December 3, 2013

Tis The Season To Make Memories

Wow!  Well I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I am overstuffed and my eyes might go crossed if I scout out the!best!deal! for one more second.  Because, for real.

With that being said, it's Christmastime!!!  It's the most wonderful time of the year!  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  Tis the season!  All of these have been flooding my IG and Facebook feeds over the past couple of days.  I love the feeling of Thanksgiving just as much as the next turkey lover {I actually don't love turkey} but there's just something about Christmastime that is magical, it really is.  It's a feeling, Christmas.  Am I right?

This year is really special for us.  Not only is it our first Christmas as a family of four but this is the first year that Kendall "gets it".  Last year she was still too little to really understand the true meaning of Christmas but over the past year we've gone to church a lot more and she's learning about Jesus at school and so when she asked me why we were decorating on Sunday I was able to tell her it was because we were celebrating Jesus's birthday.  And she got it, I think.  It was a very proud, special moment for me and in that moment I got really excited for this season.

This year we are focusing on what really matters, family, memories, Jesus, love, and giving back.  That's what Christmas means to me {my love}.

I never did an advent calendar as a child, sure we did countdown calendars and paper chains but we never did a real advent with presents, chocolates or memories.  Last year I thought Kendall was too young to do it but this year, right at the last minute, I decided this was the year to start a new family tradition.  I didn't want to focus on presents though, no, I wanted it to be about doing things.  Making memories.  Spending time together.  Giving back.

I scoured Pinterest and there are some CA-UTE ideas out there for DIY advent calendars. Tons.  But?  I am not crafty, had limited supplies, and needed to do this right now. So I found a cute envelope idea and went with it, surprised we had enough envelopes {don't ask me to send a letter or a bill b/c I have officially used all envelopes in the house}.

I got the markers out and Kendall and I spent some quiet time, on the kitchen floor decorating each one.  It was simple, it was easy, it was perfect.  Sure it's not Pinterest-worthy but it made my little angel happy and that's all that matters.

I filled each envelope with special holiday things, decorate the tree, donate food to the local food pantry, visit Santa, host a holiday party, donate to Toys for Tots, make an ornament, see the zoo lights, drink hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie, etc.  It's all about spending time together and really cherishing this special time.

Kendall has been thrilled, in case you couldn't tell by the above photo.  Not only does she have her Elf on the Shelf to look forward to but now some fun activity too.  We already had to fudge it a bit because day 2 was supposed to be "visit Santa" but we kinda sorta already did that the day before Thanksgiving sooo...we improvised a bit.  Today is our day to take snack to school so we decided to "make a special snack" instead.  Thankfully she can't read yet and it was still festive so I consider it a win.

It was hard to plan the days so far in advance so I'm sure there will be lots of making it up as we go/switching days around but no matter what we will do something special each and every day this month.  I cannot wait and I hope that this is a tradition that we carry on each year from here on out.  I hope that my children appreciate learning what this season is all about and that it humbles them.

This time of year it's so easy to get caught up in the gimme gimmes and focus on buying all the things for all the people but I'm enjoying slowing down and taking a minute or two out of each day and really focusing on what this season is all about.  I hope you do too.


  1. Sounds like so much fun, and I too cannot wait because I know how much Chloe is excited for this time of year. The way she looked at Santa when we saw him, the way she lights up in the morning when she see's that Peach the Elf has moved,'s just so magical, and I love every single minute of it.

  2. Love this idea! I was thinking about a winter bucket list but I only came up with 2 things!

  3. Seriously that little K girl is the CUTEST. It's really fun once they 'get it'. I hope you enjoy this season with her sooooo much.

  4. So fun! I love Christmas and love the magic of it through a child's eyes!

  5. Like you, I am not the most crafty so I went with a Advent bucket of books. C picks a book each night and we read them before bedtime. He has loved it so far and that's saying a lot since entertaining a 13 month old isn't always easy!! I love your ideas and I think I may steal this for next year when C is a older and can get excited about things with me. Because if I could snag an "I'm excited" photo like the one you did of K, I would say it's a very jolly Christmas after all!

  6. What a cute idea. And I can tell from the picture that she is thrilled. Kids really only want more of their parents time, don't you think?

  7. That is such a cute idea. I purchased a countdown from Hallmark about 6 years ago. It is a cookie sheet that you stick on the fridge. There are numbers 1-25 (of course) and there are little magnets that look like different cookies C gets to take off. I think I am going to have to get something new or be creative about it next year because the moisture in my basement hadn't been easy on my Christmas Decorations, especially the medal ones.

  8. Holidays are the best time to make great memories as a family.