they are:

christmas cookies

Big Bear returned Christmas Eve morning from his most epic of guys nights and came to the front door with my Christmas gift in hand. (Probably was feeling a bit guilty about leaving me cooking all alone, the sweet little thing.) Anyway, in case any of you ladies are curious about that… I have a photo of it as well:

pearl and diamond necklace

I love it! He’s a spoiler, that Bear! And one more photo for good measure, this the Big Bear and his Hunny ringing in the new year:

new years


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