Christmas wrap up

“Wrap up” get it…ha!  Just a few scenes from around here at Christmas . . .

First off Henry was Santa in the Christmas program at school. We had some iffy moments leading up to the big day.  He didn’t want to wear the beard but it worked out thanks to his wonderful teacher the sweetest most gentle woman on earth.  (Drew didn’t have a program this  year but will have a performance in the spring fyi not leaving him out he just is not into this Santa stuff as much as his four year old brother)

christmascollage4Once the month started and school program was over things went fast, sound familiar? I think everyone’s cards were late this year, seems there were some crazy shipping problems.  Henry had to help address stamp the Christmas cards, he is obsessed with that stamper and he is scary with it but I let him do the envelopes and he was thrilled! Sadly my 9 year old is no longer interested in this kind of thing;(  They grow up mamas.  Savor.


Several of you have asked about our Christmas cards.  This is the truth, I didn’t have it in me to try to wrangle a family photo so we did the Rifle Paper Co. custom cards,and they are fun (though I must say I haven’t worn shoulder pads since 1988, okay maybe 1997?)…I have admired these for years. Rifle puts up info on their website about their custom cards around the holidays if you can’t find the info on their website now keep checking next Fall.  Brace yourself it’s a splurge but you don’t to pay for photos or buy clothes for photos, shoulder pads are free; Smoking pipes too;  I would have never gotten Henry into a bow tie otherwise probably.  WORTH. THE. SPLURGE. I love their tags and wrapping paper too.  Pretty much anything Anna Rifle Bond does is brilliant in my book!


Christmas Eve we let the kids open a few gifts, Drew was excited to get some custom lego army guys, thank you Ebay! I love this boy, he was so sweet about how I accidentally bought some playmobil soldiers instead of Lego, I was speed shopping.  Don’t worry some of the stash was lego but the Brit soldiers turned out to be playmobil and that’s baby. But no worries he is going to help me list them on ebay and maybe make some money on them so we can buy more legos!

boyschristmaseveNana bought Henry this work bench.  He is heavily into Handy Manny so this was right up his alley. Ummm the hammer on the wood is loud! And I finally did get a few of the fragile shiny bright ornaments out this year, seeing Paige’s beautiful bowl of ornaments just inspired me to take a chance and Henry did pretty well not touching these fragile beauties..we are slowly leaving baby stage around here which is wonderful in some ways and sad in others; (just noticing the hammer and my shiny brites in the same photo collage and that makes me get nervous again;)

I also enjoyed some new gift tags this year, yep that’s a thing for me.  I love these custom red tags down below from the talented Emily McCarthy, so beautiful.  I also really like my tags from Rifle Paper Co of course (the drummer boy and Merry Christmas script on pink) and also IN LOVE with some tags through Pheasant Press an amazing letterpress artist out of Arkansas.  The good thing about all of these tags and fun ribbons is they last for years (just recycle ribbons that your young adult and male relatives do not want and leave on the floor but don’t yank them out of the hands of someone that might want the ribbon, that would be un-Christmas) anyway the ribbon and tag investment works nicely, they brighten up plain kraft paper so well.  Speaking of kraft paper, don’t get me started on Target and that kraft paper they had with the white dots…just like the Sugar Paper polka dot paper. For uno dollar. That’s right.

So while some things may be stressful about Christmas, making  fudge and cute paper tags and wrap really blessed me; Yes I am being a little silly (but kind of serious too;) Hey it is the little things sometimes admit it ladies.

And oh yes, we made fudge. TWICE. And we made fudge.  I could write a post about fudge and my Granny and good memories and how I miss her and for YEARS I have failed at fudge but this year it worked.  It was one of God’s blessings to me this Christmas. I am not kidding. Even my mom said, “this is actually pretty good.” And she remembers the perfect fudge my Granny made…so thanks Edie from Life in Grace for this recipe.


Looks like Henry likes fudge too..he mainly just likes making a mess in the kitchen..look at that dimple!

But now it’s nearly over.  It’s all coming to a close.

Except not until Saturday at my house.  The week after Christmas is sacred. I am in no hurry to take it down. That is just me and how we do it.  The week after is when I can exhale as a mom a bit and stop trying to make things happen and just be. Reflect and rest. So lots of time staring at the tree this week. I have not been as 100% off work as I had hoped but this tree gazing has been balm for me personally, more this year than ever it seems.


But the wreath gazing is getting sad y’all…sad and crunchy.


Report on the bayleaf, it has browned and curled, this is how it looked yesterday at 4 weeks.  The one on the kitchen door is even worse but the one over the mantle mirror doesnt bother me at all. It looks okay. All in all the bay leaf has fared better than Trader Joe’s boxwood over the hutch and our bed.  But it is worth it in my eyes….to have some natural greenery in the house at Christmas. And those little burlap hangers came with the bayleaf wreaths from Williams Sonoma, they have a hook on back. They are epic as my young friend Colleen would say;


So there you have it..natural does wither.  But our tree is fake ( I bought it years ago not sure where, probably Hobby Lobby but I haven’t seen one similar there lately), our allergies and asthma just won’t handle a real tree which makes me sad but these wreaths help me get my natural fix.

Speaking of Christmas fix, I leave you with a photo of my mom’s Christmas decor (her blue door below)..her little house was decked cute! My mom is a Christmas animal. I would literally watch her decorate the tree in total awe when I was a kid.  It was truly magical. She is the best at Christmas.


So Merry Christmas, let’s hang on a bit longer those of us who want to… so much wrapped up in Christmas both spiritually and emotionally, the pretty stuff makes it fun and comforting but of course there is so much more to Christmas than the perfect tag. This time of year can be a roller coaster, hang on to the good parts as you enter the New Year.  I wish you all the best and thank you all for reading about my family and work. God is good.

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  1. What a sweet sweet post, Holly. Thank you for sharing your wonderful Christmas with us, your readers. Loved it all…I KNOW I would love the fudge! 🙂 The tags are gorgeous, and I think your Christmas card this year stands out among all the photo cards as one that is not only pretty, but also so unique (and fun too!) Love that you call your mom a Christmas animal. What a great term (I can SO identify with that!) Enjoy the last few days of this beautiful, crazy, blessed season. I am wishing you all good things for the coming year! May 2014 be your best yet.

  2. i love your christmas home. you have that same magic touch as your mama!!

    your custom cards are so adorable!
    my old bay leaf wreath in our kitchen is 16 years old….gasp~ i spray painted it silver and it still hangs in there almost 2 decades later. gosh that sounds sorta gross but it’s true. ( oh & i take it outside & give it a good shake every now & then)

    happy new year holly mathis xoxo

  3. Hi Holly! We got that work bench too so I can definitely relate to how l-o-u-d that hammer is! We have, “misplaced,” it a few times so far because it scares the dog and basically makes my husband believe he has something to do in the garage far, far away! As always, your post is right on and your pictures are a perfect mix of perfectly staged and perfectly real. Merry Christmas!

  4. PERFECT…as always…love everything! Looking forward to seeing more in the New Year!
    Happy New Year to you & yours!

  5. Thanks for the shout out! It looks like your family had a fabulous Christmas.

  6. Loved this post and reading all about your Christmas. I think your oldest might like a shop I have seen on Greenbriar at 59 N (on the South side). It’s an antique toy soldier shop, I have never stopped in and it might be crazy expensive, but he might enjoy looking! Happy New Year.

  7. Beautiful family. Beautiful home. Beautiful friend. Love you, Holly, and wish the Mathis clan every happiness in 2014.

  8. lee ashley says:

    *happy new year holly!*

  9. Sweet post, Holly. Loved seeing how your family spent the holidays. This year would you mind praying that some of your creativeness and attention to detail would fall upon me? LOL!
    Please tell your mom I said hello and give her a big hug for me. Sending love your way!

  10. Loved this post and that you showed your mom’s house. That fudge looks wicked good as they say in Maine. xo

  11. Yes, those littles grow up and the shift is sudden. I adore your Christmas decor and the cards are adorable. Love your mom’s blue door too! Hears to a wonderful 2014!

  12. Source for the black and white ribbon? Love it!

  13. I loved all of your holiday decor/packaging. Loved. Those tags were unbelievable….reminder to get some next year! And the card was awesome, too! It was so you!

  14. Happy New Year Holly!! I love all the little things that make us happy!!! I also bought the kraft paper w/ white polka dots from Target for uno dollar this year, too !!!! Love it. I used it for our son’s fiancé’s gifts {from Anthro} and she loved it!!! I’m having so much fun with a GIRL to buy for too!!!!
    Your boys are getting so big! Have a great 2014! mary


  1. Bought A Oh My Holly Christmas Photo

    […] tree gazing has been balm for me personally, more this year than ever it seems. […]

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