Category Archives: Christmas

Christmas To-Do List : {Making Memories}

Our Christmas to do list usually starts before Thanksgiving. Gasp! Yes, we usually try to see Santa before Thanksgiving. My previous post shares are reasons behind visiting him before Thanksgiving.

The rest of our holiday activities usually kick off the first weekend in December, with a trip to Disney on Ice. My girl loves it! Her favorite Disney princess is Snow White! It may have something to do with the fact that, it was her birthday theme this past year. Nevertheless, it made this year the best Disney on Ice ever, because Snow White and the seven dwarves  made an appearance! Or as my daughter likes to call them – the 7 D’s!  She attended the show all decked out in her Snow White attire!

The rest of our weekends are usually spent doing different holiday activities – everything from pancake and pajama breakfast, to seeing Christmas plays, cookie decorating, and going to all the small town Christmas events.

My Pinterest searches are usually brimming with holiday cheer starting in July. I am always on the lookout for fresh new ideas and activities. There are always things I’d like to add, but of course that would mean doing away with a few others. Anyone else have that problem? You see so many cute suggestions or ideas, that it becomes hard to narrow down your holiday list?

One holiday activity I would love to add would be taking the girls on the Polar Express train ride. I think they would love it! Or even the possibility of attending the Polar Express pajama party at our theater. Of course that would mean giving up Disney on Ice. Decisions, decisions…

Another suggestion that came in this year from a fellow mama, was visiting Santa at the Macy’s in Chicago. She made it sound like it was the most magical experience ever – so of course it’s on my wish list for upcoming years. Anyone ever taken your child there? We’ve never been. It would definitely be a little bit of a journey with two little ones. But it just sounds like a truly wonderful experience.

One of our regular traditions is to go back to my husband’s hometown and attend their Christmas festivities. Unfortunately with the weather being unpredictable, it meant we were unable to attend this year.  We were all a little bummed… Luckily with my list of ideas we were able to do a few activities in place of our travel plans.

We had a Polar Express movie night. Complete with cookie making and hot chocolate!  I didn’t want to make it too complicated. So we just used the premade sheets of cookie dough and the packets of hot chocolate mix. We had the best time! ! I hope to make this a yearly tradition!

Our second activity (making a Gingerbread House) was fun, but won’t be winning us any awards! The house completely fell apart before it was even half way decorated, but my girl had a blast! Especially eating all the decorations. My friend Kelly, said we need to purchase the pre-made houses! Thanks Kelly! I will definitely do that next year!

What are some of your favorite Christmas activities? Do you find it hard to pick and choose which ones to do each year?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

 

Holiday Gift Guide For {Mom}

Gift cards are the golden ticket to a women’s heart! This list, although short, is a culmination of ideas for women, whether they are in mommy mode or need a little ME time. So, whether your shopping for your wife, mother, mother-in-law, daughter, or daughter-in-law, there is sure to be something for everyone!

Holiday Gift Guide For Mom

1. Mommy Mode – Shutterfly Gift Cards

I love Shutterfly! It’s the perfect place to store all those precious photos. This is #1 on my personal list, especially since I just recently decided I wanted to have hard copies of all my children’s photos. Having photographs stored digitally and in several places is great, but computers crash and thumb drives get lost. Plus, when we were kids our moms would spend a weekend going through family photos. So much history spread out on the living room floor… I don’t want my kids to miss out on those sweet and simple memories. So here I am, still working on printing photos from my 3 year olds first year on life.

img_3626

2. Restaurant Gift Cards

This is great for any occasion whether its date night, girls night, or lunch with the kids! It’s nice to give moms and dads a break from the kitchen! Restaurant gift cards are perfect for date night or dinner as a family. But also consider gift cards to places children really enjoy, such as; Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, KFC, etc.

3. Movie Theater Gift Cards

Who doesn’t enjoy seeing a new release on the big screen?! My personal favorite – movie theater popcorn! Seriously, what is it about movie theater popcorn that makes it taste so much better!?

4. Gift Cards to a Salon and Spa

As moms we often get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we forget the simple things, like getting a hair cut. Or maybe that is just me? Either way, its nice to get in a little “me”, while feeling pampered!

So, instead of making your way through a crowded shopping center, consider purchasing a gift card for the special lady in your life! What are your go-to gifts for {her} this holiday season?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

3 Reasons Your Kids Should Visit Santa Early

Visiting Santa can be a stressful experience, whether you have 1, 2, or 3+ children. With three years of Santa visits under my belt and a fourth underway, I have definitely learned a thing or two. So, I have come up with three reasons you should visit Santa early!

3 Reasons For Visiting Santa Early

1. No Lines

Time got away from me last year and I ended up taking my daughter to see Santa the week of Christmas. I had hoped going on a weekday morning would be less crowded – wrong! The line was incredibly long despite the day and time. I circled back a few times, hoping it would thin out between errands. Eventually, I relented and got in line.

Like many young children, it takes my daughter a while to warm up to the big guy in the red suit. I was fortunate enough that they still took there time with each child, despite the amount of people in line. Although, it would have been much easier if there had not been such a long line. We will definitely be avoiding a long line this year!

2. No Surprises

My mother often recalls one of my visits with Santa where he asked me, “What I wanted Christmas.” To which I replied with something my mother had never heard me say before – “Oopsie Daisy Baby Doll.” It was 1980 something and little did my mother realize, it would be the hot item. She ended up having to pay for her brother to ship the doll from another state, because of course, Santa had to come through!

My mother learned two things that year :

  1. Visit Santa early, because no matter how much you prep a child, they could say anything.
  2. In order to avoid any surprises, we were to ask Santa for two items and he would bring one.
3. Cost

We typically see the Mall Santa. Expensive, I know! But there is one thing I have learned, If you go early, you get more bang for your buck. Last year I purchased one photograph that cost me the same price I would have paid a week prior and I would have received more photographs. If you wait until the week of Christmas there is a price/package change. The originally package will end up costing more money.

Are you ready for a visit with Santa? Are your kids nervous or excited to see the big guy?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

img_3204

My Top 5 Christmas Traditions to Start With Kids

Now that December is in full swing, so is the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. I must admit, I have been preparing for this since the summer. My pinterest account is bursting at the seams with Christmas activities. My daughter has now reached the stage where she can get into all the festivities. So now, I have a 25 days of Christmas calendar created just for this occasion.

Here are my top 5 Christmas Traditions that I am excited to start with my daughter!

1.   Elf on the Shelf

I purchased our elf when my daughter was still an infant. Leaving it secretly tucked away in the back of my closet until this year! A few weeks ago I DVRed the Elf on the Shelf movie, which I proceeded to play everyday in preparation for his arrival. Needless to say, my daughter ended up naming him Chippy. Click here to see where I got the idea for Chippy to make his grand appearance!

DSC_0379

2.   25 days of children’s religious Christmas books

A friend of mine does this tradition every year with her kids. It sounded like a great idea! I chose to make them religious because I want to keep God at the forefront of the Christmas season. You wrap one book up a day for them to open. In our case, we are using library books. There is no way I will purchase 25 books every year and the kids won’t care either way!

3.   Polar Express Party

I love this idea! My husband and I used to go to the iMax Theater every year to see it before we had children. Since our daughter was born I have been wanting to take her to the different Polar Express activities that go on this time of year. The Polar Express Train Ride was my first choice, but the tickets alone are VERY expensive. Not to mention we would need to travel a good distance to be a part of one. My other thought was the Polar Express PJ party at a near by children’s museum. Unfortunately, the tickets sold out in less than an hour. Leaving only a few undesirable times left. So instead, we are going to create a Polar Express Pajama Party at home! Our party will include: a train ticket, reading the book, and watching the movie while eat cookies and drinking hot chocolate in our pjs. Click here to see the details from a Pinterest post I found!

4.   Christmas Eve Present

This is a tradition we had in my house growing up. Our parents would pick out one present for each of us to open on Christmas Eve night. It was typically a CD, movie, or book. Something to keep us busy the rest of the evening. I want to take this tradition a step further. In our daughters Christmas Eve box will be a movie, pjs, popcorn, and a packet of hot chocolate. Click here to see some great printable labels for your box!

5.   Christmas Day Movie

My husband and I love watching movies. Its been our thing since we began dating. Our daughter even enjoys going to the theater. So we have tossed around the idea of going to see a children’s movie at the theater on Christmas night. We thought it would be a great unique tradition start. For me, something like this is a normal thought because when I was younger my family and I would go bowling on Christmas Day. I always enjoyed having something so ordinary become such a unique tradition, because not a lot of families I knew went out on Christmas Day.

What were your favorite Christmas traditions as a child? What traditions have you started with your children?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You