When something small and shiny goes missing, or a nickknack gets knocked off the mantle, we have one suspect to blame.
A little Q & A under the hot light usually clears things right up.

Decorations are up, a few presents are under the tree and one of us has a stocking jam-packed with goodies already.

Our dim living room makes for cozy evenings, but lousy photos


I knew I wanted old-school Christmas lights on our tree. But when it came time to buy them, I wasn’t sure they would fit our house. So I searched some vintage ads to see how Christmas trees in the ’40s and ’50s were decorated. Big frosted glass bulbs seemed to be de rigueur. Take a look!

vintage lights

An American Weekly cover from 1953

vintage lights

A Westinghouse ad from 1950

vintage lights

A slightly creepy ad from 1949

This has been a year of firsts: The house, the wedding, etc.

Today marks the begining of another first: Our first Christmas at home.

We’ve been on the road, flying to Illinois, Missouri, or New Mexico, to visit family for the holidays nearly every Christmas we’ve been together. It’s been great, but this year is a special treat: Spending our first Christmas in our new home, and our first one together as a married couple.

We’ve done the holidays at our place just once, on a much smaller scale: Both sets of families flew to Albuquerque when we were impoverished newspaper interns, and we all crowded into our studio apartment. It was cozy & pretty hilarious: We only owned two chairs (and they were bar stools), so the entire group sat in a circle on the floor, campfire-style.

We ate Christmas dinner that my dad cooked in our teeny galley kitchen (pasta, using our only pan) and played Trivial Pursuit with our dinner plates balanced on our laps.

Drew and I bought a tree that year–an adorable foot-tall tree that was in an intern’s budget and just the right size for our little place. We stood it up in the mop bucket, supporting it with some rocks stolen from a nearby apartment complex, and wrapped a red sheet around the bucket as a tree skirt.

The whole thing was pretty sweet and cozy. (The only downside being that lowly newspaper interns have to work on Xmas, so Drew showed everyone around town while I worked, and then they all had dinner at the only place open on the holiday: the Frontier diner. You know your parents just honestly want to spend time with you if they’re willing to buy plane tickets and hotel rooms just to go through all that.)

Things will be a little different this year!

We bought a tree and a wreath tonight from a local charity. The tree looked pretty cute tied to the top on the Yaris. We stocked up on whiskey and egg nog, and listened to some Motown Christmas music while we decorated.
And here is the end result!

Our new couches arrive this week, so it seemed like a good time to try Softpaws on Lucy again.
Softpaws are rubbery caps that fit on a cat’s claws, preventing the little monster from using the furniture as her personal scratching post.
They’re a humane alternative to declawing, and pretty inexpensive and easy to use.
The best part? They come in a zillion different color combinations, so your cat can sport some seriously tacky faux nails to match the holidays or your favorite sports team.
Lucy is sporting a pink manicure at our house. She doesn’t seem to notice that she’s wearing them, and they’re already saving the new living room rug from her habit of tearing around the house like the chupacabra.

On Saturday, we carved a few pumpkins. One for Drew, one for me, and a teeny one for Lucy.

I didn’t intend to make this look so evil. I tried to make it cute, but apparently my subconscious thinks she is the Chupacabra, because this is how it turned out. Our neighbor stopped by later that night, and asked, “Do you guys have a really mean cat?”

Lucy is not threatened

Lucy is not threatened

We had six trick-or-treaters this year. A new record!

We had six trick-or-treaters this year. A new record!