Though I realize we're already beyond Christmas, we're in the home stretch on my 12 DIYs of Christmas nagging project goals.

The holidays bring so much joyous fervor and enjoyable obligations that it's often tough to squeeze in the time necessary to check projects off your list. In the past this has always been our excuse for why we don't get much accomplished during the month of December. I mean, when you have amazing traditions like the Scottish Christmas Walk...

...the neighborhood Gingerbread competition...

...and what seems like an endless stream of get togethers and holiday parties, it's not hard to come up with some good excuses.


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The story of my new favorite Christmas decoration began last year on Christmas day. After a fun afternoon of enjoying my family's famed potato soup, eating too many cookies to count, opening gifts, and the annual visit from my uncle Santa...

...my Aunt Margie surprised my cousins and me by inviting us around the dining room table. Years earlier, my Gram handed down a box of old family ornaments that had been passed down to her. 

The box contained beautifully tarnished orbs, in different shades of antique glass, and my aunt announced that she wanted each of the grandkids to have one of the ornaments for our trees. I was ecstatic! I was so excited to not only have a piece of our family's history, but since we decorate our tree in glass ornaments I knew it would be a perfect addition to our home. 

To maintain order and fairness (our German ancestors would be proud), the cousins drew numbers and then in the order of our numbers, each selected an ornament to take home. We selected until the ornaments were all claimed, and I ended up with a beautiful pink ornament, smaller in size, with a beautiful old silver cap.


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While I may not have given you a 12 DIYs update the last few days, that's not to say I've not been working my tail off to make my 12 projects goal a reality. With my somewhat limited time during the week I've been working to knock as many of the small tasks off of my list that I can. So today I present you with three fairly minor things that are surprisingly a pretty major deal to us. DIYs four, five, and six.

On the 4th DIY of Christmas I did for my true love to see, some working shutters in our front window.

Back in 2003 we purchased our home and almost immediately launched into what would become the longest renovation project we could ever imagine. Shortly after, we started work on the front parlour/living room (the very first project room of our decade plus renovation).

Almost as soon as we started the project, one of the very first things we did was to remove the window shutters and window sash stops. It was a necessary aspect of the project, and we had high hopes we'd be able to get things put back together in no time.


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On the 3rd DIY of Christmas I did for my true love to see, patching the hole in the side of our house.

This large and unsightly hole has been in the side of our house for more than a year and a half, since July 2014 to be exact. It's the remnant of the removal of our house's old main waste stack, which was abandoned many years ago and was left sitting on the side of our house. After the cast iron stack cracked during the Virginia earthquake, it was time for it to come out.

Though I had long debated how to remove it myself, Wendy really didn't like the idea of me hanging off of the roof while trying to wield large sections of cast iron pipe. So instead we hired a plumber with a few guys to take it out. After the vertical length of cast iron stack was removed from the house and the tee was broken as close to the wall as the plumber could get it, he said "I can't get the rest of this out, you're going to need to hire a mason."

My thought at the time was something along the lines of "Hey, you did the hard part so that's no problem. I can probably do this myself...I'll take care of it in the next few days."


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On the 1st DIY of Christmas I did for my true love to see, a chiming clock next to our Christmas tree.

Over the last year or so our task list has grown exponentially. We've taken on new project after new project without properly finishing and marking old projects off of our list. That list is getting so big that it feels like Santa's got nothing on us. I know this is a tired old trend for us: too many projects, too little follow through, takes a million years to get things done, blah blah blah. (Where are the storm windows, Alex? Yeah, I know, I'm working on it!) So this Christmas I've decided to do something about our lengthy list...other than stare at it. 

Our blog post last week about fixing the grandfather clock was just the first of many little DIY tasks around the house that have been begging to be checked off of the list. More importantly, it was one of those nagging tasks that has been bugging Wendy (and me as well) and really starts to get us down when we think about how long it sat undone.

So, in honor of it being Christmas, and my never ending quest to give my spouse thoughtful holiday gifts that brighten her day and bring a smile to her face (seriously, it's a general life goal of mine), I've decided to launch a lofty endeavor to accomplish 12 legitimate DIY tasks this holiday season.


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