Encouraging Hearts and Home: Christmas Home Tours Edition & Monthly Musings

I just love seeing how everyone decorates their houses for the holidays.  The unique touches, pieces, and memories behind them make me smile.  We have had so many fabulous home tours linked up with us last week that I had a really difficult time picking just a few favorites to showcase today! 

And while I know it is not the last Thursday of the month Holly and Patty will be hosting their Monthly Musings link up early this month due to the holidays so I'm taking the time to answer them now.  


1. If you celebrate Christmas what are your traditions?
I already wrote a full post about it here but so far this year we've watched lots of Christmas movies, we've baked/decorated some cookie houses, listened to some Christmas music, and decorated the whole house. 

Alec's sugar cookie house was such a huge hit that there is not one single crumb left!

This house was still standing but all the candy went missing already so we threw it away


2. If you celebrate Hanukkah what are your traditions? We don't celebrate Hanukkah

3. What are your holiday plans this year? As of right now we're celebrating with my father in-law and his wife this coming weekend with a brunch, we'll spend Christmas eve with my mom, and then Christmas day we're hosting a small brunch with my mother in law.  All our usual plans but with much smaller groupings.

Christmas eve at my mom's 3 years ago


4. Favorite recipe you are willing to share? One of our favorite holiday recipes is for Holiday Toll House Pie: the only variation from the traditional Toll House pie is the fun and festive holiday morsels.  But served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some whipped cream (or cool whip!) and it's delicious. 




5. What are you most looking forward to in 2021? I really hope we can travel somewhere in the new year for a fun family vacation! 

6. Gift wrapping... love it or hate it? I think I fall somewhere in the middle.  I do enjoy wrapping for the most part but I don't love it.  

7. What are you having as your holiday meal? If I end up cooking this year (which is still up in the air!) I usually make a pot roast or roast beef with mashed potatoes, rolls, salad, and steamed broccoli. 

8. Open gifts Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Both!  Ever since we had our boys we began celebrating with my mom and my siblings on Christmas Eve and we exchange gifts between us all then on Christmas morning we open all the gifts under our own tree before opening even more gifts with my husband's side of the family. 




9. What are you doing New Year's Eve? Usually we just get take out, watch a movie, and head to bed around the same time as any other night of the year. Our boys have never wanted to stay up until midnight and I don't mind that at all. 

10. Do you have a word for 2021? Nope. 

And Now, for This Week's Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop!

 
Join your Encouraging Hearts & Home Co-Hosts each week for encouragement and support for your heart & your home. We hope to provide a space that builds each other up and lends a helping hand along the way. With all the negativity in the world, let's shine a positive light!


The post with the most views from last week:

Christmas Decor 2020 by That's Life for Ya


Some of my favorites from last week:





Christmas Front Porch and Yard by Debbie- Dabble Christmas 


Christmas Cozy in the Kitchen by A Day of Small Things 





  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host's blog.
  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love--that's what a blog hop is all about!
  • Check out our Encouraging Hearts & Home Pinterest board where each host pins her 10 favorite posts each week.
  • Join us every Thursday!
  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Linda at Apron Strings & Other Things!
 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog, and for hosting each week! Have a wonderful day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One more thing, the sugar cookie house looked so good! I mean it looked like one of the houses on a food magazine!

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  2. Thank you so much for the feature, it was great to wake up to this news!

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  3. That Holiday Toll House Pie sounds delish Joanne- I love the picture of your family- I will def miss our family crowd on Christmas Eve this year- thanks for linking up! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All our parties will be much smaller this year too but as much as we'll miss everyone at the same time I'm kind of looking forward to smaller, quieter events where we can really talk and visit.

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  4. We love Toll House Pie here! And, the house turned out great... even if it was completely opposite of what I suggested lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! I was very impressed with how well he did on his house!

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  5. That toll house pie looks so Good and I love the sugar cookie house! Thanks for linking up with Holly and me for Monthly Musings!

    Patty
    GoodBetterBestFood.blogspot.com

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  6. Can't recall the last time I made a toll house pie...
    Yum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband requests Toll House pie all the time; it's his favorite.

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  7. I love your sugar cookie house! We celebrate Chanukah with yummy doughnuts and latkes (potato pancakes). All very yummy! Thanks for hosting.

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    Replies
    1. We used to make latkes every year in the daycare where I worked and I thought they were delicious! But gosh, I can't remember the last time I had a doughnut- I love 'em but I never think to eat them.

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  8. I'm happy to hear you're getting together with people to celebrate Christmas. I feel the same about gift wrapping. I don't love it, and sometimes it feels like it will never end, but I don't hate it either. And opening gifts on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is a great idea otherwise it's just too much if you have a lot of gifts to open.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well we figured all the people we're seeing for the holidays are those we see just about weekly anyway so hopefully our risk is minimal. When the kids were little we used to start our holiday unwrapping the first week of December because we had tons of family we used to make the rounds to see but as our family dwindles and the boys get older we seem to do less and less.

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  9. I enjoyed reading this post about Christmas Joanne. I hope you have a nice weekend and thanks for hosting the fun.

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  10. I'm new arund here but a bit of advice.
    Please don't use the term my father in law and his wife.
    it's demeaning. I am a dads and pa's wife, and nothing more and I hate it.
    Please give her a special name.
    meme if her name is Nancy the maybe jut N.
    It hurts trust me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry that offended you but between my husband and I we have 4 sets of parents and many ways in which we refer to them. I happen to have a great relationship with all of my in-laws and if my husband's step-mother ever read my blog (which she doesn't-- none of my family members do) I'm sure she would not have taken offense to that at all.

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  11. Oh my goodness, that Tollhouse Pie looks delish! I'm pinning for later!

    Thanks for hosting, and happy Thursday!

    -Niky @ The House on Silverado

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  12. Such great traditions. Those gingerbread houses are amazing!!

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  13. Joanne,
    Thanks so much for the feature!! I gave you a Shout Out on face book and will do so in my next post!! Thanks too for visiting and for hosting each week!! I know how much time it takes to host a party!! Merry Christmas to you and to your family!! stay safe, healthy and happy!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you! Merry Christmas to you and your family as well.

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  14. that pie looks delicious. I'm trying to find what sort of sweet treats I awnt to make next week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We haven't decided what we're going to make next week yet either!

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  15. Oh my goodness, that pie! I need to try it! It looks delicious and totally like something I could make successfully!

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    Replies
    1. It is so easy! If you can make chocolate chip cookies you can make Toll house pie.

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  16. I've never heard of a toll house pie -- it looks amazing! The sugar cookie house too!

    Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Toll House pie is a family favorite-- we found it on the back of a bag of Nestle Toll House morsels years ago. That sugar cookie house was our first attempt and we are so pleased with how it turned out!

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  17. Thank you for hosting such a lovely party! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Hugs,

    Tee @ Teediddlydee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for joining us! Merry Christmas to you and yours as well.

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  18. Your gingerbread houses are adorable! I've never tried to make one with my kids but now that I have grandbabies maybe we can start a tradition. I just have to figure out how to make them as sturdy as yours look. I will definitely be reading your holiday traditions post!

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