Even before the boxes of Christmas decorations are pulled from the attic, Jennifer Dent is shopping for gifts. She starts early so she can find the perfect gift but also because she loves wrapping presents. “Each year, I find a new theme using awesome handmade paper, vintage postcards, or a photo of the person instead of a gift card. I may get a little carried away, but I just love doing it,” she says. Jennifer also admits, “Really, my very favorite thing about Christmas, though, is my Christmas card. I start early in the year coming up with an idea.” Jennifer’s holiday cards go far beyond a simple family photo and envelope. In years past, they have included snow-globe frames, View- Masters with photo strips of the year’s highlights, and even a selfie stick with the greeting, “Have your selfie a merry little Christmas.”
With presents wrapped and cards sent, the tree becomes the next family project. A few years ago, Jennifer talked her husband, Matthew, into getting a flocked tree. He begrudgingly agreed, but warned her she was going to ruin Christmas. However, once the tree was decorated, Matthew announced it was his favorite tree ever. “This year we flocked the tree ourselves,” Jennifer says. “We took it out into the woods to spray it and ended up having a ‘snowball’ fight. It was so much fun.” Shedding fewer pine needles is a benefit to flocking a live tree, but Jennifer warns if you want your home to smell like Christmas, you’ll have to buy a candle.