We had a very nice Christmas this year.  
Our new camera has a remote… so we use it on a tripod to take our family photo.  We must have taken over 70 shots and I still had to photoshop two together.  It’s too hard to get six people to look at the camera at the same time.  I really need to live somewhere long enough to make a friend that  I can ask to trade family photo taking at Christmas with me.  I want someone to make us stand close together.. etc.
We opened presents on the Sunday afternoon before Christmas.. so we could enjoy our gifts on our trip.  We did have a couple of surprises this year.  If we hadn’t traded names with my sisters. we probably wouldn’t have had a gift each.. it was fun having actual gifts this year and not just checks.

I got to put one gift under the tree that no one knew who it was for or what it was.  Princess J rapped her gift the minute before we opened them… she didn’t bother to use tape.  
I took photos of our decorations because we move so much that it’s hard to remember where the decorations go in the new house.

Most of our decorations went in the music room because it was the only room we could squeeze them in.

I have a collection of little trees now.  The one on the piano was a gift from Suzanne.
The one on the dresser above I got at a garage sale for 25 cents last Christmas.. it was our only tree last year.

This one Nancy gave us when we went to Thailand so we could have a tree there.
The white nativity set I got at Good Will last year.  I keep it up all year.

Our FL house had two front doors… So I put one of my wreaths on my sunroom door.

We’ve had this nativity set for many years… I love it’s ruggedness.

Here is the wreath I kept for my one front door this year.

Mom made us this advent calendar years ago.  The kids still enjoy moving the star across the days each December.

A homeschool friend in SA made this cute snowman quilt for me.

Suzanne sent me this little tricycle potter for my birthday.. I thought the poinsettias looked perfect in there.

I was so glad to have a tree again after no tree last year.  I was smiling all of December.   A friend in FL learned a cool decorating trick from a magazine article last year that I tried out this year.  Instead of stringing the lights round and round your tree you section your tree into little pyramids and do one section at a time.  It was much easier than going round and round but I ran out of lights… I went to 7 different stores to try to find blue and white lights to finish my tree.  I ended up having to buy a strand of white and a strand of blue.  The last strand of blue didn’t flash… I still thought it looked great and it was easy to take the lights down.
Photographing the tree was difficult.  

I was sorry there wasn’t room for our tree near the fire, but it was still fun to sit and enjoy the lights for a little while before bed each night and it was the first time we had had a tree in a front window since before Princess J was born.