Each year, for the past 29 years that we have been married, my husband takes up residency in his hunting cabin about 45 minutes away.  He use to stay for 6 weeks but now it is only a total of 4 weeks.  This escape from civilization begins the week prior to buck gun season.  He is a dedicated hunter.  He does come home for Thanksgiving dinner and then once a week to re-stock on food and wash his clothes.

The hunting season becomes my time to create the holiday home for our family. I make lots and lots of lists to begin with.  I am a micro manager of myself with lists.
I decorate the house, upstairs and down, as well as outside.  This year I had some assistance from 2 grandsons with stringing lights in the bushes and creating their North Pole in the woods.thanksgiving, christmas decoratinghunting season, christmas 2015, christmas lightsthanksgiving-fun-with-the-familychristmas decoartingchristmas decorating, hunting season

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I do all of the Christmas shopping and wrapping.  We have a blended family of 8 children, their spouses and 13 grandchildren.  We only buy gifts for the grandchildren with such a big family, but we fix a large meal and celebrate time together as a family.  We also play some games, so I make sure there are prizes for these.   
I fill the stockings with care.decorate4
I send out the Christmas cards.  decorate8  
I bake a lot of cookies.  This week I baked 46 dozen of various kinds, 16 dozen of the cookies were the sugar cookies I decorate.  I like to make cookie trays for my family to take home after our Christmas party.cookiebaking4cookiebaking1cookiebaking5cookiebaking6cookiebaking7
I also made peanut butter fudge and Chex Mix. The remainder of the baking and cooking I have to do a day or 2 before our party but getting the cookies done ahead is a big help.chexmix1
I grocery shop at several different stores for the food and this is one of the most tiring jobs I feel that I do.
I enjoy watching the Hallmark Channel Christmas Movies while I am doing all of my activities .
This has been my routine all of these years while Grandpa Bob is away and I hope to continue it for many years to come. Since I am retired this year, I did get to work in a lunch with a friend and a couple of other holiday activities.
I have heard Bob tell his friends that it always feels so good to come home after hunting because it feels like I have transformed our home into a Christmas wonderland.  
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  1. First, what a beautiful home filled with so much love and care; I love the party/buffet set up!! And having your grand-kids help-what a joy!!

    Hope hubby gets a big 6 to 8 pointer

    And those cookies and treats look so festive and delicious. Lucky family

    Merry Christmas

  2. Love this story. Your home is gorgeous! I wish I had a big buffet room like that to host my extended family.

    1. Thank you Joan. We have 2 giant rooms downstairs(we did not do those walls..came that way, LOL) on one side we do a tree and gifts and the other side for eating. It is so handy!

  3. You certainly have created a “Christmas Wonderland!” – both inside and out! Everything looks so warm and inviting – and clean! (I’m not a cleaning-type person – lol!) I can only imagine the joy of that family as they pile into the house and see stockings and presents and tables laden with lovingly made food! Beautiful!
    Merry Christmas, Pamela!

    1. Thank you. Believe me…the house did not look as clean in the after shots!! Merry Christmas to your family and I cannot wait to see what creative things you did!

  4. Your home looks beautiful and you did have some great helpers! Not to mention I love all of your cookies! In case you need to make one more batch I will email you my new favorite Christmas cookie recipe. I’ve made them for the last 3 years and the kids love them — so do the parents! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Sorry to be so late.

  5. Your Christmas decorations are gorgeous and it looks like your grandsons had a bundle of fun helping with the lights. Those cookies look amazing. You certainly put a lot of love and effort in to make such a special occasion sparkle.

    1. Thank you Tamuria. Each year I think that I am going to cut back on the cookies but it seems like it just keeps happening. I know that it will catch up with me one day!

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