Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly

{Fa La La La La La La La La}

Christmas time is here and it is here on full blast!  I cannot believe it is already December and the year is coming to an end.  It seems like yesterday was the 4th of July.  There certainly is something about this time of the year that makes life a bit more merry.  The twinkle lights all over our town and all the neighboring ones as well.  The Christmas decorating contest at work.  The Christmas music nonstop on the radio.  The beautiful churches with their holiday displays.  I love it all and at this moment cannot get enough of it.  However, everyone knows around the beginning of the year it has been exhausted & it is time to move on.

The cheer just began last night in our home.  It was decorating night yesterday and today our house is glittering with the holiday spirit.  The weather is so chilly, the house cozy warm, and smells of winter pine & a gingerbread candle burning among the fake snow.  Today, I am able to take some time on Not So Doughie and share some of my favorite holiday decorations with you.  My family and I get to enjoy our decorations, but I want to share them with my readers as well.  

My family cherishes the true meaning of Christmas and we also love creating memories and remembering old traditions.  For the past three years, we decorate and usually have some type of easy/fun dinner.  Last night I decided to make some snacks to munch on while listening to Christmas music and decorating the house.  We are such snackers that it is something we do often instead of making a full dinner.  When made not so doughie the dinner is pretty healthy & very satisfying.  Yesterday, the menu consisted of the following:

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In this post, I will be sharing my version of the famous & admired Buffalo Chicken Dip.  I first had this delicious bite of heaven made by my stepmom, Rachel.  I believe she made it for one of her first experiences with the Czuba Family parties.  It was gone in an instant.  Everyone loved it and I definitely fell in love, adding it to my regular creations.  The original version is doughie so I have made it a little not so doughie so that I can eat a lot more & not feel so guilty.  The recipe is super easy & such a crowd pleaser.  There are so many versions out there now, but I find using the stove is the easiest.  Serve the dip with crackers or the not so doughie alternative, celery.

NSDBuffChicDip

{Click here for the recipe}

Now I would like to share some of my favorite holiday decorations with you & their special meaning to me.  I love my entire collection of Christmas items, but there are some that I look forward to unwrapping each year.  It is tradition in my family to place your special ornaments on the tree each year.  I have many that I place on the tree & they sure make me smile.

sweaterornament

I love love love this sweater ornament!  I wish I had the sweater in human size.  I am obsessed with all things miniature.  I actually have a miniature chair collection.. sounds odd, but they are cute to find & I like putting things on them.  I will share my collection in another post.  But how adorable is this sweater ornament?  It hand-sewn and each year I wish I could wear it myself.  This ornament is special to me because I bought it for my first Christmas tree after college.  I lived in freezing Chicago then so it was perfect for that time in my life.

our1sttree11

This one is pretty self-explanatory.  2011 was the first Christmas Bryan and I spent together & bought our tree as a couple.  After the holiday season, we cut a slice of the trunk to create this ornament.  Looks like we had a Charlie Brown tree, but the piece has since shrunk in size.  I used a black sharpie to write on the wood.  I had to go over it several times to become real dark.  Then I had Bryan drill a small hole in the top to hang the ornament.  Bryan, Chase, and I will always remember this special first Christmas together.

GingerbreadSweetie

This is a new addition to my ornament collection.  Each year my mom buys me a new ornament that has a special meaning.  Whether it is in regards to the past year or something special about my life.  This cute gingerbread man is certainly meaningful to my life & especially my childhood.  As a baby, I had a little pink, I don’t know, bear? That we called Sweetie Heart.  It was about the size of this ornament and was a little cute guy that I loved and still do 🙂  Sweetie Heart still lives at my Mom’s with her other friends.  Last year, my mom bought me this Gingerbread Sweetie Heart so I could have one of my own on my tree each year.

flipflop

I swear I was born a beach bum.  And that is why I love this ornament that my stepmom Rachel bought me.  She said it instantly reminded her of me 🙂  Not only do I absolutely love the beach, but also the colors of this ornament.  If I didn’t live in the midwest I would be wearing flip-flops every day of the year.  I like the snowy season (pretty snow only, please), but this ornament brings a bit of warmth & beachiness to our tree.

I could probably post a picture of every single ornament on our tree & their significance.  However, that would make for a long post.  I may feature of few more throughout the holiday time & their meaning to me.  There are a few more Christmas items I wanted to share with my readers though.  If I have kept your attention this long, keep reading 🙂

Doughie

Meet Doughie.  I spotted this adorable doughie shopping, skating, chef snowman last year.  I want to just gobble him up.  He is so chubby & really is representative of me.

Doughie = nickname & all things chubby and cute
Shopping = I could do it all day, everyday
Chef = Not So Doughie & love of cooking & food
Skating = The fun in my life

Carolers

My mom started collecting her carolers years ago.  My sister and I were in love with them and so excited to pull them out of their boxes each year.  Her collection is very extensive & each one has meaning to her.  A couple of years ago, she bought me my first two carolers.  She said the man & woman represented Bryan & me and that throughout the years I could also start to collect the carolers.  The artist is very detailed and the figures look very cute & cozy.  I can’t wait to continue to add to my collection.

cream&sugar

Alright people so I am already emotional because while writing this post the Meijer commercial where the family decorates the old lady’s house with Christmas lights just came on and had me in tears.  This last picture may cause these tears to linger a bit longer.  The cream & sugar Gingerbread houses belonged to my late Grandma Adrianne.  She loved holidays and made them so very special for all my family & especially her grandchildren.  I inherited a few of her precious belongings & this is one of them.  I don’t remember them growing up at all, but just knowing they were hers is special enough to me.  The best part:  there is still sugar in the sugar holder that I can’t seem to throw out.  I hope to keep these for many years and enjoy them in her memory.

I hope you have enjoyed my Christmas post & will leave you with a few more pictures.  May your holiday season be filled with joy, laugher, merriment & love.  Much love.

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xoxosara

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