Monday, December 9, 2013

The Grinch's Small Heart Grew Three Sizes That Day.

As winter is here (though to be a teacher for a second, it’s not technically here – December 21 is the official start of winter no matter what Facebook says) weather-wise, I’m starting to get into the holiday spirit.
There were so very Grinch-y moments for a while, as I scoffed at my neighbors who hung a slew of lights from their balconies the day of Thanksgiving (“Don’t they have food to be eating, instead of hanging this crap up?” I complained), didn’t want to get a tree (“What’s the point, it’ll just die anyway”), and had no desire to decorate my classrooms (“I’m terrible at decorating, sorry guys”).

C'est moi. I am beautiful.

Then the tides started to turn, and my little Grinch heart grew a few sizes.

It started with my work holiday party on December 6th (“It’s too early,” I had complained), which ended up being a phenomenal time. We always do a “white elephant” gift exchange, which is a riot.

Laughs during the White Elephant.

If you don’t know how to do a white elephant, it’s a very fun holiday party game – especially with coworkers. The rules are fairly simple:

1.       Everyone who wants to play brings a gift – the thing is, the gift should not be purchased. It should be something unused, or unbroken that you find from your house that someone else could use – so nothing really disgusting, but that frog cookie jar you got for Hanukkah two years ago and have in your closet? It’s perfect!

2.       Everyone gets a number 1- however many people are playing.

3.       Whoever is #1 gets to go up and pick any gift off the table. This gift is the White Elephant and cannot be opened until the very last round. Person 1 sits down with the White Elephant, and their turn is over.

4.       Person #2 (based off of the ticket) comes up. They have two options: they can either pick the unwrapped White Elephant and take their chances, or they can select a gift off the table to unwrap and hold onto. 

5. Person #3 and so on get to choose the White Elephant, any unwrapped gift that anyone else has picked, or an unwrapped gift to open and hold onto. 

6. Once everyone has gone, the White Elephant is opened and the game is over.

This year, I ended up with marmalade (oh joy), and Edwin got a Women's Health Pilates DVD. Other winners included 100 thread count, twin-sized holiday sheets, a bread maker, champagne, "My Life" by Bill Clinton, and so many others. 

Being around my coworkers in an out of work setting, and spending time talking about holiday plans definitely started putting me into more of a jolly spirit.

Guys, I'm telling you, as soon as I got to the tree lot, my bad and Grinchy mood melted away, and I became so overexcited to decorate, put up my cutie cute little tree, and bake an extreme amount of cookies.

Since then, I've been gradually holiday-ing my apartment, which includes taking off my fall wreath from my front door (to the happiness of my neighbors), and setting up my tree, which I am a little bit in love with.

So it's a start, but I am definitely getting more into the spirit (so much so that I'm planning on taking personal days this week and next to holiday shop!).

Each of the ornaments is something of meaning to me - there are ones from my childhood, and each year my mom buys me an ornament that has something to do with an accomplishment/passion for the year.

The garland is made from paper! My friend who I met when I was teaching in Uganda, Africa makes and sells garland, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. So cool and makes me reflect on my time in Africa.
My first ornament!

Decorations and holiday cheer around the house.

Decorating called for soup - something I've been doing a TON of lately. I'm loving making up recipes and throwing in any veggie I have on hand. Yum!

Perfect atmosphere for winter-y soup.

Anyone else experiencing holiday blues that have been turned around?
How do you prepare for the holidays/winter?

Currently listening to: Let Her Go - Passenger


Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

I love the decorations! And your outfit for the party - cute!

I hate Xmas music so I always get annoyed right around Thanksgiving when it starts getting overplayed. But then I saw a tree lot and want to get one and decorate badly!

Kathy @ Vodka and Soda said...

i love the decorations! i keep things simmered down until dec 1 and then it's all about christmas!

Vodka and Soda

The Dainty Dolls House said...

Your tree is precious, it's about the size of mine, I love it!! I think all the over-saturation of Christmas tends to bring out the grinch in me...haha. I feel there is no meaning left in it due to companies and greedy people. But, as long as I stay in my house and away from stores, then my Christmas spirit feels better. The little ornaments are sweet! And I like the present exchange it's very funny!! I hope you have a darling week sweets!! xx

IamSuperMelski said...

Oh what fun! By the way I love that Christmas tree, looks so adorable! And wow, that sugar cookie candle must smell soooo good!

HiFashion said...

The white elephant exchange sounds like so much fun. We have our work secret santa tomorrow, and we're all wearing Christmas jumpers too (which I have to somehow manage with a client meeting!!)

Sara Louise said...

You're one hawt looking Grinch, loving your party outfit lady!
And your home looks perfectly cozy and festive :) xo

lauren @ la petite fashionista said...

For some reason I've been EXTRA festive this year! i have to get pictures up on LPF, but kyle and i have been decorating like crazy. it's super festive in here :) my mom buys me an ornament each year too! such a great tradition

Elle Sees said...

i love how it turned out!! merry christmas to youuuuuuu, love!

Rebecca Harasym said...

Glad that your mood improved! My mood always goes up and down at this time of year too! Your holiday party looked and sounded like so much fun! Loved you outfit!


Jaime @ laviejaime said...

your tree is so cute! I haven't decorated as much this year as been too busy but i didn't get a mini tree too. happy holidays!

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

I absolutely love that outfit on you! Beautiful! your place is so cute! Almost Christmas break for you! eeek!