Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Simplified

Every year Christmas seems to sneak up on me. I don't usually get off work until the 23rd and then it's already Christmas and the shopping and wrapping and decorating and grocery shopping and Christmas card sending seems non-stop.

I made a vow this year to have all decorating finished, Christmas presents bought, and Christmas card pictures taken, ordered and sent before 12/1. That way we could have the month of December for enjoying the holidays.

I didn't quite make it - but I knocked out most stuff and actually feel really ahead of the holiday this year.

All Christmas decorating was finished early. Since we weren't hosting Thanksgiving, I wanted to come back to a Christmas filled house so we could enjoy the lights for the entire month. All presents are wrapped and under the tree and the Christmas cards have all been delivered.

My favorite ornament. 2 month Olivia baby hand.

This has left the weekends to teach our little girl about the reason for the holiday and enjoy our time together. We have also decided to simplify many things.

We didn't go to the mall to stand in line for hours to get a cute photo of Olivia with Santa. She's terrified of Santa, I knew it would be another crying picture and a battle to get her to wear what I chose. We saw Santa at her school, and again in the neighborhood. She wouldn't get too close and I didn't push the issue. No battle. Just a good time had by all.

I have this wonderful Christmas cookie recipe for roll out cookies using a buttercream icing that hardens just enough to stack without messing up your wonderful decorations. It makes around 8 dozen cookies and is a two day affair. We skipped it. Found sheets of sugar cookie dough in the grocery store - already rolled out. We cut them, did our best to entertain the toddler for a WHOLE 8 minutes while they baked, used store bought icing and decorated them. It was such a big hit, we did it twice. My 2 year old would have no patience for something that takes hours. Plus she kept licking her fingers and then sticking them back in the sprinkles, so those cookies are shared with no one.

Pinterest worthy pink Christmas cookies ;)

Since this week is the last week of the express grocery store shopping promo, I had the fairies get all of the non-parishables for Christmas dinner (we are having both families to our house this year since its a little too close for me to want to travel). Now, most of our grocery shopping is finished and I didn't have to battle the crowds and the out of stock panics.

Every night we walk over to this house that is completely Griswolded in Christmas lights. The man dresses as Santa on the weekends handing out candy canes and all donations go to St. Jude. Olivia loves it! And he's her favorite Santa. "Santa gave me candy mama!"

I am loving this holiday season. Especially as Olivia is older and gets so excited about Christmas. I thought it would be a little crazy with work, moving Olivia rooms, getting ready for the new baby, hosting both families, and being super giant - but I think this system is working. 

She would only sit still and smile for Grandma. When mom tries, she fails.

That being said - I don't have too many "instagram worthy" perfect pictures of doing all of the obligatory Christmas to-dos. Sorry about that ;)


  1. OMG! Olivia is too darling for words! Also I LOVE your Christmas card!

  2. I love this whole post! You're making the holidays work for you and having a blast. I think this should be your new holiday motto - do what works for your family and everyone will be happier. I shopped early and am hoping to wrap things this week and skipped out on making treats for all of Kevin's co-workers this week because it was too much. The holidays are better when we don't try to do it all :) You're a smart lady! PS Please frame that last picture of Olivia in GIANT size to pull out every year!

  3. Those last two pics of Miss Olivia!! Frame-worthy for sure. Sounds like you are doing Christmas right. Enjoy lady! Also you are looking lovely! Can't believe you are so far along already!

  4. Love your card! I'm doing some of the same- cutting back and simplifying to not put so much stress on myself this year. (like tomorrow, when I'll be purchasing something store bought and unspectacular to contribute to my work holiday party.... HA!) I think this is a healthy perspective we're adopting as we prepare for life with two, that it is what it is and it won't always be perfct, and doesn't have to be to be fantastic! xo

  5. Good for you! Isn't it so much better spending time as a family then trying to make everything look perfect? I also got organized this year and am not running around like a crazy person now. I get to spend the entire week just realizing and I love it.