Tuesday, December 31, 2013

We Love Christmas!


We Love Christmas!  That's what the Christmas card that Tom and I chose said because we really do love Christmas!  We genuinely enjoy listening to Christmas music (some of our favorites this year included the Christmas music from Michael Buble, Colbie Colait, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, the Carpenters, and more!)  We also went to cut down our own tree at Zuhoski farm in Cutchogue and went to two tree lightings (one in Southold and one at Old Westbury Gardens).  We absolutely love our Christmas village which we started collecting in 2009.  Tom bought me my first building for Christmas the year we met and now our village will definitely be a part of our yearly traditions.  We have a  church, train station, a candy shop, a barn, a house with a family decorating their tree, a school, a bridal shop, and a veterinary office.   We also have a ton of little accessories.  Tom and I often like to shut off all the lights and just sit and look at our village.  It is really filled with Christmas magic!
Zuhoski Farm

Our Tree
Riding deep into the tree farm

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Getting it home in our truck

Tom getting ready to cut it down!
All decorated!

Christmas Eve this year we spent at my father-in-law's house.  The tree was filled with presents galore and I loved watching my nephews' faces light up with excitement when they saw the mound of presents.  Tom and I both got new jackets from my sister-in-law and her family which we were in desperate need of.  We enjoyed giving our nephews a Home Depot landscaping set, a Monster Truck set, and some books (I guess I am going to be that teacher relative to these boys, who always gives books!)  We had delicious stuffed shells for dinner and I made a bunch of Christmas cookies that morning for dessert, which we brought along with some anisette cookies.  Overall, Christmas Eve was so much fun!
Tom's new jacket

Christmas Eve

Our tree on Christmas morning
Christmas morning Tom and I exchanged our gifts for each other.  There is no one I enjoy shopping more for than Tom.  He genuinely gets so excited by whatever I give him no matter how big or small the gift is.  I gave Tom a new model of a Jeff Gordon race car, his favorite Nascar driver.  Some of his other favorites from me included a chain saw, a shirt from the guys on HGTV's "Kitchen Cousins and Cousins Undercover," and Cub Cadet tractor manuals.  Some of my favorite gifts that I got from Tom included a cook book from Ree Drummond (we are obsessed with watching "The Pioneer Woman" on the Food Network.  She lives on a ranch with her husband, four kids, and their dogs.  She has hounds which are similar to Tom's beagle Indy, so we are big fans of the show.  She also is very well known for her blog, which is part of what inspired me to start blogging again), new sweaters, yarn and the biggest surprise of all, an I-phone!  I have been dying for a smartphone forever, but we had been putting it off not wanting to add to our bill.  I have to say though, Tom is totally getting his money worth.  I am pretty obsessed with and have been enjoying all that it can do.  I love all the money saving apps, like Target's cartwheel, Shopkick, and Snip Snap.  I am also embarrassed to admit that I had to see what all the Candy Crush craziness was about.  I am sure people have since moved on to other games, but Candy Crush is pretty addicting (as evident by my legs falling completely asleep in bed this morning) as I tried to beat the level I am currently stuck on.

After our gift exchange, we went to Good Shepherd Church in Holbrook with Tom's dad for Christmas morning mass.  There is something magical about the church on Christmas.  Tom and I both grin like little kids when we see baby Jesus finally put in the manger.  We love seeing the church all decorated looking just like it did when we got married.  We sang along with all of the Christmas songs throughout the Mass.  But there was one more moment that was really my all-time favorite.  Christmas morning while I was waiting for Tom to wake up, I was thinking about my mom and how much I miss her at the holidays.  I was talking to her in my head and asking her for some type of sign that she was with me.  A few years ago, I had a similar Christmas conversation with my mom while I was wrapping presents.  I was missing her really badly and asked to see something.  As I dug through the box of gift tags, I found one filled out in my mom's handwriting.  It said "To: Jamie Love: Mommy"  I couldn't believe it because she had passed away a few years ago and I had never noticed this before.  I am assuming she filled out years prior and had never used it but it felt so good to find it when I needed it.  So anyway, this Christmas morning I was wishing badly for something.  When Tom and I walked into church, the ushers asked us if we would like to bring up the gifts to the altar.  We said yes and I knew that was my sign.  Out of all those people it was so special for Tom and I to be picked on Christmas. What really solidified it though was the very first time I brought Tom with me to Good Shepherd, we had only been dating a few weeks.  The ushers at that Mass came up to us and asked us if we would like to bring up the gifts.  As we walked down the aisle together that day, I knew after only knowing Tom for a short time, that I would someday walk down that aisle on my way to marry him.  So that was my Christmas gift from my mom this year.
A Handmade Quilt from the tree lighting in Southold

After church, we went to Tom's uncle's house for dinner.  We had a nice meal, but the best part by far was the children put on a nativity play.  It was so cute and sweet and a great reminder of what Christmas is all about.  My nephews played Joseph and a shepherd and the play was so funny and endearing all at the same time.  After, dinner, we came back to our apartment and had dessert with my dad, my brother Eric and his new fiancee Patti, Tom's dad, and his sister, brother-in-law, and our two nephews.  We just enjoyed relaxing together and watched a Christmas light show on TV.  We exchanged gifts and had some yummy dessert.  Tom has been dying to get a train for our village that is the old fashion electric type with a remote control.  We've been using a little battery operated one, but it doesn't have that classic feel that Tom was looking for.  My dad surprised Tom with a set that was just what he was looking for, so I really enjoyed seeing him get that.  Our village is going to be the best ever by next year.
Patti & Eric

All in all, that is why "We Love Christmas."  It was a great season of memories, love, family, friendship, and faith.  I am sad that the season is over now, but I am looking forward to the new year.  I am really hoping we will be able to get in our new house soon!  We are eagerly awaiting a closing date, but things seem to have slowed down because of the holiday season.  Say a little prayer that we hear soon!

 Some extra pictures from the Southold & Old Westbury Tree Lightings!  We love old fashion villages!



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