In my opinion, the Holiday season is the best, yet most stressful, hustle-y bustle-y time of the year. It’s a time for family, appreciating what you have, and seeing how many times you can watch Elf in the 28 or so days that you have between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Well friends, Christmas is almost here. Is all of your shopping done?
I’d like to say mine is, I was going strong mid November (yes, you heard me right. November!) and I’ve seemed to really slow my roll throughout the last few weeks. I still have more to do, and yet I find myself watching The Santa Claus for the 3rd time THIS WEEK instead of getting out there and finding all of the last few perfect gifts for my loves.
I’d like to share with you my guide to the holiday season, how to get through the cookie swaps, fun family games and the uncertainty of the candy canes that are placed on your tree yearly (or, year after year) with no knowledge of expiration date. Eeeeeek.
November is the time to REALLY start paying attention to any hints that are dropped for gifting ideas. GUYS, I PROMISE YOU there will be hints dropped, more than once, and probably more than twice. Pick up what she’s putting down and log onto amazon right away. Another suggestion: ship it to your mom’s. We tend to peek. Don’t put it past us. Plus, a chance of free wrapping!
This is not to say that you shouldn’t be paying attention all year though, keep a list on your phone of gift ideas. If someone mentions something they want or need in July, chances are they have forgotten they mentioned it, which makes the surprise on the 25th all the more fun!
Making a list
No, not for yourself! Make a list of names of people who are ever so lucky to be receiving a gift from an angel like you 😉 Start building a list of gifts that you are planning on buying, and organize it by store! While you’re at it, find time to shop! Mark it on your calendar so you can squeeze in your stops after work.
And, literally check that thing twice. Make sure you’re not missing anyone important! Like me. Just sayin.
I’m a Black Friday kinda girl. Not the Black Friday you’re thinking, I’m not one for crowds. Totallllly into the all day ornament hanging and garland wrapping. Flicker lights?? SO MUCH YES. We have a tradition to chop down our beauty of a tree on Black Friday, the faster you get your Dougie Fur the longer you get to look at it and its purrrty lights 🙂
ALWAYS get that good good. The gold, glittery stuff that gets all over your floor, clothes, oddly sometimes your pillowcase, THAT is what we’re looking for. Marshalls or TJ Maxx is the MVP of the wrapping paper game, a few extra bucks than the Dollar Tree, but wrapping paper adds to the vibe and décor when you get those presents under the tree!
Side note on wrapping: If you have room to put all the gifts you have bought in a separate place where no one will see them, save it for a snowy day and blast some Alvin and the Chipmunks. That’s sure to get you in the mood! Or, if you’re like me, wrap them the second you get home and put them under the tree so you don’t forget how much money you’ve already spent…………………..
Track down that holiday movie schedule! ABC Family (or “Freeform”…. still not over it) always releases one before Thanksgiving. I’m a festive movie junkie, so I record all that ish before its even close to being on. This way if you miss your fav flick, you’ll have it ready on your DVR (I gotchu.).
ALSO!!!!! HALLMARK MOVIES ARE MY LIFE! Some are extremely corny, yes. But that’s what makes them so underrated-ly (?) amazing.
Traditions are definitely what makes the holidays so special. I say this, but I’m also not one for change and panic at the thought of my mom NOT making fruit cake for the first time on Christmas Eve (I don’t even like fruit cake, not the point). Try to keep traditions, or add traditions! Substituting is also accepted. Just please, don’t STOP any sort of tradition. They’re great memories to have with the ones you love (Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve… yas fam!).
Reindeer games are the best! We play this every Christmas Eve! A quick how-to….
Everyone arrives with an ornament and their Reindeer games answer sheet in which we number from 1-20. Whoever has won the previous year, comes up with questions that can be answered with a few words or even a yes or a no (for example, if you were stranded on an island what are two things or people that you would want with you?). Everyone gets a sheet, a pen, and a seat at the table. One of the kids gets to read through each sheet, reading only the sheet number, the questions and the players answers. As this is happening, the players try to figure out who’s sheet and answers these are. Some can get prettttty twisted, depending if the game is PG or R (things can escalate quickly, trust me. This all depends on who makes the questions!). At the end of the game, whoever has the most matches gets to take all of the ornaments home! Did I mention these ornaments have to represent something about you? The lucky winner gets to take home a little piece of each family member, and a memory of this awesome game 🙂
Write down names of Christmas carols, break up into teams and get to SCRIBBLIN.
Ever see the Office episode where Michael makes his employees wear cards on their head so they can guess their culture? Do this with Christmas characters!!! Don’t stop until the Grinch knows very well that they are the Grinch!!!
These are always great!! My mom saved all of the festive photos that we receieved, and we made a huge scrapbook from over the years! It’s nice to look back on your second cousins that you’ve never met and to see how much they have grown. Get it Carol!!!
ALL THE COOKIES!!! Just make them all!!! No questions asked!
PS make extra peanut butter balls. Send them to me.
But really, cookie swaps are the best. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but make sure you trust the kitchen they’re coming from. With that being said, avoid any cookies that may conflict with allergies such as walnuts or even peanut butter, depending on the recipients. If you know you’re in the clear, then go to down with those PB balls!
Always ask if you can bring anything, always bring something no matter if they tell you not to. Wine, a dessert or even a candle! Just a little something to spread the love and let them know that you appreciate their time, friendship and mostly their food (half kidding).
Enjoy the Holidays, watch Elf as many times as you can, and buy that pretty wrapping paper! Make the most of the season and cherish your squad! 🙂