It’s that time of year again and we are back with the latest addition to our fantastic family tradition!  Our Christmas Time Capsule Wreath.  Here we go!  

After one of the most unusual years in our lives in 2020, the Santa Family found our footing and decided we were going to live our lives to the fullest in 2021.  2021 was a year of travel for us.  We did what we needed to do to keep everyone safe and got out there and mixed it up.

In December of 2020 I created the Santa Dad and 2021 was the year I, Santa Mom, and the Santa Sisters fully introduced ourselves and began sharing our adventures with the world.  Santa Dad is everywhere … Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook … and we took all of you wonderful people with us every time we got into some new Christmas-colored fun.  And there was a lot of it!  Beach trips, Christmas in July, all the holidays throughout the year, and as December rolled around we really cranked things up a notch with our first annual Christmas Across Georgia tour, plus Twinkle Reels!  So, when it was time to think about what this year’s family time capsule wreath might look like, we had plenty of options and selected the very best memories that we wanted it to whisper to us during future Christmas seasons. 

To begin the build, I asked the girls to think back on the year and tell me what stood out to them the most . . . things they enjoyed, what they were most proud of accomplishing . . . whatever it was that really defined their daily lives.  It didn’t take long and we knew what had to be on this year’s wreath so all that was left was to get to building.

Innocence.  Energy.  Passion.  Creativity.  Excitement.  Together.  Love.  Home.  Safety.  The Santa Dad , of course.  These were the key words we felt best captured our lives over the past year.

The girls were were still thrilled with how much we had been able to be together.  As a parent and a dad, I was so thankful that they felt safe, and loved.  We were still living with the threat of the virus every day, but the girls had a clear understanding of what was happening and what we were doing to keep all of us safe.  The Santa Sisters (at ages 6 and 4 at Christmas) continued to amaze us at how resilient they are and how they often are the seemingly infinite source of strength and motivation for Santa Mom and myself.  These powerful examples, coupled with a heaping helping of emotion, certainly had a heavy hand in the final look of the wreath.

watch:  creating our 2021 christmas time capsule wreath

We had a lot of fun building out this year’s Christmas Time Capsule Wreath. 

The bones

This year we went with a snow white wreath to capture the innocence of our girls, while simultaneously conveying the cold clarity that 2021 provided us in so many ways. 



Given each year’s wreath has a specific theme we want to express, the colors we chose to use in this project are always of vital importance.


The color red was back in our family wreath design for 2021. A traditional color of the season, red stars once again as it symbolizes the energy of our year.

Spurred on by the ideals of the Santa Dad, red represents the positivity, confidence, motivation, passion, and desire that was evident in everything we did in the past year.  Every adventure, every challenge, every opportunity 2021 afforded us, all of it could be described by these words.

With all of this in mind as we looked back on the year, the power of red was once again the perfect accent to our family wreath. 



Representing purity and innocence, as a color white also promotes self-reflection.  A true balance of all colors, white was the perfect starting point for our 2021 wreath. 

The simplicity of white represented our refreshed notions of who we are, what matters, and why we do the things we do.  The clarity it brings simplified and balanced our view of the world.  It also provided a clean slate.  One upon which we could create and document our story.  

Without a doubt, white was the only option for our 2021 Christmas Time Capsule Wreath.


Silver is a color that inspires and illuminates, while simultaneously acting a calming and restorative force.  Along with its dynamic properties, silver encompassed the spectrum of our family’s collective emotions over the past year. 

Whether centering our family’s emotional health and learning, illuminating our path forward, or shining brilliantly around our Santa Dad adventures, silver was a dynamic representation of our journey. 


Our 2021 Time Capsule Wreath is crowned with a shimmering pair of Mickey Mouse ears to commemorate the girl’s first visit to Disney World, but they truly represent much more.  This wreath will shine Christmas season after Christmas season to remind us of the year we “opted in” as a family and continued to write our amazing story. 

2020 was so very difficult for all of us, and though the challenges of the world are still very much present, 2021 marked a change in trajectory for our family and this beautiful keepsake captures the journey wonderfully.  

We believe in living for what matters and being truly grateful for those who choose to travel by your side.   We believe in seeing the world for what it is, but also actively seeking all that it could be.  We believe in living a life worth sharing and spreading beauty, truth, and light in the world. 

We are thankful for the blessing of time which allowed us to recognize the things in this life that are truly important, and gain an understanding of why along the way. Why we need each other. Why we work and play so hard. Why we must take time to appreciate the daily gifts we all are guilty of occasionally taking for granted.

We choose to celebrate a year that while still challenging us, encouraged us to grow. Our 2021 family wreath shines as a testament to our shared story and is already beloved.  I am most proud of the fact that in a year that offered relief in fits and starts and left so many feeling calloused and raw, my daughters inspired us and led us to remain open, vulnerable, and positive.  As we slingshot into 2022, we are energized, feeling powerful, and thrilled to continue writing the next chapter in our beautiful story. 


Keep ChristmasChristmas treewell all year ‘round, friends!

Santa Dad



   Christmas in july!

As the calendar rolls over to July, we in the Santa Family are reminded of why we love Christmas.  Everything about it.  The traditions.  The history.  The memories.  The way it makes you feel inside.  The smells.  The tastes.  The opportunity to not need a reason to help someone else.  The joy.  The innocence of the season, especially now that I get to see it reflected back at me in the faces of my two young daughters.  The magic.  The fun! 


Part of that fun is celebrating Christmas in July!  Here in the south it’s another sweltering summer, but there’s still plenty of room to celebrate the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ . . . adjusted for summer, of course! 


We’ve got big plans, including a party, and we wanted to share them with you.  So just in case you’re celebrating and you aren’t already motivated enough, here are a few ideas. 


Here’s what we’ve got planned! 

frozen hot chocolate bar

We couldn’t think of a better way to beat the heat at Christmas in July than with a frozen hot chocolate bar set up with all the fixins.  Marshmallows, whipped cream, and of course it’s the chocolate for me!  This DIY treat station is sure to be a hit with all of our guests, especially the littles! 

Marshmallow polar bears

Around here we’re all about family, food and fun, not to mention the occasional craft project, especially when we’re talking Christmas.  That’s where these cute-as-a-button marshmallow polar bears come in.  Not only will they be a blast to make the littles, they’ll be absolutely delicious too!

tommy’s famous sausage balls

If the Santa Family is getting together to celebrate the holidays . . . any holiday . . . well anything, really . . . the one thing that absolutely must be on the party table is Tommy’s Famous Sausage Balls.   

Tommy is my father-in-law, but these sausage balls were the stuff of legend before I ever officially joined the family.  Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to try them out and well . . . it goes without saying that they lived up to the hype.  So, if it’s Christmas or the Fourth of July, this legendary treat always delivers the deliciousness.

watermelon christmas cookies

Nothing really says summer in the south like a sweet and juicy watermelon, so it’s only natural that the Christmas colored star of the season would have a prime place on our Christmas in July table.  There are plenty of variations on festive and yummy ways to enjoy any number of delicious fruits as a healthy snack and this one is a winner.

santa shakes 

There is nothing more Christmas than Santa and there is absolutely nothing more Christmas in July than Santa shakes.  A quick search of the interwebs will show you that there is no shortage of recipes for this summer treat, be we keep things simple.  A heap of frozen strawberries, our favorite vanilla ice cream, a little milk or half-and-half, and extra ice if you need it.  Spin it all up, top with whipped cream and goodies to suit your taste and you’ve pulled it off.  You really can’t go wrong with this one, so have some fun.

santa face pancakes 

Our daughters love pancakes, but they also enjoy eating healthy.  And we all love to have fun.  That’s why this idea is a home run, whether we’re talking Christmas in July in the middle of baseball season or Christmas Eve when the big man is on his way!

Keep ChristmasChristmas treewell all year ‘round, friends! From Bethlehem to wherever you are in this old, wide world and from our home to yours, Merry Christmas in July from the Santa Dad! 


Christmas Time Capsule wreath

Last year we started a brand new tradition that has been a phenomenal hit here at home and with everyone that hears about it.  It is certain to be the crown jewel of our holiday season for generations to come. 

In the midst of Christmas 2019 and with two very young children showing me the magic of the season with every move, I had the idea to wrap those ideas together by combining the classic Christmas icon, the Christmas wreath, and the vision of what the world looks like through the eyes of a child.  The key is capturing what matters most to my children in some physical way that accurately represents ‘a few of our favorite things’ from the past year.

Much like the song says “These Are A Few of Our Favorite Things…”, the Christmas Time Capsule wreath is our hyper-jolly way of documenting the various stages of our children’s lives as they grow.  It is a handmade Christmas wreath that captures how they feel about the year that was, what matters most to them at the time, and touches on the main themes of their lives over the past 12 months. 

Once the wreath is complete, we hang it alongside our other wreaths and it becomes a permanent part of our Christmas decorations.  As the years pass, we are building a visual display that documents our children’s lives that reads like chapters in a book that is filled with joy, hope, and love.  Quite possible the greatest story book ever written.

DECODING OUR 2020 wreath

Needless to say, 2020 was a year like no other for most of us.  Never before have we been forced to separate ourselves from the rest of the world for so long.  This period of time was difficult for all of us.  For all of us, it was because of the shared reasons beyond our control.  For others it was because of additional and varying factors.  One thing is for certain, we were all affected, the only difference being the degree to which we felt the impacts of 2020.  Our family was no different.  

Well the Santa Family are an optimistic and tightly knit bunch, and despite all the year had to throw at us, we stayed safe, grew even closer together as a family, and made memories that will last a lifetime.  So, when it was time to think about what our family time capsule wreath might look like for the year that shall not be named, we had some clear ideas and themes for what we wanted it to whisper to us in Christmases future. 

To begin the process, I asked the girls to think back on the year that was and tell me what stood out to them the most . . . things they enjoyed, were most proud of accomplishing . . . whatever it was that really seemed to be a part of our everyday lives.  After a few minutes of thinking they came back with answers that were beautifully simple, yet powerfully complex, as only the view of the world through the eyes of a child could.

Together.  Love.  Home.  Safety.  Bravery.  Hope.  Compassion.  Excitement.

They were happy about the fact that we had been able to be together every day.  They felt safe, and loved, and wanted to show that there was no place they’d rather be than at home and together with us.  They were thankful that we were all together and safe, but they understood clearly that not everyone could say the same, and they worried and wanted the best for those that were fighting and living with the threat of the virus every day.  And though things had been different, they were proud and excited about all the new things they had experienced in the year like virtual school, and lots and lots and lots of video calls with family and friends.  The Santa girls (at ages 5 and 3 at Christmas) are now basically engineering experts and have flourished in their role as tech support for the Santa family!  All of the very real emotion of the year, and the powerful example of resilience and innocence the girls displayed over the year stood out to Santa Mom and I and absolutely had to be conveyed in the final look of the wreath.

The bones

This year we chose dried grapevines to represent the faith required to grow and prosper, as well as the brutal harshness of the year. Simultaneously, the grapevines show the joy that comes as a result of that growth as evidenced by the grapes and wine they once produced. It is no mistake that this plant and its fruit are used for pleasure and during celebrations. For us, in this year, the grapevine truly symbolizes the fruit of the human spirit – and of life.



Given the theme of this year’s wreath and the ideas we wanted to express, the colors we chose to use in this project were of vital importance.


The color red was the vital lynchpin in our family wreath design for 2020. Not only because it is a traditional color of the season, but also because of the inherent meaning and associations of the tone.

Red has a range of symbolic meanings as numerous as its shades, including life, health, vigor, war, courage, anger, love, religious fervor, energy, willpower, leadership, and longing. The common thread is that all these require passion. A striking, bold, and captivating hue, red also lets us know when caution is warranted. Though seeing the color red may give us pause, it also provides tremendous warmth. When this scarlet shade rears its cherry head, we can’t help but feel protected. In essence, the color red serves to safeguard us against harm.

On a happier note, red also corresponds with positivity. In fact, seeing the color red can inspire us to take action, lift our spirits, and energize us. This healthy dose of optimism is one reason the color red is so beloved.

With all of this in mind as we looked back on “the year we stayed home”, the brilliance of red was a no-doubt choice for our family wreath. 



Representing purity or innocence, light, goodness, safety, illumination, understanding, the possibility of new beginnings, and even a sense of sterility, white often seems like a blank slate, symbolizing a new beginning or a fresh start.

Simplicity reigns with white, and with that comes possibility, humility, sincerity, protection, softness, and perfection. In a year the world was virtually brought to a standstill during a global pandemic, these notions position the color white very well on our wreath.

Each of us in the Santa family felt white conveyed so many of the feelings we shared over the course of the unusual year and was a powerful stroke of color on what was a very dark year for so many.


Symbolizing affluence and modernism, silver is sleek and stylish, making it the perfect representation of present-day advancements. If any color captured the essence of the widespread use of cutting-edge technology by the masses that 2020 ushered in, it would be silver.

Our family was no different. From distance learning to working from home to birthday and holiday celebrations via video chat, new technologies made the version of 2020 we all lived possible. 

As a color wheel powerhouse, silver is calming and excels at delivering clarity, resolving conflict, and offers peace of mind, which bodes well for optimal well-being. With its calming presence and healing powers, the color silver can even diminish both emotional and physical pain.

By any measure, 2020 was a challenging and trying year for us all in a myriad of ways, so there’s no doubt each of us can use all the help we can get. Without a doubt, silver is a powerful presence as a representation of our journey through the year.


The laurel wreath is a symbol of victory, honor, and peace. Used by the Ancient Greeks as an honorary reward for victors, the leaf itself was believed to have spiritual and physical cleansing abilities. 

Given the trials of the year and the aforementioned power of red, we chose to crown our 2020 family wreath with red laurel. 

We think it’s fully appropriate to claim victory in a year we managed to safely and successfully navigate a a global pandemic, as well as a thousand other challenges, and come to the end finding ourselves better for it.

We are thankful for the blessing of time which allowed us to recognize the things in this life that are truly important, and gain an understanding of why along the way. Why we need each other. Why we work and play so hard. Why we must take time to appreciate the daily gifts we all are guilty of occasionally taking for granted.

We choose to celebrate a year that challenged us, but also allowed us to grow. Our 2020 family wreath shines as a testament to our shared story and is already beloved.  I am most proud of the fact that in designing and building this year’s wreath, just like everything else in a year that was like no other, we did it together and truly enjoyed the journey.


Keep ChristmasChristmas treewell all year ‘round, friends!

Santa Dad