December 30, 2012

Holiday Bits & Photos


As the holidays come to a close this year, we wanted to take the opportunity to share a few more pics from the first big Christmas we hosted in our house. You can see all our holiday decorations here and today we wanted to post a few random bits and pieces along with some family shots to help remember this holiday season.

We've been excited to get a tree up in this house. This one came from Farm to Family and made the house smell so good every time we'd walk into the home from being away. I had gotten the tree into the stand and in the house, then Mary wrapped all the lights around it — then we put all the ornaments and finishing touches on it together.

We even got to use this oddball vintage extension chord, specifically for holiday decorating that we'd gotten from Mary's grandmother's attic when they were trying to clear things out:


The Christmas ham is a big deal in our house. As I've mentioned before, my parents came over to help me learn how they cook the ham each year. I was excited that Stephanie wanted in on this traditional action too:

Mary and I were excited to get to use the china dishes and serveware of her maternal grandmother's:

There are 20 place settings in all and it was the first time we used the set since it was passed down to her. We both like how the traditional china seemed to fit right in with the look and feel of our farm table.

This was the first time we'd had 12 people at our dining room table, but as you can see it worked out well for the space (with the help of a few extra stools here and there):

It's awesome to know we can fit 12 people around this table. If we are able to host Christmas dinner at our house again next year, we will need to make room for Mary's sister, husband and 3 children — so that will be a new challenge!

Stockings are always a big deal in our house — without fail, Santa always leaves more than he remembers our stockings can actually hold. This year, Mary was greeted by a plastic bag full of "stocking stuffer overflow" hanging from the mantle on Christmas morning:

Mary might kill me for this next one, but here we are first thing in the morning opening up our own stockings before we got ourselves cleaned up and everyone arrived. Sometimes the best part of Christmas is coming down the steps in your pj's to see what Santa left:

Santa even remembered Basil again this year, though he had to wait until the evening to open it up in front of everyone:

Among many treats, dental sticks, and new toys, the Himalayan dog chew was absolutely the biggest hit. It's one of those toys he gets all anxious over, pacing around the house trying to find a good place to hide it while whining at the same time. These things are made from pure yak and cow milk that's been boiled down and hardened to create a super tough, yet natural chew toy. Thanks Santa!

Here's a great shot of Brandon opening up the vintage mistletoe decoration I grew up with. My parents had written a note to go with it, explaining it's history and Mom read it aloud while he opened it — it a cool moment (from the looks of it, Basil may have thought this was a toy for him):

Here are some of our favorite family photo shots in front of the tree this year:

Me & Mary with Basil above and us with Mary's Mom and Aunt Vera below:

My brother, Mike, his wife, Becky, and their daughter (my niece), Caitlin:

All 3 Vidra grandchildren (Stephanie, Brandon & Caitlin):

Mom & Dad:

Me with Mom & Dad:

Me with the kids (little did Brandon know I was on my tippy toes):

Here's a good shot of dad — he was also assuming the role of photographer that day:

And to wrap things up, here's our favorite shot of Basil laying on the floor with everyone while they opened gifts — with his head resting across Brandon's legs:

It was a good first Christmas here in the house and we're looking forward to continuing the new tradition.


  1. As someone who didn't put a tree up this year, may I say your tree looks gorgeous :D
    Beautiful family pics, looks like you had a fabulous celebration this year!

    1. Thanks so much Ally. We really did have a wonderful holiday!


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