Season’s Greetings

xmas-card-4I was debating with myself whether it would make sense to send Christmas cards out this year so soon after sending Alexander’s birth announcements, but since it is his first Christmas, I didn’t want to miss the chance for marking this tiny milestone. I decided on designing them myself, like the announcements, and again printed them through VistaPrint. His adorable little gnome hat is from Hanna Andersson. And while “Peace on Earth” is a pretty general Christmas card greeting, it’s especially referential to the [ICONIC] Bing Crosby – David Bowie duet “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth”, a favorite of mine since I was a kid.xmas-card-6EH? So good. And, I feel like this is a really strong message right now, in light of recent political events. xmas-card-5The family photo was the tricky part though. We had the tiniest window for everything to go smoothly, as the cat was in her reindeer antlers, which she hates, and Alex had just woken up from a nap and had *not* had a clean diaper put on. Whoops. Plus I was controlling the camera from my phone! It was uber stress. So, I scrapped the original card design I had planned and stuck our photo on the back. xmascard-1xmascard-2

O Christmas Tree!

christmas2016-13Sometimes I start to think “oh my gosh, people are probably wondering why I haven’t blogged about [this] or [that]” and then I realize that NOBODY CARES… This blog is more for me than anyone else. So, I APOLOGIZE that my post on my Christmas decorations is so much later than usual. Dedicated readers of this blog know that as soon as the clock strikes midnight on the day after Thanksgiving I already have everything all up and ready to go and the cookies are in the oven. christmas2016-2I’ve managed to listen to all of my fav Christmas albums — several times over in fact — but the house decorations are not as elaborate as in years past. Things are a bit more subtle this year, mainly due to the fact that we got a real live Christmas tree and that changed the whole dynamic. christmas2016-3christmas2016-4christmas2016-5christmas2016-6It’s also been mega dreary around here lately, and no snow, so my house is dark af. My cozy german hymns would keep me warm except they just make me wistful for true winter weather.

I’ve also decided against getting a ton of greenery, like I did last year. Eh. It’s work, and it’s messy, and I got a baby. Ain’t nobody got time for that. This has been an extremely transitional year. Next year Christmas will be a much livelier affair.christmas2016-7christmas2016-8christmas2016-9christmas2016-10I love this tree. It’s kinda scrappy and with the big lights and comically tall treetop and gold star, the whole thing is very charming. Plus it just feels good having a real tree in the house. I can’t remember when we started cutting our own tree in my parents’ house, but it’s been a long time. christmas2016-15christmas2016-16But what about your beloved vintage aluminum tree? You find yourself asking. I found a pretty good home for it:christmas2016-18The most fitting place for it, actually. It looks great in the ultra mid-century modern basement, next to that sexy danish modern couch, underneath the cheeky cardboard deer head. Unh, I love it when stuff comes together like this. I even got a mini tree skirt so it wouldn’t scratch up our fancy reclaimed wood side table.christmas2016-19And then, the setup in my office has always been this tiny silver tree from Target wrapped in simple twinkle lights. This candle has an excellent pine smell. I had one last year and I burned through it quite fast so I re-upped this year in a bigger size.

Merry Christmas from the Hendo-Royces

XMASWEEK-12I’ve been largely inconsistent with sending out Christmas cards since I moved out of my parents’ house. It’s been a mixture of buckling down and designing, printing and sending them out. Other years I’m like “whatever” and just put a thing on Facebook. My mom has had a long, long, long tradition of making a new card every year from scratch and since she’s from the old days, most times she did them all by hand, for like a million people. I tried doing a version of that, but found that to actually get in the way of doing cards at all. There’s enough to do during the holidays  already, ya know?

So, this year, since I have a great camera & a little more money than usual, I decided to let someone else do most the work for me. Luckily there’s just so many great companies these days who have excellent designs and print capabilities. I decided to go through Artifact Uprising. They have really cool minimal (almost anti-holiday) designs and the turnaround time was super quick. PLUS they send you envelopes too, which saved me a trip to Paper Source. Hooray! XMASWEEK-11I took the photo of us while we were at Lutsen two weekends ago. While it was pretty slushy up there, we did get lucky one morning when there was a dusting of snow. The snow was literally melting while we were taking our picture. I wanted to do devil horns, but we settled for black and white punk rock t-shirts (although mine is more like, a t-shirt about berserkers, to go with my tattoo.) BTW the t-shirt Alan has on in the softest t-shirt there ever was. He always has the softest t-shirts. LUTSEN2K15-1

Obviously it’s too late for this year, but next time you’re in the market to get some nice cards made, Artifact Uprising is a great choice if you like clean and minimal designs. Minted & Tiny Prints are some other options with a seemingly never-ending variety of designs.  Paperless Post  feature designs from real designers!

Merry Christmas, wherever you are, whoever you are.

Christmas Wrapping

WRAPPING-2I am the (or a) middle child in my family (of 4 siblings). My older sister, who is in the middle with me, is quite traditional in many ways. But I have made it my life’s mission to stand out as much as possible in my family. Not out of spite, probably, but just like, because I want everyone to think I’m weird.

This is especially true at Christmas. Long ago I stopped buying regular Christmas wrapping paper in favor for making my own (like one year I made a lino cut and stamped kraft paper). Other years I’ve done plain white, or black with white crosses. This year I have ALL these Stendig calendar pages. They’ve been sitting in my closet, some for a whole year, waiting to be used. What better way to leave my mark on this Christmas by crowding the tree with a display of black and white typography? WRAPPING-3I also hate wrapping presents, it should be noted. The least amount of effort I can put in is preferable. Of course a festive red bow would be very complementary but ehhhh, too lazy. WRAPPING-4My office scissors are from IKEA, of all places. WRAPPING-1The problem with these pages is that it’s much thicker than regular wrapping paper, and I don’t like using regular tape; I use washi duct tape. Anyway, the presents don’t like to stay super wrapped.

Alan isn’t anal about how his presents are wrapped, so, bless him, he has to buy his own paper at the store, which I think is really sweet and adorable (since he didn’t really grow up celebrating Christmas. He does this all for me. Awwwww).

BTW, if you’re looking for one of these calendars, they are way sold out. I tried to warn you. Better luck next year.

Christmas Shindig

XMASWEEK-1On Saturday we did a new thing: throw a grown up holiday party! We cooked food and made a display, and had a few special drinks. Of course it ended like a normal party at our house though, with a few stragglers falling asleep on the couch and/or guest bed. It’s just nice to have the house full of lights, smells and the sounds of friends you love dearly. The part was in the Swedish tradition of solstice, with a emphasis on Hygge. We even had glögg! While it didn’t snow, it was cold, which was good enough. We’d been having some sort of December monsoon (having it right now as a matter of fact). With a fire going in the back yard all night though, you couldn’t tell the difference. It was enough to make the season merry and bright. I took a few “before” photos. My friend Jen said it felt like Christmas Eve. #missionaccomplished.

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Suffice to say, I had an epic hangover the next day, and I swear I am not drinking ever again, for real. Glögg is good, though! XMASWEEK-6XMASWEEK-9XMASWEEK-7I had Christmas hymns from hundreds of years ago playing, and every candle in the house lit. It was truly my love letter to December and I had a lot of help putting it together. Even though the party and theme was my idea, Alan really dove in and brought some great ideas to the table (he took it upon himself to infuse some vodka we used for punch. It was *sick*) and he put up lights in the back yard! My bff Jen and her boyfriend Andy also came over to help prep. It was a real adult soiree! Until, you know, we all got super tips. Skål!

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