This is our first real Christmas together and in our own home. Last year we had just gotten back from Afghanistan, so we drove back and forth half way across the country to see our families. This year we decided we'd stay in our own home. It was even more special being that it's Ethan's first Christmas.
Last year we started a tradition, like many families, to collect a yearly ornament for our tree. This year we decided this little rattle represented our year perfectly.
Here's another little ornament I picked up this year. I usually wait until after the holidays when things go on sale to restock my wrapping paper supply or add ornaments to the collection, but this one was just a dollar, so I couldn't resist.
We also started collecting Department 56 Christmas in the City village pieces last year too. The pieces we choose represent our lives as well, like the newly wed couple in the carriage, and the new dad passing out cigars. This year we are adding a fire station (I am a firefighter), radio station (Vince is a spectrum manager), and antique store that looks EXACTLY like one we visited on our trip to Pennsylvania. I'm hoping to also find one that depicts a nurse pushing a wheelchair with a mother holding her newborn. I'm pretty sure it's a retired piece though. Anyway, Vince and I both LOVE putting the little village scenes together. Vince even built a little snowy platform for them to nestle in this year complete with an asphalt road and cobblestone sidewalk. He used a bit of card stock rolled through the Cuttlebug with an embossing plate. It looks so cute!
Our collection outgrew the sofa table, so we had to make a second section up on top of the armoire.
I think next year I'll end up putting our village in the china cabinet though since little Ethan will surely be walking around by then. I'll be sure to start replacing all of our beautiful glass balls with plastic ones before the tree goes up again next year though. I'm sure we'll be able to pull them back out again someday!