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Uncle Ugly’s Christmas Sweater Jamboree 2012

Ugly Christmas Sweater Tradition (Coolest Family on the Block

Tis the season for Ugly Christmas Sweaters! In 2010 our family started a new Christmas Eve Tradition: Uncle Ugly’s Christmas Sweater Jamboree (which is a longer way of saying “ugly sweater contest”)! These are the sweaters from 2012. Which one would you pick as the winner?

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

I always like to start things off with a photo of the one and only “Cool Family”. Jonathan was lucky enough to miss being in these photos because of his early bedtime. This year he may not be so lucky.


First of all, settle down. I know that you are really excited about the awesome Santa hat that I’m wearing (and you should be), but this is sweater time.
(Okay, I got the hats on clearance at J.C. Penney’s a few years ago. That’s all that I know. Get off my back.)

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

For my sweater I decided to represent the lyrics of the Christmas song “Winter Wonderland”. It looks odd and unChristmas-y from afar, but it is really a masterful work of creativity. So there.

Sleigh bells ring…are you listening? In the land snow is glistening.
A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight. Walking in a Winter Wonderland.

Winter Wonderland Ugly Sweater
Gone away is the blue bird. Here to stay is a new bird.
He sings a love song as he goes along. Walking in a Winter Wonderland.

Winter Wonderland Ugly Sweater
In the meadow we can build a snowman. And pretend that he is Parson Brown.
He’ll say “Are you married?” We’ll say, “No man. But you can do the job when you’re in town.”

Later on we’ll conspire. As we dream by the fire.
And face unafraid, the plans that we made. Walking in a Winter Wonderland.
(Click then click again to enlarge. “Face unafraid” is my favorite detail.)
Winter Wonderland Ugly Sweater
In the meadow we can build a snowman and pretend that he’s a circus clown.
We’ll have lots of fun with Mr. Snowman until the other kiddies knock him down.

In the snow, ain’t it thrillin’? Though your nose gets to chillin’.
We’ll frolic and play the Eskimo way. Walking in a Winter Wonderland.
Winter  Wonderland Ugly Sweater
Okay, I’m done photo bombing this post with my sweater. Moving on…

2012 Cool Daddy finally went with a theme other than “creepy uncle”.
(Do you remember the mustache of 2010 or the underwear of 2011?
Or were you lucky enough to have Will Smith drop by and “flashy thing” those memories away?
I present to you: “Feline Navidad“…
Ugly Christmas Sweaters

A Fancy Feast for the eyes, Cool Daddy’s wearable interpretation of “Feline Navidad” begins with a festive green sweater vest and ends with a cat tail made of red foil garland. Five stuffed cats of various colors are the focal point while the added details of cat toys, a pink cat collar with bell, and a package of cat nip bring this sweater to a whole new level.

A year ahead of the times, the back features an en-wreathed cat head, rivaling Miley’s 2013 “Space Kitten”. For those not quick to recognize this brilliant theme, colorful foam letters spell out “Feline Navidad”. A row of kitten quints inside of red handbags hang playfully above the aforementioned shiny, red cat tail. This ugly sweater is the cat’s meow!

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

My brother-in-law, Matt, is sporting a cardigan with a print that marries southwestern with ski resort. The back boasts a rustic heart shaped Christmas wreath complete with wooden gingerbread man, just like those worn by the southwestern ski bunnies of yesteryear. He accessorizes with a necklace/belt combination made from hoops and paperclips, while a mistletoe headband adds a touch of whimsy.

My sister, Jess, is a maniac, maniac on the floor and in this Solid Gold inspired ugly sweater. Shining, shimmering, splendid, this sparkly gold sweater has fringed sleeves and mid-drift. Plain green garland gives a belt-esque look, while a be-belled stuffed Santa corsage prepares you to “jingle all the way” this season.
(You have my permission to add the words “belt-esque” and “be-belled” to your vocabulary. You’re welcome.)

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

After taking a year off to reflect upon his ugly sweater goals, U.A. teamed up with his son, Ben, (2011 Ugly Christmas Sweater Champion) to bring us “The Two-Headed Ski Resort”!

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

This Ugly Christmas Sweater has everything: a Popsicle stick ski lodge, a child performing a marriage ceremony between two snowpeople, sparkly green pine trees atop a snow-covered mountain, a ski lift with a tiny skier aboard, and two grown men wearing mountain hats.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Last but not least, Aunia is once again confused by the concept of making an ugly sweater. Complete with pleated skirt, her sweatery “rendition” of Waltz of the Flowers is a series of lovely flowers, charming bumblebees, and delicate musical notes. Who wore it better, Aunia (on the left), or her brother, Ben (on the right)?

Those were the 2012 contestants of the Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition. Before you scroll down to reveal the winner, who do you think deserves the Ugly Christmas Sweater Trophy of Awesomeness?

Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest Rules

Announcing the 2013 Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest Winners…

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

The collaboration paid off! Father/son team Ben and U.A. were named 2012 Ugly Christmas Sweater Champions, enabling Ben to hold on to the title for a second year in a row. I was given the title of “Overall Most Festive Attire”, and because everyone in the competition had altered their sweater and she was the only other person wearing a sweater, Grandma was given the title of “Most Naturally Ugly Sweater”.


I can’t wait to see what kind of sweaters everyone creates this year!

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Which Ugly Christmas Sweater was your favorite?
Does your family have an ugly sweater tradition?
Let me know in the comments!

labelschristmas300Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition Tradition (Coolest Family on the Block)Ugly Christmas Sweater Tradition10wayschristmaspjs1



Santa Proof: Watch Santa feed his reindeer LIVE! (Free)

Watching Santa feed his reindeer

You can see Santa’s Reindeer LIVE on the internet for FREE! Beginning November 17 you can watch Santa feed the reindeer live every weekday at 11am, 6pm and 9pm EST and 6pm EST on weekends until the Christmas Eve on! You can also download the ReindeerCam app for iOS or Andriod!
Just a note: When watching the ReindeerCam, there isn’t supposed to be any sound, so don’t worry if you can’t hear anything! 🙂 In 2014 is adding sound for the first time ever!

Watch Santa feed his reindeer

Adaline loved watching the reindeer last year! This has become a new tradition for our family.

Watching Santa feed his reindeer

Click to watch video

You can follow on:
Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / YouTube

Have you watched Santa feed his reindeer?
Let me know in the comments!

Photos of Santa in your home!Santa Proof: Santa leave sooty boot printsSanta Proof: Phone Calls from Santa


Santa Proof: Photos of Santa in Your Home!

Photos of Santa in your home!
Thanks to my stealthy photography skills, I’ve been able to catch Santa delivering presents to our house for the past 3 years! I’m pretty sure he knows what’s going on, but he lets me think I’m a great Santa detective anyway.

Photos of Santa in your home!

In 2010 I caught Santa checking his list…twice.

Photos of Santa in your home!

In 2011 I caught Santa cinching up his sack after delivering the gifts.

Photos of Santa in your home!

In 2012 I caught Santa reaching for a cookie!

Photos of Santa in your home!

If you’re too tired or too lazy to spend Christmas Eve hiding behind your sofa waiting to pop out and take a picture of the Big Guy in action, you may find one of these photo services helpful.

Many of these services have Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy options as well! 🙂

Want Santa by the Christmas tree? Coming down the chimney? Eating milk and cookies? Sleeping on the sofa? Stealing a kiss from Mommy? For less than $10 anyone can bring back the wonder of Christmas and be a hero to children by catching Santa “in the act.”
*My photos above were made using

Take photo of where you want to “catch” Santa, by the Christmas tree, fireplace, etc.
Follow the prompts to upload your photo to our magical editing page

With My Santa Pictures, it is easy to create the perfect Santa Claus picture. Just upload a photo, then pick from over 65 different Santa pictures, adjust the Santa picture for size and placement – we do the rest

With Photo Santa’s digital photo editor, you can capture Santa in your home using an assortment of jolly poses. Your kids will be amazed when you show them Santa eating up all the milk and cookies, or gently spreading the presents in their place.

Free iphone app. Add Santa to your photos to make pictures of his visit to your home. This easy to use Christmas photo app gives you photographic evidence of Santa’s visit.

Why not use our catch Santa site as often as you like and create lots of different Santa Photo’s. Catch Santa coming down the chimney, taking a nap under the Christmas Tree or even kissing Mummy! You can then revisit our site year upon year and do the same.

The Santa Photo is officially in the works, offering free santa photos of santa claus in your very own home. That’s right, catch santa on camera with a photo or picture of santa clause this Christmas. Stay tuned for santa photo and santa picture updates! In the meantime, check out The Santa Video.

FREE Santa Photo:
4 Santa images to choose from! Santa is pretty quick, but this year you can set up a camera and catch him in action. We have the Santa. You just need to take a background picture by the tree or stockings and drop Santa in. Open your picture in a Word document and choose a Santa to add to your picture. Remember to bring the Santa picture to the front and format his position so that he is “in front of text.” Resize him as needed and crop any overhanging edges.
studio5 24955762

Disclosure: I created the photos used in this post using I paid for these photos myself. I wasn’t given anything for free and I wasn’t compensated in any way. There are no affiliate links included in this post. I have not tried the other websites/services listed in this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Photos of Santa in your home!

Have you ever caught Santa in your home?
Let me know in the comments!

Santa Proof: Santa leave sooty boot printsSanta Proof: Phone Calls from Santa


Christmas Traditions: Gift Wrapped Doorway and Christmas Blocks


Christmas Morning Tradition: Gift Wrap Doorway

When Santa was here on Christmas Eve, not only did he leave presents for the children, and leave his messy boot prints all over our room…but he also gift wrapped the doorway!

Santa gift wrapped the doorway!

Now the Christmas tree and the presents were trapped behind a wall of wrapping paper. The only way to get to the gifts…was to bust through the wrapping paper!

Busting through the gift wrapped doorway on Christmas morning!

It was actually harder than it looks to bust through that paper! Because of the way our doorway is set up there were actually two layers of wrapping paper to get through.

Busting through the gift wrapped doorway on Christmas morning!

Perhaps at your house the bedroom doorway gets wrapped instead of the living room, or perhaps it’s tissue paper or streamers instead of wrapping paper.

The great thing about the gift wrapped doorway tradition is that it can work for so many different families, whether Santa visits your house or not! It’s one that mom’s and dad’s can do themselves without Santa’s help. It’s one that teenagers can enjoy and look forward to as much as little children.

Busting through the gift wrapped doorway on Christmas morning!

Another Christmas morning tradition that we have in our family is the ceremonial knocking down of the Christmas blocks. Okay, it’s not ceremonial at all…but it is fun! In the photo below Jonathan was almost 11 months old and he crawled right to the blocks to knock them over.

Knocking down the Christmas blocks

It will be interesting to see how long it takes the kids to knock the blocks down this year. Will they be more interested in Santa’s footprints or the presents? Or will they knock the blocks down right away? Will they fight over who gets to knock the blocks down or cry because “So-and-so knocked the blocks down first and I wanted to do it!”
I mean, of course I like to purposely implement traditions that will inevitably create discourse amongst the children…who doesn’t?! 😉

So far knocking down the blocks has been a fun little Christmas morning tradition, we’ll see if it remains fun as the kids get older!

2013 Update: Our wrapped doorway was a little less exciting this year. Check it out here: Merry Christmas 2013! Jon seemed a little overwhelmed on Christmas morning, but when my husband pointed out the blocks to him he was thrilled to knock them down! 🙂

Christmas Morning Tradition: Gift Wrap Doorway

Does Santa gift wrap your door way?
What are some of your fun Christmas morning traditions? Let me know in the comments!


Santa Proof: Santa leave sooty boot printsSanta Proof: Phone Calls from Santa

This post is linked to:

SITS Sharefest 12/21/2013

Creative K KidsmainbuttonThe Weekly Kids Co-OpLink-Learn-fall-2012

Christmas Book Countdown

Christmas Book Countdown Advent

Here’s a quick and easy activity we do to countdown to Christmas day. Unwrap and read a Christmas book each day until Christmas!

Christmas Book Countdown Advent

It’s already December 2 and I haven’t wrapped the books yet this year. Oops. I always tell myself that I’m going to get these things done before Thanksgiving and then I always forget, or someone gets sick, or I’m distracted by something shiny. Maybe I should wrap them this year before I pack them away. That sounds smar…Squirrel! Wait, what was I saying?

Christmas Book Countdown Advent

How does your family countdown to Christmas?
What are your favorite Christmas books?
Let me know in the comments!

Christmas Morning Tradition: Gift Wrap Doorway10wayschristmaspjs1


Santa Proof: Magical Santa Bootprints

Santa Proof: Magical Santa boot prints in your home!

I’m not sure what it is about our house but legendary figures are always leaving messy footprints in our house after a visit. First Leprechauns, then the Easter Bunny, and now…Santa Claus!

For the past two years Santa has magically descended our non-functioning chimney and left his sooty boot prints on our carpet on his way to the Christmas tree.

Santa leaves his dirty boot prints!

In 2011 Santa left a trail directly to the tree.
He must’ve ran out of soot on the way back.

Santa leaves his sooty bootprints on Christmas morning!

But in 2012 Santa wasn’t quite so neat.
He left footprints everywhere…what a mess!
Luckily Santa’s boot prints vacuum up quickly and easily.

Santa Proof: Santa leaves his sooty bootprints on Christmas day!

…and we noticed something interesting. Santa’s boot prints are truly magical indeed, in fact they change while he’s walking! Every so many steps he would leave a “Ho Ho Ho” or “SC” foot print behind.

Santas Magical Bootprints

In some homes Santa leaves white snowy boot prints with magical North Pole snow that doesn’t melt. For us, it’s soot. I’ve also heard reports from some families that get reindeer hoof prints inside their house! I guess it’s a good thing that we set our oats and carrots for the reindeer out on the back porch.

Santa Soles, make Santas sooty boot prints!
The product used to create Santa’s plain soot boot prints was Santa Soles. While I’ve seen many other products for creating Santa’s snowy boot prints, this is the only one that I’ve found that imitates soot. Visit and like the Santa Soles Facebook Page
Santa Soles allow you to create Santa’s footprints in your very own home, adding to the magic of Christmas morning. Santa Soles are the footprints that dreams are made of!  Santa Soles are templates that allow you, along with our non-toxic, non-staining “soot” to create Santa’s footprints right in your home! Our “soot” is safe for use on all types of flooring and vacuums up easily, making clean up a breeze!

Other stencils/templates used: “Ho Ho Ho” and “SC
Hohoho Santa BootprintSC with Snowflake Santa Bootprint

Disclosure: I found, purchased, and reviewed the product “Santa Soles” and the additional boot print templates on my own. I was not given the products for free, I was not compensated in any way, and I was not asked to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Santa Proof: Santa leave sooty boot prints

Does Santa leave boot prints in your house?
Let me know in the comments!

This post is linked to:

Creative K Kids

Santa Proof: Phone Calls from SantaPhotos of Santa in your home!Watching Santa feed his reindeer


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