Here for some puppy cuteness? Meet Olive and Bernadette.

We love our woolly bullies...even when they flooded our house!

Here Comes Santa Claus...Make that Santa Paws

My Thanksgiving, 2020 blog post ended up being one of the most popular on my site this year (thank you!), so here's a quick Christmas Eve update, filled with photos. 

Christmas, 2020 hasn't looked like it has in previous years...
Christmas photos
My younger self (with braces!) was excited to wear that purple flower pin, which had been recently purchased at a consignment shop. My old lady self questions my previous sense of fashion while simultaneously wondering whatever happened to that purple flower pin.

Though, to be fair, our Christmas celebrations often seem a bit untraditional. There's certainly no snow for Santa's sleigh when your family lives in Arizona.
Christmas in Arizona
I'd had a light jacket, but it was so sunny and warm in Scottsdale the year we visited Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West.

It would just be SN and I for the holidays this year. No homemade lasagna, no tamale brunch, and no Christmas cookies. Imagine my surprise when I received a card from my aunt saying to enjoy the package she'd sent.

But we hadn't received a package!

I waited patiently (okay, not very patiently), wondering what was on the way. When I was young and we lived in San Jose, my brother and I received a package of Christmas cookies in the mail each year from our grandma. She passed away last year shortly before Christmas. She was almost 100. Her cookies were made using the same recipes that her mother had used for the box of treats she mailed to her grandchildren.

"Ooooh, I hope it's cookies," I told SN (about a million times).

"Our mailman probably ate them," SN told me.
Plates with dogs
The mailman didn't eat them - whew! Family favorites: anise cookies, empanada cookies, and wine cookies

I don't remember if those are the correct names for all 3 cookies. My aunt Jackie is probably going to read this blog post and shake her head. Maybe I just need to eat more cookies to help me remember.

For Christmas, 2020, I have been really into making chocolate chai lattes:
Homemade chai latte
Om nom nom.

I thought we'd have a chocolate chai latte Christmas this year. This morning, SN asked when I was going to make hot apple cider. He was not a fan of my latte idea. "It's not Christmas without your homemade cider," he said. Funny, that was the exact reason he gave to convince me to make hot cider for Thanksgiving.
Hot apple cider
Those are chai teabags soaking in the apple juice for his cider. Gotcha, SN.

When he was drinking his first of about 50 glasses of hot cider, I took a taste. It was muuuch stronger than I'd expected. Had I gone overboard with the orange peel? Too much cardamom?

Then I saw the bottle next to the Crock Pot. SN had topped off my homemade cider with rum. No wonder he loves it so much! 

With no one visiting our home during COVID Christmas, we kept our holiday decorating to a minimum. 
Christmas wreath
Someone made this pinecone wreath for us when SN and I were dating. Isn't it pretty? 

I found the cutest little tree, a lemon cypress, in the clearance section at Smiths. He's not quite big enough for our Santa tree topper yet. Tune in for a Christmas, 2021 update where we'll reveal the new height of this tree. Exciting!
Christmas decorating ideas
I told you I'm super into chai lattes right now. Also, I love this colorful table runner, which was gifted to us by Affordable Solar when we purchased our panels. They'd said we would be invited to fun events they hold for their customers, such as a gathering at the Casa Rondena winery, but nothing yet. SN says it's because of COVID...but we installed our panels in 2018...🧐

My most cherished Christmas decoration is my Muffy Mouse. She's a Target-exclusive Puffalump from the 1980s. One of my online friends recently posted a photo of her holiday decor, including her cherished Muffy Mouse on her fireplace mantle. I'm pretty sure this makes us best friends.
puffalump christmas mouse
This is the closest Olive has ever been to Muffy Mouse. Taking this photo was terrifying. Look at her, inhaling the aroma of polyester stuffing and pondering how to make Muffy's death seem like an accident.

Speaking of Olive, she and Bernadette have really gotten into the holiday spirit. This is Bernadette's first Christmas where she belongs. 
Dog sisters
For Christmas, I bet these pups would love to receive a larger rug.

Congratulations! You've reached the best part of this blog post. 

Dog Christmas Photos

Last year, I really wanted to have Olive's photo taken with Santa (because no kids), but we ran out of time. This year, I really, really wanted both girls to have their photo taken with Santa, but that wasn't possible, what with the global pandemic and everything.

(And everything = there's no way they would behave on an outing like that. Bernadette is afraid of all new people. What happened to her prior to her adoption? Our poor baby.)

I staged a little photo shoot here at home...

Dogs wearing matching pajamas
We woof you a merry Christmas.

dog christmas photos
Waiting for Santa Paws.

how to have a photo shoot with your dog
Olive: 1. Tree: 0.

Professional photography with Pixel phone
Feliz Naughty Dog.

Funny dog photos
I don't know who ate all the Christmas cookies.
(Not my wine cookies, Bernadette!)

Now, before you complain that Biscuit was excluded from the photos, she is 17 years old, which is about 800 million in dog years. Our little chihuahua/yorkie rescue much preferred to be bundled up next to the fireplace.

Cute dog
OMG she's so cute...and so old. After the scare she gave us earlier this year, we're trying to make this Biscuit's best Christmas ever. Tonight she received an early present - salmon skin. Uhh, yum? I'd have returned or regifted this, but she loved it.

Actually, I do have a good photo of Biscuit from the day of our photo shoot:

out of control eyebrows
Her eyebrow! 😂

The star of the show was Olive. She is so photogenic. 

cute pitbulls
Someone get this girl a dog food commercial.

American Bully
Bernadette preferred taste testing each ornament to posing for my camera.

dogs with big eyes
I told Bernadette that Santa Paws doesn't bring presents for little dogs who eat my photo props. This worked surprisingly well. Anyone who claims your dog can't understand you is full of nonsense.

Of course, there were a few bloopers:

dog bloopers
I'm getting some serious side-eye here. Did Bernadette just realize she'll still receive Christmas presents even if she eats the ornaments? Might the ornaments taste better than any present anyway?

After taking photos, I sent our Bumpus Hounds outside to romp. They watched me put the ornaments away instead. 

dogs looking through the window

After repeatedly telling Olive and Bernadette to be careful not to break any ornaments, yours truly broke one while impatiently tossing them into a box. I swear they both stared at me wide-eyed, thinking BUT YOU SAID NOT TO BREAK ANY ORNAMENTS. I guess Santa Paws will have to put me on the Naughty list this year.
digital christmas card

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