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Christmas Traditions and Decorations this Year


As I mentioned on Tuesday’s post, we continued to decorate for the Holidays like we always do, to bring some joy and Holiday Spirit to our house this year It is a year like this we need this more than ever! Hard to believe it is 2 weeks away!

I do feel fortunate that my mom is here to celebrate the Holiday with us. I think of all of the people that will be seperated by their families this year.Β  It will be a “different” Christmas, but decorating and sharing traditions are something I always do, even during this difficult time.


We have always had certain traditions we would follow during the Holidays growing up at home.

One of these was Christmas Eve, and our meal of perogies and fish. A meatless meal was part of our Ukrainian tradition, and boy, do I miss this!

My mom would take crackers and crush them, put them in a pan with butter, to create a crumble with sour cream over our perogies. These were no Mrs T’s! The older ladies at the Ukrainian Church in Pittsburgh would hand make these potota and cheese perogies that we loved as kids.

Mom and I were on a hunt this week for perogies, but sadly, one of our “leads” did not pan out. A place called, ” Babuska’s Perogies” closed it’s doors in 2018 here in Charlotte.

One thing that is missing from Charlotte’s food scene is more cultural foods, and IΒ  miss the European flavors of my youth.

We always would go to Christmas Mass, in the morning, Christmas day, and dress in our Sunday’s best!


One of our favorite things to do was decorate the tree and the room. We would often put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving. This year, because of our floor situation we got started a bit later But it was enjoyable this year, as my mom has never seen our tree with its abundance of ornaments until this year. We need a taller, fatter tree! We kept bringing out boxes, and more we added. It is a tradition that my husband and I give each other an ornament each year.

I always get the warm and fuzzy feelings when we play oldies but goodies, Bing Crosby’s music while decorating.

I’ve been collecting these woodland animals for years now and our tree is full! I purchased my first one in a store in Asheville, NC.

My husband has many of his childhood ornaments.Β  This partridge in a pear tree he received at 8 years old. Just screams the ’70s, right?


My sister in law and I have created a new tradition of making a different Holiday cocktail each year.

The first year it was-Christmas Mimosas!

Last year we made Easy White Christmas Margarita Recipe | Holiday Cocktails (joyfulhealthyeats.com)

This year, I am keeping with tradition and making this Cranberry Martini I mentioned


I love this fir tree garland with pinecones from Target’s line, Plow and Hearth, to decorate our mantel. Our decor has become more of a rustic theme with our woodland animals, burlap gold ribbon and other decor. They no longer carry this garland, but I love this one as well!

I started the Santa Table. Needs garland and a Christmas runner.

I collect Willow Tree figurines, and my hubby and in-laws purchased this Nativity one year for me. .

I always enjoy putting garland down the banister and stairs.

My mom made this wreath a few years ago to hang on our front door.

Our new floors. I love how it turned out.! This is the gym/project room.

Of course I dress Gibson and Truffles up in their Santa Suits for Christmas! Christmas Eve it is tradition they wear their “Ugly Sweaters”, Christmas Day the Santa Suits come out!

We have more to do outside, or should I say, my hubby does! We have garland that goes around the door, and miniture lit trees that line the sidewalk. I do more of the inside decor, and this is my husband’s domain!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Stay safe,

Jess xx


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  • Reply
    December 16, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    Aw, Jess, you have a beautiful home and it looks so festive with your holiday decor! I enjoyed reading about your traditions. My in-laws are here now and I just taught my mother-in-law how to make my mom’s rice pudding because it is not Christmas without my mom’s rice pudding! Thanks for sharing and linking with me!


    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      December 16, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      Thank you my friend! I love to decorate espceially for Christmas! Roy goes crazy with the outdoor lights and my mom is helping too. Enjoy making the rice pudding ! thats fun.. Im making gingerbread men coolies next week! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    December 15, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    Gibson in his Santa suit is just adorable!! It’s so great to practice our traditions at the holidays and I love your decorations. Your new floor is beautiful. Gotta try those drinks–all three of them!! Lol!

    xx Darlene

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      December 16, 2020 at 11:11 am

      Thank you Darlene! He and Truffles are such good sports about dressing up! I love it. Glad you like the floor to, I was thrilled with how it turned out. Yes! Go for those cocktails!

  • Reply
    December 15, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    Your decorations are so beautiful! I love the bannister garland, it’s so pretty. Those white margaritas look delicious!

    Emma xxx

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      December 16, 2020 at 11:14 am

      Thank you Emma! I do this every year with the bannister and had my mom’s help this time. Those drinks are yummy , we need to head to the liquor store this week!

  • Reply
    December 15, 2020 at 11:31 am

    What a lovely little tour! Neat about the pierogi tradition. I feel like if I wanted to get some, I would have no idea where to look locally either. Perhaps your community Facebook group? Maybe they know of an individual that takes custom orders for them?

    • Reply
      December 15, 2020 at 12:05 pm

      HI Alexandra!
      Thank you ! Glad you enjoyed the decor. I never thought of that, I may just have to look into it! We are desperate for our Ukrainian perogies! πŸ™‚
      MErry Christmas to you!

  • Reply
    Turning Heads Tuesday - Holiday Look- Red floral Midi Dress with Velvet Booties - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish - Fashion Over 50
    December 15, 2020 at 10:49 am

    […] ready for Christmas? We have the house decorated ( see my Friday post hereΒ  if you missed my Traditions and Decor). and I’ve wrapped most of the gifts. Some of them aren’t coming until the […]

  • Reply
    December 13, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    The tree is just gorgeous! I love the ribbon, so classy. Have a happy holiday!



    • Reply
      December 15, 2020 at 12:03 pm

      Thank you Shauna! We are running out of space with all of the ornaments we have! Next year, we are looking for a 9 foot tree πŸ™‚ Happy Holiday to you!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2020 at 10:05 pm

    So, I have pinned all of the drink recipes. Which to try first?? My husband was raised Independent Baptist and drinks very little. Actually, neither of us drinks much but I would be more likely to try new cocktail recipes. These all look scrumptious.

    Your Willow nativity is beautiful So serene and simple. The perfect nativity.

    • Reply
      Roy Louis Jannenga
      December 15, 2020 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks so much! MMM I am looking forward to the cranberry martini and my mom also bought Kahlua mudslide πŸ˜‰ Thank you, the Nativiy was gifts over a few years, I love putting it out each year.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Walker
    December 11, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Woa! What a lovely post!
    Wish you a happy weekend!
    All About Belt Reviews

    • Reply
      December 12, 2020 at 10:06 am

      Thank you Eizabeth! I love to decorate for the Holidays! Hope you are well and enjoy your weekend too!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    I love that you have a tradition with cocktails. My mom is/was a tee totaller so we just didn’t get to indulge in that. Maybe I’m making up for lost time, LOL???

    • Reply
      December 12, 2020 at 10:06 am

      I had to look up teetotaler! It really is a fun tradition!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2020 at 4:36 am

    Homemade perogies sound delicious! They are probably a lot of work but worth it; my grandmother used to make homemade pasta and it was good but labor intensive – that was before pasta makers. I think a holiday drink is a great idea!
    I love seeing your decor, your nativity set is beautiful! Of course your cute pups are just adorable!

    • Reply
      December 12, 2020 at 10:02 am

      Oh they are! I get it! My great grandma used to make the perogies by hand and she would be in the kitchen all day! The cocktails are fun, we love to try something new. My dad used to get Kalua every year! Thanks my friend!

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