After spending three Christmas holidays in Europe, I was ready to enjoy all of the Christmas activities in the US! I definitely missed Christmas markets, but I took advantage of light displays, Christmas parties, church productions, etc. The whole month of December was full of Christmas fun.
Surprising my mama in Nashville for her annual Christmas Open House was so fun! You can tell that gingerbread men are her favorite!
Can you say Christmas Flare?!?!?
You may remember this face from my trip to Lisbon, Portugal in January 2015. We finally got to hang out for a second time in his new home…Nashville! AND I got to meet his lovely wife! I introduced them to Calypso Cafe.
Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Gardens was so beautiful! Going with so many fun friends made the night even more wonderful!
The photo quality may be poor in this photo, but all 11 of us are in a snow globe!!
Me and my fancy friend, Willis! Both sportin’ our Christmas bling!
Vevey reunion in St. Louis!
We did not plan to wear our best Christmas accessories, but a Christmas party following the lights at the Botanical Garden seemed like a good reason to do so!
This little guy is not so little any more! Loved spending an evening with his mom and sisters at “The Journey to Bethlehem” – an interactive recreation of the Christmas story.
The Journey to Bethlehem ends with cookies and hot chocolate – just like Mary & Joseph would have experienced long ago. This girl was one of my first St. Louis friends in 2007. I’m grateful we still get to do fun things together!
No Christmas season is complete without iced sugar cookies! I made A LOT of them and took them along to all of my parties throughout the month.
My office had a door / cube decorating contest. My team went in together to create a gingerbread neighborhood, and we won!!
Santa and his elf judged the competition.
Our House Church Christmas Party! Another excuse to wear my light-up necklace and Santa hat! And yes, Biscuit the dog regularly attends our weekly meetings.
An evening at Powell Symphony Hall for their annual Christmas show was delightful…even if we had to drive in scary icy road conditions to attend!
I just loved the decorations in the neighborhood. Made walking to the grocery store more exciting!
Decorating my new home was fun, too! Most exciting was having a full-size Christmas tree!
I send a lot of Christmas cards each year. (I think the count was up to 355 in 2016!) I don’t receive quite that many in return, but I do get a lot. They typically remain on display until February, because I love them so much!!
I spent about five days in Nashville over the Christmas weekend. We did so many fun things…
Lunch with a college friend from Miami University
A visit to the Belmont Mansion, which was decorated for Christmas!
BBQ at Jack’s – one of my favorite spots in town!
Amy Grant & Vince Gill’s annual Christmas concert at the Ryman Auditorium!
Amy hula hooped during the concert!!!
An evening at Cheekwood (Nashville’s botanical garden) for their annual light festival! Also saw the largest poinsettia tree I’ve ever seen!
This excursion provided yet another opportunity for me to wear my giant light-up necklace! And yes, my mom has a matching one!
Our family’s Christmas eve tradition – a Happy Birthday Jesus cake!
We hosted a party on Christmas for about 16 people. We ate good food and played games. Every few years, my mom busts out the infamous Mrs. Claus sweater (complete with ostrich feathers). This year was just such a year.
Spent Christmas morning at a beautiful church service.
And wrapped up the Christmas festivities with a visit from a friend who still lives in Switzerland! She was in St. Louis with a friend for a concert, and we gathered another Vevey alumnus for a meal at The Block.
I’m not sure I could’ve squeezed one more activity, meal, or gift into the month of December! I did my best to make the most of my first Christmas back in the US, and I definitely had a fun time doing it!