My holiday heart is full and ready to share some thoughts on all things Christmas! So thrilled that The Blended Blog chose this topic for our Monday link up. Last week was full of holiday commitments and that honestly stressed me out. I am so proud to report I kept all of my commitments, in the past I would have bowed out of at least one. Thank goodness this week will be a bit lighter as far as commitments go and I have a 4 day work week, that has me all kinds of giddy – let the fun begin!
Decorating I mentioned before that we put our tree up early – generally a day or two before Thanksgiving. This is because my boys help and since they have to head back to school I try to keep the weekend after Thanksgiving for enjoying and relaxing rather than cleaning and decorating. It works well for us since we don’t host Thanksgiving. This year we got rid of our old tree (it was 22 years old) and opted to use 2 smaller pre-lit trees. They are old too (14 years) but we had them packed away and had only used them once. This allowed us to have a tree in the living room and the family room.
Gifting & Cards I have hardly had to do any shopping. In fact the majority of my purchases have been online you aren’t surprised at all are you? Our youngest son wanted a new Iphone and since that is waaaaaaay more than we typically spend that is all he is getting. In fact it’s his birthday gift as well. With a March birthday you’d think we might forget when the time rolls around but you haven’t met my husband. Ha! We do not exchange gifts with the adults in my family just the kids. With the exception of my 2 year old niece all the kids want money. Easy peasy!
This year my cards were ordered so early since we had family pictures done professionally in October. I always order from Costco and I loved how they turned out.
Traditions I used to think our family was weak on traditions but then I realized we actually have quite a few. The first is that the boys help us decorate. This means the ornaments are not exactly properly placed but I am okay with that. I let them do the tree and I focus on other areas of the house. I enjoy listening to them talk about the ornaments. The truth is the majority of the ornaments are theirs. Which leads to the next tradition.
We have a family brunch, we should really call it Framily Brunch since it involves my parents neighbors and best friends. These people have been in our lives for as long as I can remember and are the closest thing we have to aunts and unlces locally. One neighbor hosts every year and we all bring a dish. I make this recipe This same neighbor gifts our children ornaments. He’s been doing this since they were toddlers. This year they each received 15 ornaments. So do the math, over the years 15-20 ornaments for each of my boys, well that equals a ton of ornaments. He shops all year and finds the most unique and beautiful ones for each child.
My best friend from high school lives in Miami now but her parents still live in her childhood home. They host a Christmas party each year and we go. It’s fun to catch up and they hire a pianist who plays all the Christmas carols. The best part is when the entire group sings the 12 Days of Christmas. We are all given a part and it comes together so well!
Years ago we decided not to exchange gifts with our best friends and instead build gingerbread houses, have dinner, and go look at lights. The house building was tough when the kids were little and before pre-built kits were available. Many batches of royal icing were made and lots of messes were created. We all look forward to this time together. This year we are getting together on Saturday and I can’t wait!
This year will be the 3rd Annual Cousins Christmas Party at my house. In the past I’ve had my nieces and nephews over to do things like bake and decorate cookies and a fun gift exchange. This year I have big plans to do something super special. We had to reschedule to this Thursday night so I’ll be sure to share on Friday. I can hardly wait!
Christmas Eve we go to church and then our family gets together and my mom makes some of her traditional Italian dishes that we only get once a year, we do this at my sister’s house. Then on Christmas day I host. We have prime rib, mashed potatoes, and I make a salad with a delicious honey curry dressing. I haven’t decided what dessert I’ll make yet but I’m tossing around a few ideas.
Style What to wear for all of these fun days and nights always depends on the weather. Some years it’s been 85 degrees and humid and others it’s been 50 degrees and cold. For that reason I can never plan too far ahead but my sequin leggings have been a favorite. I’ll be wearing them Friday night to an ornament exchange and most likely on Christmas Eve.
On Saturday I had three events – our Framily Brunch and then two parties. Since it was warm I wore my faux leather leggings and a new OTS lightweight sweater I recently purchased from Amazon. I added a sparkly necklace to look festive. I realize I don’t have many red tops – the one I wore earlier in the week was in the wash.
I hope you enjoyed a little peek into how we do all things Christmas. I’d love to hear what you do! Link up with us here. See you back here on Wednesday!