This years celebrations were simple, but special. We had no family visiting, so it was just us. We usually dig our Yule tree, but the one we had last year didn't survive and our past Yule trees were all too big to dig. i went out looking for a live potted tree and came home with this small Norfolk Island pine, that i named Stanley. i was afraid the kids would be a little disappointed, because it was so small but they loved it. My daughter introduces everyone that walks in the house to Stanley. :) Norfolk Island Pines are native to the South Pacific and will not survive our cold winters, so Stanley is inside with us year round. i'm hoping i can keep him alive so we can spend next Yule with him as well.
In 2012, my girl received this doll house on the left from Santa (my mom found it at a garage sale), and less than a month later our house burned down and we lost everything including this dollhouse. Although Santa surprised my girl with a brand new wooden doll house the next year, she has never stopped talking about that old plastic doll house.
This was her santa letter that appeared in the paper Dec. 2013. They wrote them at school and they were published in the Floyd press. Although she received a new doll that year, she never really liked it. Every year since, she has asked for the giant dollhouse with dog and the accessories. i had looked for another one at the goodwill/garage sales, but since it was an older model used doll house i was unable to find it.
This year when it came time to making her list, she again asked for the giant dollhouse with dog and the accessories like she had before the fire. She is 10 years old, and i realized that in another year or two she'll be too old for dolls and dollhouses, so i started looking again and found the same style (different colors) on ebay. It didn't come with any furniture or accessories, but it was a start. i started checking the local thrift stores for barbie furniture and accessories and found a bag that contained a barbie dog, barbie puppy, a toilet and a few other accessories. Then i purchased a few pieces of furniture to go with it.
It was a bit challenging fitting all of our packages under such a small tree, but we managed. ;)
Now that she is 4 years older, the doll doesn't seem quite as giant but i think she loves it anyway. Even if just for the memories. i didn't want her only memory of that dollhouse be that she lost it. i'm hoping she can replace that memory with new ones now.
Many of our holiday traditions are a bit unconventional. We tend to add new ones each year. The last couple of years we started opening wizard crackers. Ours are not as fun as the ones at Hogwarts, but they are filled with treats and small toys. We also have a Christmas pickle, that we hide and who ever finds it gets an extra gift. This year, we went and saw the Nutcracker Ballet. It was a first, but i think we'll probably be making it a new tradition as well.
Our stockings and wizard crackers were filled with Jelly Slugs, Bertie Botts and doctor who mini-figures among other fun things. :)
We ended the evening with pumpkin pasties, chocolate frogs, warm mugs of butter beer and a Harry potter marathon. A wonderful end to a magical day.