January 01, 2018

"Married" Christmas 2017

Chatwinners' First Christmas tree Our first Christmas

Married Christmas... Merry Christmas. Get it? :) Happy New Year, everyone! Before I have to go back to work tomorrow, I wanted to make sure I documented our first married Christmas. :)

I tried to persuade Stephen to let us get a REAL Christmas tree, but, alas, it didn't work... But at least we got our faux tree on a Black Friday sale, so I suppose that's something. :) We didn't want to put up just any ol' ornaments, so for the first week or two, our tree just had lights on it. And then Stephen found a set of vintage ornaments for sale! We quickly scooped them up. I was a little wary, but they turned out to be much cuter in person. :) We also added a few special ornaments to our tree:

  • a Hogwarts express ornament from our trip to Harry Potter World in early December
  • a golden snitch ornament (that we made from a keychain) from the same trip (in honor of our golden snitch wedding cake ball toppers)
  • a cute snowman made out of s'mores (because we had s'mores at our wedding)
And then, because, realistically, many of our coming Christmases will hopefully involve little Chatwinners at home, we bought a few felt plush ornaments from Target to round out our little tree. :) We also tried to make a DIY golden snitch tree topper, but we weren't able to figure out this year. We improvised with a Gryffindor beanie as a tree topper instead. (Thanks to my Reddit Secret Santa for the beanie!) The golden snitch will have to wait for Christmas 2018.

Oh, and please note on the photo above that shows our stockings.... You won't see a Y ornament. Why? Because Target is super LAME and doesn't sell them, that's why. I settled for a Z instead. Maybe next year... (Or maybe next year, we'll find cuter stockings elsewhere.)

Now for the actual Christmas celebrations. Christmas Eve was on a Sunday this year, and we started our day by worshiping with our congregation. The services were shortened for the day and primarily consisted of a musical Christmas program. The music was lovely, and my heart was touched by the Christmas spirit. After church, we came home and had our own little Christmas brunch. I made German pancakes with berry compote and fresh fruit on the side. I'd really love to have a dish that can become our traditional Christmas breakfast, and this recipe seems like a good contender, mostly because it's so easy AND delicious!

We drove up to my family's for Christmas Eve dinner. We celebrate on the 24th and open all our presents at midnight, and it was especially fun this year to celebrate with my baby nephew, who is now 15 months old and aware of what's going on around him. :) Christmas with kiddos is so fun!

Zavala Family Christmas 2017
The whole family! L-R: Daniel, Kim, Jasper, Stephen, me, Chris, Dad, Mom, Jason, Spencer (missing Jason's fiancée, Shirley)
Below: Mom's tree + Jasper with Tía Yándary y Tío Stephen
Connie's Christmas tree Jasper and Chatwinners

It started snowing while we were up in Ogden, so our drive home was slow, and we didn't get home until about 2:30am. We were high on Christmas spirit and opened our presents to each other when we got home. :) And we were maybe a little too excited, because we decided to open our Santa presents then, too! (Good thing Santa came to our house early this year!) My favorite thing about Christmas gifts is watching people open a gift I've picked out with such love and care just for them, so this part of our celebration was extra fun for me. And I must say, Stephen really knocked it out of the park! He's so thoughtful. :)

Christmas morning, we slept in until 10am. We decided Chatwinners stay in their Christmas PJs all day, so we bundled up and made our way over to Stephen's parents for Christmas Day celebrations. We also brought over our new ugly Christmas sweater, and everyone had fun taking turns to try it on.

Chatwinners in Christmas PJs Christmas sweater

We had Christmas breakfast and lunch, played lots and lots of board games, and once all the in-town grandkids had arrived, we opened presents. It was really fun to see the kids enjoying their gifts!

Ev and her horse GF pie Board game fun

Other activities we enjoyed on Christmas Day included going to Walgreen's to get me some Lactaid (oh, the joys of adult-onset lactose intolerance...) and napping in our Christmas jammies.  Well, at least Stephen did. ;)

Christmas Lactaid run Christmas napping

We ended the day at home watching one of our favorite movies. (I am proud to announce that we finished watching all eight Harry Potter movies over Christmas break AND Fantastic Beasts (Santa brought it for Stephen)!

Harry Potter Christmas

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