Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Joyful madness.

Oooo, it's been such a wonderful mad rush these last few days.  
Cooking, and baking, and wrapping, and company parties, and family in town, and light-seeing, and, and, and ...
We're really enjoying these magical days leading up to Christmas.  
There is nothing sweeter than having a small child in the house at Christmas time ... so delightful.  Even a small child who no longer believes in you-know-who (but says he still wants to try.  How sweet is that?)  
Have I told you the story of FinnigantheCurious and the "Santa Talk?"  I'll go back and see if I told you last year.  It is too hilarious, but I really don't have time for my usual blathering.  It's almost midnight and I can barely keep my eyes open, so just a few pictures and hopefully more tomorrow.

 This begat ...

A rare meat dish.  Rosemary infused chicken and dumplings.  
Cozy and delicious!  
The boy ran screaming from it in horror, but Jackdaddy and I quite enjoyed it.

I never made it to the store to get postal wrap to go with those adorable new tags I bought.  Just dug out last year's wrap and my gift bag stash.  
Oh well, maybe next year I'll "Martha" up the packages.

The world's most awesome advent calendar, if I do say so myself.   
I made it out of matchboxes.  
It's beyond cool, but a total bitch to make.  I really don't recommend attempting one unless you have a little self-punishment thing going on.  
Look at that tiny howling wolf I added to the top this year ... could you die with the cuteness?!

Advent booty.  
Not shown in photo:  Whoopie Cushion, Can of Snakes, Shock Gum, and a battery-operated crawling roach.  (VERY lifelike.  Freaks us all out.)  
Such are the things one puts in an advent calendar for a 7-year-old boy child. 
If the toy doesn't fit in the calendar, I put a little note in there with some directions.  I hide them all over the house and he has to go find them.  He LOVES the days with a note.

I hope you're enjoying the season and not getting all stressed up and out.  I always feel so badly for people who say the holidays are stressful and chaotic.  I don't know why they're not for me, but if they are for you, I wish you a big pot of tea and some cozy socks!  I give you permission to not do it all.  Or any of it, for that damn matter!

Party on, Wayne.

PS  Today is Hanukkah!  Many blessings to all my wonderful Jewish friends.  
Personally, my favorite thing about Hanukkah is watching Adam Sandler sing his famous "Hanukkah Song."  
If you've never ... you MUST:


  1. FinnegantheCurious just may have the best Mom in the whole world.

    The matchbox advent calendar looks very antique. Love the papers that you used and the old time type numbers.

    And the rosemary chicken and dumplings look devine ...

    Joy to you and yours!

  2. I love, love the matchbox advent calendar! You are so talented. And I'm envious of the treasures from it. especially the cockroach which our cats would just die for... They bring us real ones - luckily intact!

    Haooy Solstice!

  3. How funny, I posted the Adam Sandler Hanukkah song yesterday, too! Love it.

    I love your advent calendar. I think I will make one next year!

    I agree about the holidays. I love every day leading up to the big one. It's so much fun to think of the perfect gifts for all my loved ones, make lots of Christmas crafts with my crafting buddies, and decorate our home--not to mention the yummy smells wafting out of all the kitchens!

    Today my house is sparkling clean and ready for company. Now for just a bit more wrapping...

    Merry Christmas, Holts!

  4. Can you give some very basic how-to info on the advent calendar? Looks like you also used contact or sticky paper inside matchboxes, which I assume are the large ones. How did you make the jingle bell pulls stay on?? I'm guessing you poked a hole and then 'sewed' it on? Glue in between all the boxes with a large outer wrap of duct tape? And finally...without kids to to suprise for 24 days...would this be as much fun?? ;-) I think so. Also, please share that recipe...every dumpling recipe I know calls for a closed lid. Looks wonderful! Merry Christmas!!

  5. Nancy, oh our kitty LOVES the roach too. I got him, the roach, at Terra Toys.

    Nell, you are THE best crafter. My house is so not clean. Sigh.

    Sandy, Thank you! Joy right back to you!

    Kat, I'll go back and look at my pictures. I glued them together and then wrapped the whole thing with the paper for more stability. I lined SOME of the boxes and then it got beyond tedious so I quit. Ha. The bells are attached with tiny wires. Each bell has a little holder thingee and the wire goes through it and then inside the box then pressed down. HELL yea it would be fun without a kid! Would be totally fun to do it for a spouse. You could trade days! I will send you the recipe. You actually bake this! in the oven with lid on and some off. It was very easy though. oxox

  6. Your days are so magical - love that you share it with us! oxxo

  7. Happy days. I love sharing your spirit with me. You bring me such cheer and inspiration to do more.
    ms mdd

  8. I vote for you and your family to get the Mostest, Bestest family of the Year!!!!

    PLEASE GIVE ALL OF US THE CHICKKEN AND DUMPLINGS RECIPE!!!!! We are not vegetarians that that looks wonderful!!!

    We have put up an inside tree with lights and hung some white lights outside so I felt good about decorating but after seeing yours............


  9. I love the Advent calendar, too. Why didn't I ever think of that? I had advent calendars when I was little, and got them for the girls, too (with the pictures, not chocolates). Your advent calendar reminds me of what I did for Tooth Fairy (has Finn finished losing teeth?). I bought a cute little cloth pillow (2"x2") with a yarn fairy on it. For each tooth, the Tooth Fairy would contribute a quarter ('cause I'm cheap and thought that lots of money is too over the top) and also some little token like the ones you put in the advent calendar. Tesoros (when it was on Congress Ave.) had some of the best things, like a teeny-tiny jackknife; gems; etc. No creepy bugs.

    I love the melting snowman cookies, too. GOD JUL!!!

    Love, Nan

  10. P.S. I love the paper you used on the advent calendar matchboxes. The whole thing looks wonderfully aged, like some antique treasure from granny's attic. Just love it.

  11. Ms Mudd - YOU inspire me, darling!

    MMQC - I will post the dumpling recipe soon soon! My house looks lovely up close in pictures. In real life...not so much. Heeeee

    Nan- I never had an advent calendar or a stocking!! It's been fun having one for Finn, but I'll tell ya, it's some extree work with all those days of treats. LOVE your Tooth Fairy idea and LOVE Tesoras.

    Nell - Oh THANK YOU! That's just what it's supposed to look like!

  12. OMG, girl, you are so awesome! That matchbook Advent Calendar is so fantastic...I think I will have to try it for next year! The notes inside is a great idea...I KNOW he just loves looking for his surprises!!! Hope the Holt family has a wonderful Christmas weekend!
    xoxo- Julie

  13. Ok, I L.O.V.E. that advent calendar. It's just perfect! Looks like your holidays were full of all the good things this year!


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