Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The holidays, briefly

Christmas is always a whirlwind for us. We generally go to 5 different houses over the course of two days and the fact that everyone lives within 20 minutes of each other (but an hour away from us) is the only thing that makes it possible. We can't bear to cut it down because we love seeing everyone but I'll admit that I sometimes daydream about holing up in our apartment and doing absolutely nothing. This year I compromised and splurged on a hotel room for us on Christmas Eve. It was bittersweet, because it was the first year we didn't wake up at our parents' homes (yes, we've put that off for a looong time) but it felt right. And it was so much fun to grab a drink together in the hotel bar late on Christmas Eve and then get room service in the morning. A little bit of alone time was exactly what I needed in the midst of all the extended family togetherness.

wrapping cookies
{wrapping cookies}

xmas baking
{xmas baking}

gingerbread, terrarium
{gingerbread, terrarium}

christmas flowers
{christmas flowers}

christmas circe!
{christmas circe}

Christmas 2012 - cookies + champagne
{cookies + champagne}

California Christmas
{california christmas}

circe and rach, christmas 2012
{christmas walk}

NYE 2012
{NYE 2012 - at home}

I focused on keeping the holiday simple. I spent one day baking, which was amazing. I haven't had the luxury of that time the last few years and I made the most of it. I'd like to officially nominate Christmas to be on a Tuesday every year. We had holiday parties on Saturday and then Sunday was completely free for baking and wrapping and drinking egg nog. I still bought a few cookies to round out the selection but it was nice to have some of our family favorites in there.

We did very little shopping this year. D and I didn't exchange gifts and we only got a couple small things for family. It feels more peaceful this way and it lets us focus on spending time talking with people and just hanging out. And eating cookies, of course. Christmas is all about cookies.

We spent the in between week sleeping, hiking and getting a few meals out with friends. And we saw two movies, which is a crazy record for us. We have entire years where we haven't made it out to two movies together.

I feel like the new year always catches me by surprise. I don't like to make too many plans until the first day actually arrives, and then it takes me about a week of daydreaming before I'm ready to think about anything vaguely resembling a resolution. I'm hoping we can use this weekend to take stock of the year that just ended and talk about the year to come. And maybe I'll have that ready by next week.

In the meantime, I'm painfully aware of how I fell short on one of my resolutions last year, which was to post all my purchases. I have the items listed, but I need to pull posts together and then get up the courage to post them (it was a shopping heavy year) or admit defeat.


  1. Thats the orange circle, right? I went to school at Chapman.

    We are the same with movies. I saw 3 movies in the theater in all of 2012.

    1. It is! I grew up right by Chapman - how funny!

    2. I went to Chapman too and also recognized the circle! I've got to get back for a visit one of these days.

      This was my first year spending christmas eve at my own house and I LOVED it!

  2. I feel like the new year has caught me by surprise too. The whole last part of the year just went too fast.

    The picture with the white cabinet in the background, is this your house? Do you have a source on that cabinet?

    1. Hi, Kelly - It's my mom's house and the cabinet is from Ikea. I'm not sure which one it is, though!

  3. bah, let it go. we want to hear your new resolutions!

  4. i think staying in a hotel can be bittersweet but is worth every penny and minute alone, making for a happy holiday all together. and five houses - you guys are pros!

  5. I love your idea of staying in a hotel - what a private little luxury over the Christmas season! This year I saw a movie on Christmas Day which I haven't done in years and loved it!Happy New Year

  6. It's totally okay to not post your purchases. :) Who keeps their resolutions anyway?

    Sounds like a lovely, relaxing holiday. :)

  7. we saw 2 movies over the holidays too (this is 40 and les mis). spending quality time this season with the hubs was hugely uplifting. glad you were able to spend some alone time with him on christmas eve. xx

  8. this post is really beautiful, rachel! reflective and homey - you have a covetable life. :) happy new year!

    1. Thanks, dear - I mostly only post the nice parts, so it's probably not quite as covetable as it seems, but I can't complain!

  9. Ditto on Christmas being on a Tuesday. It was wonderful to have that prep time with Monday off! I think being in a hotel might be an awesome thing to try, after all the hustle and bustle of getting ready. And don't you just love the Orange Circle this time of year? :)

  10. Sounds like you guys had a lovely holiday!

    I baked. so. much. I would've enjoyed it much more if I hadn't had to squeeze it in to every spare moment I could find. Oh, and I did make eggnog. Alton Brown's recipe. I don't have any other recipes to compare it to, this being the first time I've made it, but it was tasty! (Though apparently my idea of strong on bourbon is different from everyone else's, because I had to add more to my glass...)

  11. I love your "purchased" posts! Please do a catch up xo

  12. It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas, relaxing with the family and eating endless gingerbread biscuits. Looks delightful!
    New Fashion Post on my blog:

  13. best wishes for the new year!

  14. Miss the loveliness you add to the daily humdrum.

  15. Rachel! Where are you? Miss you and your posts!

    1. Thanks, hon! I'm slammed at work! Hoping that things ease up enough that I can catch up with you guys soon. I miss being here.


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