Ten Details I Loved This Holiday

The kiddos are still on their winter break, which means the holiday season is not over at the Trent home. It was a really wonderful, cozy Christmas for us. For the first time in a long time, we are sad to see it go. And for the first time in a long time, when I think of Christmas coming again this year, I am not filled with dread or exhaustion. Just a quiet, “yay!” and “oh goodie!”

I’m not going to try and capture what exactly made our holiday this year standout, but I do want to share ten details that helped us make merry and enjoy our holiday.

  1. A Christmas Puzzle (pictured above), unwrapped on Christmas Eve, and casually enjoyed during such films as Christmas in Connecticut, Miracle on 34th Street (the original), While You Were Sleeping, White Christmas, Pete’s Christmas, and more. We landed in London last year on Christmas day and it was fun to reminisce, but oh my, were we all happy to be home this year! This puzzle was surprisingly tricky and took the entire week after Christmas to complete.
  2. This Taste Test of Caramels box from Trader Joe’s was a winner. Trader Joe has lots of seasonal goodies, but did you know some of them are games? We played this taste test on Christmas morning. Baby girl has the most sophisticated palette of all of us. But eating and sharing chocolates is always a win.
  3. Christmas cross stitch. It’s a hygge thing, I think. But having pretty silk threads and a cute/kitsch pattern to fidget with over the holidays is fun.
  4. While the Christmas movies were plentiful the week after Christmas, so too were Studio Ghibli films. The end credits of Only Yesterday had me in tears. We’ve been longstanding fans of Howl’s Moving Castle and  My Neighbor Totoro for years, but we are delighting in discovering so many new favorites. Like Laputa: Castle in the Sky– all those air ships have got me thinking…
  5. Risk (and other board games). Santa always manages to find a new game or two for the Trents. Scout and Wavelength have been stand outs this year, but it was Mr. Trent on boxing day who was made Risk happen. I have to admit, I’ve never played this game until this holiday season, but it is super fun. AND I wrote a java program for streamlining those battles at the end of 47 blue troops to 29 yellow troops.
  6. “Real” decorations–poinsettias, paperwhites, an every green wreath with fresh eucalyptus and sage, fresh cut trees. All of them made our home feel merry and bright. I insisted, in no uncertain terms, that we leave all of them up until January. In years past we’ve been in a rush to take down the decorations before New Year’s Day.
  7. Advent calendars! My sister surprised the kiddos with Mini Whinnies and Lego Star Wars advent calendars this year. Much more exciting that the chocolate calendars I found at Trader Joe’s. Then Mr. Trent surprised me on the evening of December First, with a Bonne Maman advent calendar (he scoured the great Denver Metro Area to find it) and I surprised him with a DIY advent calendar of fresh juices (not pictured).
  8. Inflatables. We discovered how much fun inflatables are, and I delight in finding ones that are ridiculous. I’m hoping to find a festive yuletide octopus for next year. 
  9. I upped my wrapping game with this origami wrapping paper technique. It definitely made wrapping presents more fun. Check out this youtuber if you too need to be extra with your gift wrap.
  10. Traditional family contests… Every year my family has a bad Christmas Poetry contest. It is by far our most interesting holiday tradition. Mr. Trent won with his limerick. I didn’t even qualify with my poem about advent calendars. Read on and cringe.
There once was a dad from Nantucket,
Who told Santa and Miz Claus to shove it
The last thing he saw
Was the bill from it all
And that made him kick the bucket

–Mr. Trent, 2023 winner

Lo! How an advent calendar stands empty.
There is no chocolate in door twenty-four.
But thanks to Bonne Maman there’s plenty
Of jam and preserves galore.
A Trader Joe’s is coming
Or so neighbors have sung
But next year I’ll be skipping
Their chocolate advent calendars each one.
Mini winnies and star wars legos
Are wonderful advent calendars and fun.
DIY calendars of juice or bagels
Are certainly better than none.
But next year, the calendar I have in mind
Is filled with jams sublime.
Jars of Sweet Orange, Mandarin and passion fruit,
Good mother French, I do salute.
–Amy’s poem can be sung to the tune of “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”… sort of
What details did you enjoy from your holiday and new year celebrations?

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