Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sharing Christmas 2012: Link Up Party!

Hi everyone!

I'm so excited to share Christmas with you all! I can't wait to see all your homes and traditions, and I'm thrilled to share some of ours with you as well. Please join in the fun and link up below...(you'll have to scroll through 1,837 Piper photos, but I swear the links are down there!) and make sure to check out the other Sharing Christmas Hosts, as well as the rest of the link up participants!

Jen- Migonis Home, Kacia- Coconut Robot, Shannon- The Scribble Pad,

As for us Bowdens-This will be our fifth Christmas season in this house, which is almost impossible for me to believe. We are getting OLD. (Ummm...and so is our house. This will be our house's 87th Christmas!) We did the decorating thing full-on our first year here, but since then we've more or less opted out. I won't bore you with my retailer's sob story of why I'm such a curmudgeon...because this year we're back on the wagon. And the wagon has a tree. (what?)

Yep. We succumbed to the parental pressure. No, not from our parents...the pressure of being a parent. What kind of parents don't take their little to pick out a tree? And put up stockings? And share Christmas with them?! Not this kind.

So we are going for it this year. We're continuing traditions, and making memories. BUT we're also keeping it pretty simple. I want to show Piper how special this season can be, but I don't want to go over the top with all the trimmings, and miss what really matters to us. So we opt in and opt out. We opt in to the things we love, and opt out of the things we don't. Simple as that.

Interested in some things we're choosing to enjoy this year? Prepare yourself for the photo onslaught!

Getting a Christmas tree. I have countless memories of going to pick out a tree with my family, and was excited to start that tradition with Piper. We didn't trudge through the snow covered hills to cut down an epic evergreen....But we did go out together to get a real live tree...and enjoyed some real live cookies!

The outfit, you guys. It's probably wrong to love something so much.

We got a lovely little tree, which sat undecorated for a couple nights...until Dustin finally led the charge to deck it out. Turns out he might have a future in this tree trimming business!

(YES! That is a grilled cheese ornament!! And I'm just a little bit obsessed with it.)

One of my favorite, favorite things about Christmas-time is Christmas cards. We haven't pulled our act together to actually do our own card this year (and I'm not positive if we will!), but I'm still LOVING getting them from others. Piper doesn't really "get" much of this Christmas stuff, but she loves to help me open the mail, and look at all the pretty pictures our friends send. She grabs each card, and carries "her friends" around the house with her, pointing out all the babies and doggies she can find.

No pinterest worthy display method...just a big bowl of smiles.

And because I'm getting so old, I can't even remember if I've already shared this idea...But I punched holes in all of our cards from previous years, and tied them together so we can flip through them each year. Those books go in the bowl too, so we have three years worth of Season's Greetings at our fingertips.

Another biggie on the tradition front? Seeing Santa!

Piper got to meet the big guy last year, and it went pretty well (please look at those photos...and then tell me where my baby went? It has to be more than a year ago, no?!) I had no delusions that this year would be as successful...But was committed to going anyway, and getting a photo to commemorate the occasion- no matter how traumatic. And OH...traumatic it was.

We're talking red-faced, shoe-kicking, terror.

But I kept snapping away, knowing it wasn't anything a balloon animal penguin couldn't fix....

 See? We're not terrible parents! She's even still speaking to us! 
(maybe because she can't actually talk yet.)

So those are the biggies, but in the spirit of keeping things real, (though it doesn't get much more real than that Santa photo) I want to share some of our more low key Christmas rituals. Nothing earth shattering, or magically fantastical...just us. On the rug. Reading books, and playing with little people toys.

Some favs.

She flips pages at blinding speed, pausing only to point at random illustrations, and tell you that any animal pictured sounds like "oooh oooh oooh" (her monkey noise). I'm just happy she hasn't eaten the books yet. 

And we're big into the Little People nativity scene around here. 

Sometimes we get it right, and put the angel on the top of the stable...

Sometimes we get REALLY excited about cuddling the piggie... 

And sometimes we just play with the container instead...

It's not all perfect photo-ops, grandiose events and delicious homemade baked goods around here ('s not really any of those things)...

But we do have footie jammies and a tiny baby Jesus. Which is as perfect, grandiose, and delicious as it gets if you ask me.

Merry Christmas everyone!


  1. i LOVE this! i love how simple it is! seems much like us. the picture with santa is incredible and i literally had my mouth open at your christmas cards of past years idea! such a cool plan! i might need to steal that from you. :) love doing this today.
    {also: we are huge little people nativity lovers, too. i wrote my post close to midnight last night and am realizing today that i forgot a few key things. oh well! #showyourreal right?}

    1. thanks Jules! You can totally steal the book of cards idea...I can't even remember where I stole it from originally!

  2. Trey was very concerned about Piper's sad face...then he wanted a penguin balloon. All is well.

  3. I don't know which I'm dying harder over: tiny moccasins that look like wee elf shoes, or those itty bitty footie pajamas! ARGH!

  4. Yay - just found your blog through the link up. Your sweet girl is a doll. We caved in to decorating this year too (last year I skipped it since I was pregnant). Looks lovely!

    1. thanks for stopping by Lindsey! And don't worry....I'm a "safe zone" for those who don't decorate. No judgement!

  5. The Santa shots were HYSTERICAL. And I'm in love with her little moccasin boots... I'm having a girl at the beginning of April and I am having a blast looking at all of the little girl clothes out there!
    We display our Christmas cards in a glass vase as well and my son loves going over to them every morning, afternoon and night to look at the kids and babies on the cards. :)
    Jen @

    1. Hi Jen! girl's clothes are so fun...and addicting- you've been warned!

  6. what!?!? No photos of the live nativity!?!?!

    1. oh man. I'll have to show you sometime. Babydoll Jesus. Sketchy goat.

  7. Oh the Santa picture - it's almost better than if she sat there smiling - it will be remembered forever.

  8. love the tree, the santa pics and Piper just rocks! what a sweetiekins- maybe I'll get around to sharing.... lol

  9. The Bowdens never disappoint when it comes to sharing Christmas (or much else for that matter)! Love that you let Piper "cry it out" on Santa's lap! A little Santa trauma never hurt anybody is what I always say! I am totally stealing your idea to display Christmas cards year after year! Love it. I finally got around to sharing our humble a little carried away with all the prep and clean up over here! Hope your sweet little family had the very merriest of Christmases this year!

    1. You're totally right...Santa won't ACTUALLY hurt you. He'll just scare the crap out of you. Temporary harm.....worth it.