All puffed up for the holidays

Now that's the spirit.

Now that’s the spirit.

One week ’til Christmas.

Are you over the moon yet?

Now just because I wasn’t out there stringing lights and putting out lawn ornaments at the adored Little Bitty of my dear wife Karen and I in our Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood doesn’t mean that I’m not into the spirit of individuality at this time of year.

I’m just not that into the oomph of it.

So when we pulled up to the sweetly decorated house of our friends Steve and Kelly this past weekend, I smiled. And Karen, as I lagged behind, said, “You’re going for your phone camera, aren’t you?”

I didn't say this was a stick-up!

I didn’t say this was a stick-up!

OK, give me a hug.

I had to do it. Cute, no?

Kelly and Steve, by the way, are the same great hosts who last year housed all the Ugly Christmas Sweaters I showed you in the post linked right there. Same theme this year, but the sweaters seemed a bit more subdued. The food and drink was just as formidable, I’m glad to report. (I bought Karen and I a Gnome and Snoopy T, respectively, at Target. Thanks to Sheena of Not a Punk Rocker for that excellent and thrifty suggestion.)

Any outside decorations to brag about at your place, or at parties that you’ve been to this year? What’s your favorite personal Ugly Christmas Sweater design? What’s your favorite Christmas party food?

66 thoughts on “All puffed up for the holidays

  1. My yard is not puffed up either, though my kids loved all of that when they were little. We have a house nearby that is the Christmas house of the town that we visited always. I keep my decorations through Three Kings Day in January which we enjoy celebrating as well. πŸ™‚ What is my fave Christmas food??? Mr. B! How can I possibly choose??? I do love arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas) and amarillitos (sweet plantain) among ALL ELSE! πŸ™‚

    Glad you enjoyed your party with your good friends!


  2. Now what a great job you did puffing up your house for the Holidays! Hey, Thanks for visiting my blogs! Hope you have a Blessed & Festive Holiday Season! What did you ask Santa for this year???? LOL

    Author, Catherine Lyon πŸ™‚


  3. I limit my decorations to indoors, thank you. πŸ˜‰ My next door neighbors MORE than make up for any yard bling (insert eye-roll here) I might be missing and then some. (Complete with the blaring Christmas music at all hours. It looks like a 747 landing strip out there all night. They range from Snoopy, to Santa’s workshop, to a Nativity scene, to some generic holiday “people” and more. Yes, really!) But funny, I just read a short (fictional) story about a couple who had to shovel their sidewalk and talked about putting up their inflatable snowman family… And as I read it, I said to myself, “I call bullsh&%! No one who gets real snow would have fake inflatable snowmen instead of the real thing!” And now I know I was wrong. πŸ™‚ I guess I must look like a real dork at my age when I’m up North and still insist on playing in the snow! LOL! πŸ˜€


  4. We’re lucky if we get decorations up on the inside of the house. Just never enough time. Favorite party food is probably a good collection of cheesy creamy dips as I don’t serve them at home. How ’bout you, Mark? This will be our third year of a cocktail party with three other couples. Apps and everyone brings the makings of a favorite cocktail for all to share. We host this year, so need to check with Kerbey for tips πŸ™‚

    You got great shots around your ‘hood, Mark.


    • I like onion dip an awful lot, Liz. Too much, in fact. I like pigs in a blanket with spicy mustard. Hot pigs in a blanket. I do not like them when people serve them cold. I like big shrimp with cocktail sauce and fresh lemon to squeeze into it. Now I want to eat apps. Thanks, Liz. MDW Karen and I and Kerbey and her husband would make it a perfect five couples. πŸ™‚


  5. The waving snowmen are too cute! As for our decorations? Classic. Multicolored lights on the house along the roof line, in our trees, bushes, Nativity scene, and new this year…door wreath with lights πŸ˜€

    As for ugly sweaters, they are so hard to come by now! We used to pick them up at thrift stores easy peasy but now they are all the rage! There’s even companies that sell them… on purpose! Bah humbug, LOL!


  6. We had an ugly sweater contest and the one that one had big fuzzy teddy bears on it with a lot of extra holiday embroidered decorations on the front and back. One guy at work got second place, since he had four actual Christmas stockings pinned to his sweater. One was for his cat and another for his dog, one for him and one for the Mrs. It was funny, since he is a rather serious guy and this was the most ‘outlandish’ thing in 6 years I had seen him do! I love to wear over done sweaters and my Mom loves them, so as my size shrunk I spread my ‘ugly’ sweaters around to my Mom and daughters, too.
    The decorations on Steve and Kelly’s house were precious and beautifully done. Not too much, enough to be festive and still beautifully done. They had me smiling. We saw, “The Fantasy of Lights,” at Alum Creek State Park, had a great evening, the two boys and my daughter… smiles for this special party post!


    • Your work ugly sweater party sounds like fun, Robin. I like it when serious people turn up out of character in the spirit of an outlandish theme! The Fantasy of Lights sounds great for you and the family. Have a great weekend leading up to Christmas, my friend.


  7. so funny, karen’s question – what i hear from my family and friends quite often when i see something cool ) i remember your friends from you holiday sweater party post last year, sounds like it’s good you have them to rub off a bit of their holiday spirit on you. ) going to a holiday party tonight with my favorite christmas game, the white elephant exchange )

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Penguin!

    Oh, I am glad y’all found reasonably priced t-shirts for the party! I found Matthew’s, turns out his is an ugly-sweater-VEST t-shirt. Even better LOL


  9. Love the snow family and the penguin. The snow would melt here, but they look happy where they are. Just barely got the tree up and can’t make all the lights on it work at one time…crossing wires somewhere. We’ll figure it out. Happy Holidays!


  10. Our home is decorated inside and out. In fact, we have rows of colored lights all along our upstairs banister and railing. Tonight is the church worship party, which will start out with food and White Elephant gifts (of the gifts I wrapped in actual Santa wrapping paper last night are a fat dashboard Hula man about six inches high, and a 12 lb book on firearms) and then proceed to drinking, as water turns into wine–not on church grounds. Last year, when we hosted, we had an ugly sweater contest (the 6 mos pregnant woman would have won if she hadn’t been so cocky about it) as well as arena rock in the background. In a few hours, my hub will bake some jalapeno cheese grits to bring to the potluck, and I may bake cookies, but now that I think about it, I need to go buy some Stella Artois to take. Thanks for reminding me, Mark.

    And as to your cutey patootie penguins, when did penguins start being part of Christmas? I have some penguin North Pole pajamas that I must have purchased nearly 10 yrs ago, and I still love them. Can anyone not love a penguin?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You guys know how to celebrate, Kerbey. I love the sounds of the whole darn hootenany. Teach that pregnant woman to be cocky, will you. I hope “We Are the Champions” by Queen thundered on your stereo when you blindsided with the choice of another ugly sweater winner! Hey, by the way, how could you call a 6-inch dashboard hula girl a white elephant? Great kitsch there!!

      Yes, penguins are currently the rulers of the world, I agree.

      I am going to a newspaper party at the Syracuse New Times office today and am bringing a bottle of Cab Sav as my potluck, speaking of water into. Now shooo, you go get that Stella Artois because Austin rocks with your church party. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Someone nearby has an inflatable Santa on their lawn that spends most of its time uninflated… making it look like Santa has passed out drunk or been sniped by a naughty child. I can’t imagine why anyone would buy an inflatable decoration and not bother to bring it to life!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Every year my kids beg me to get a tree but can’t quite bring myself to do it. Why? 1. it’s a bother, 2. it’s expensive (unless you get one of those plastic pre-decorated dealies.) Then there’s the Jew in me (as if expensive wasn’t enough, huh?) telling myself it just feels wrong. My Catholic husband went out and got lights to hang around this year. Not sure how I feel about it. Think I may have to convert.


  13. Subdued natural decorations this year. No blow-up anythings, sadly. As far as favorite Christmas party food goes, I had to restrain myself not to knock other guests aside at the platter of bacon-wrapped dates (stuffed with blue cheese) at a party last weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That are adorable Christmas decorations. Good for you for deciding to get a couple of your own also. I would think that blow up characters would make decorating rather simple. We have a wreath on our door. Does that count?


  15. Do we have to wait until next year to see this year’s ugly sweaters, or do I misunderstand? Break out the pics! I am living my holiday parties vicariously through you! πŸ™‚


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