Let's Get Into The Christmas Spirit

 It's the most beautiful time of the year... OR is it? If you're a Grinch, all you can see these days is chaos in the shopping malls, lots of people everywhere, unpleasantly slow lines... you might call it Christmas madness. And it puts you in a weird mood. But if you're more in the 'Mariah CareyπŸ’ƒ' spirit, you know that the best part of the year is just about to happen! πŸŽ…πŸŽ„ When did you become such a Grinch though? I think Christmas is honestly what you make it, and it's always up to you and how you look at it. It's you who sets the Holiday standards and traditions for your family - You can even go stress-free and suggest no gift buying if you hate running errands around Christmas or you can stay at home and watch Home Alone all by yourself if you prefer chilling at Christmas Eve! As far as Santa's concerned, you're a self-righteous human being.

I know, I know, it's not always easy to please everyone around you with their wishes, ideas and projections, then mix them with yours... But it's almost always possible to find a good compromise, so everyone's happy in the end (or, at least the majority of them, LOL). One of my friend's family has cancelled the whole gift giving thing long time ago. They agreed that it only brings them a stressful hustle during this time of the year. They meet up during the Holidays (they're a big family) and they eat a lot of cookies together, watch Christmas movies on TV and simply enjoy each other's company. Then my other friend's family, they are all about giving gifts. πŸŽ They always compete every year - 'See who gives the best one and who has the best idea!?' Two extremes. I probably wouldn't want neither but hey, it works for them, somehow. I personally LOVE picking and buying gifts, I'm a very generous person when it comes to giving presents to my loved ones, and I genuinely enjoy when someone unwraps what I came up with and it creates a big smile and happy feeling. I usually give personal gifts rather than expensive ones, but sometimes personal means expensive LOL. I think that Christmas should be special for everyone in a way, and that possibly giving someone what they want but can't afford (or wouldn't buy for themselves with their own money ever) is what brings the Christmas joy and magic into life. Christmas is about magical, almost unreal things for me. I'm a hopeless romantic, you know... But for all of you, best is finding balance, like with anything else. Make Christmas what you want it to be so you can truly enjoy this time of the year. I'm sure deep in your heart and mind you know what you desire. Is it a tropical getaway so you don't have to deal with anything family Christmas related? So be it! πŸ️ And don't feel guilty. Can't make everyone happy, it's exhausting constantly trying. 🀍 XO Zuzana

I tried making DIY ornaments out of oranges πŸŠ this year and they came out great! I just sliced a few small oranges and put them in the oven for a few hours to dry. They got completely dry after a few days of chilling on the sink in a wooden basket and then I put them on the tree.
This was I think taken on November the 13th. Yeah, we've had our Christmas tree up since then. Too early? My boyfriend was worried it could take away the magic of Chrstmas Eve if we have the decorations up too early... but I haven't heard him complain yet. All I heard was something like 'It looks so cozy in here, it will be so lovely here at Christmas Eve.' πŸŽ„
I bought this ridiculously festive gingerbread mug for 140 CZK at Flying Tiger, I couldn't resist. I have a thing for cute painted Christmas mugs and I might have a whole collection of different ones by the end of my life LOL. Nothing screams Holiday mode more than a hot cup of tea drunk from a Christmas mug. ☕
It's the little things that create the bigger picture, right? πŸŽ… I usually go for the typical combo of red and white with golden details when decorating the house. I think this color combination doesn't look too crazy with other 'all-year-long' stuff such as plants or wooden furniture. We got a little Christmas stocking ready and hung on a drawer knob, then some candles and a bell to call Santa! πŸŽ…
Oh, the vanilla rolls! These are legendary. I will never ever forget baking these every single year when living in America, and my friends always asking for more because they have never tasted anything so special. I made an extra load for my friend. πŸͺ This is one of the most traditional cookie recipes to make during Christmas in the Czech Republic. My grandma made them every year with no exception, my great-grandma too and I'm pretty sure my great-great-grandma as well as her mom LOL. I usually make a test load in November to make sure I have a good recipe. Well that was a very lame excuse to make them, ha!
I love visiting cute cafΓ© places during Christmas time. Some of the cafeterias have Christmas decorations since late November, some of them not but they still look and feel somewhat cozier when it's cold outside and you're sitting inside, sipping on your favorite chai latte.
This was one of my Christmas gifts in 2020. πŸ’‘ I got this cool light box from my friend and I've been using it all year long to be honest. This year, I'm trying different cute Christmas puns every week to make my friends and family laugh. Birch, please! 
We got our first snow in late November this year in Prague. ❄️ It was not much, but hey, it definitely added to the whole early Holiday vibe for me. I snapped a few pictures as I was so excited to see the snow at 5AM and then in the morning when I woke up. Sadly, it all melted away within a few hours. I'm really curious whether we're gonna have some snow at Christmas. At least a few inches...⛄
My cozy go-to home look. Super warm socks are a must. These are amazing, they have this faux fur thing inside them and do their job! Even if the temperature is okay in the apartment, my feet tend to get cold. Sometimes I put a hoodie over my head at home too. πŸ‘€ But no gloves and a hat yet, at least for now! Maybe you're laughing at that idea but the cost of warmth got so expensive here in Europe that it might be our reality in the future.
The tree was almost done here, but not quite yet. It's missing the orange ornaments and some other stuff I bought later. You'll see it below...
My most favorite activity - except for buying gifts - is wrapping them! πŸŽ I went for the more natural look this season, vintage paper look with just tiny pictures and patterns, old-school strings in red, green and natural color as well. Maybe I buy so many gifts because I just loooooove wrapping! πŸŽ
Two weeks ago, just during the first Advent Sunday I think, we took a nice walk in the centre of Prague and ended up browsing the quiet streets here and there. It was raining / snowing, we were window shopping and enjoying seeing some places with their lights and decorations up already. Prague is truly beautiful during this time of the year. If you've never been here, this is the best time to come. 
Here is the final (well, you never know if something else catches my eye until then) tree with some more ornaments and oranges... I'm really loving the traditional vibe... with a mix of DIY cone and orange ornaments, wooden decorations, some vintage looking pieces and classic glass Christmas ball ornaments and warm blinking yellow lights, it creates the right Holiday nostalgia for me. What's your preferred color of the tree?
One of the last weekends we spent in the Czech mountains. They just got their first load of snow and it was so magical to look out of the window of our Airbnb. We saw a deer on this hill in the morning! πŸ₯ΊπŸ¦Œ So cute! We did a fun bobsleigh rideπŸ›·, enjoyed wellness with sauna and fresh air during a long walk. Oh, the mountains. Even more Christmas nostalgia there...
These ornaments were so cheap. Each of the box came to 80 CZK and they are made out of glass, no plastics. I know the costs of this type of Christmas ornaments can go ridiculously high at some stores, so just saying, check a few places before you pay 300 CZK for just one piece. πŸ›️
Happy 3rd Advent Sunday my friends! May it's peaceful and filled with joy! πŸŽ„✨

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