|X on Christmas evening listening to his Grandad play his flute. Photo taken by my lovely SIL.|
I hope you all had a very, merry Christmas. We sure did! (I’m sure I’ll come back over the next couple of days to tell you about all the frustrating things that happened over the holidays. A toddler with a home full of visitors—while trying to adjust to a toddler bed and teething— is a story all on its own.) We had lots of fun with gifts this year because he enjoyed opening the presents and playing with them. The little man actually only got a pair of pjs (that he wore on Christmas eve) from me and his daddy. But, he opened nearly 30 gifts from his aunts, uncles, odd parents, and grandparents… they went a little crazy over him. But, we sure did appreciate it and he loved every second of it.
Ahhh…. the holidays! It is time for mistletoe, eggnog, cozy sweaters, sparkly dresses and PARTIES! I love the thousand excuses that the holidays give us for celebrating. Basically from October til February it is party central in my brain.
There is no end to the different types of parties that are thrown during the holidays. And, whether you are having a cookie exchange or an elegant cocktail party there are a few simple tips that can make hosting a holiday party less stressful and much more fun. The following tips are items I try to keep in mind when hosting events during the holidays.
1. Schedule well— Yes, the holidays are the time for parties…. which means that your guests will probably have other holiday parties to attend as well. You might have a few to attend yourself. I had a couple of good friends plan a holiday party (and invite people) just to find out that one of them had a company holiday party to attend. You don’t need to plan your event around everyone’s schedules (but, you might wanna check your calendar first) but, there are a few simple things that can ensure you and your guests a less stressful event.
|I used the white christmas lights and garland throughout my partyscape!|
Typically around this time of year I am thinking so much about what I want to do for other people that I get a bunch of messages from my family and friends asking me what is on my wish list. This year was no different.
And, while of course there are things I want (I like things)… very few items come to mind when people ask that question. I’m just happy to celebrate with people, especially this year. It has been a long, tough year and I just want to spend some good quality time with people I care about.
However, my sister and mother never, ever take that as an answer…. if you follow my Pinterest boards you might have seen me go a little online window shopping crazy with my wish list. Sorry about that!
A blogger I follow posted her Want, Need, Wear, Read list and I loved it…. so, I am mimicking her a tad and putting up my own list.
Need: Oh dear, oh dear… I need new underwear and bras SO bad. Pregnancy and nursing did a number on my body. I’d like to throw out all that I have and replace them with some pretty new things from Victoria’s Secret or something similar.
Read: It has been so very long since I have read something longer than a blog post. There are a couple of books I want right now. But, I’m also craving a magazine subscription or two. BUT, the one book I want the most right now is the 2013 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition. I wouldn’t mind the short story and novel edition too!
I usually don’t like the holidays until my December birthday has passed. But, I guess the addition of the kiddo has made me REALLY look forward to this year’s festivities. I even brought my lil man to see Santa today—something that I swore I’d never do. He loved it. He is a friendly kid.
Anyways… as I was avoiding my real work, I found a couple awesome holiday free printable round-ups by Hey Look. I wanted to share with you!
|Photo via Love Vs Design|
Tie fabric strips onto chicken wire skipping some of the holes so that the fabric lays nicely.
I’ve been playing on Polyvore.com again! This time I was looking for festive outfits for holiday parties. These sets are ideal for a Christmas Cocktail Party, Holiday Open House, Work Party and New Years Eve Bash. Oh, and there might be one in there that inspires me for my Birthday!
|Image via Martha Stewart|
I’ve had meaningful vacation in Oklahoma seeing my family and getting to spend some much needed time with my grandmother who is recovering from a stroke. This visit has really got me thinking about my life as I was growing up and, of course, of the upcoming holiday season.
My family life, growing up, was strange, yet wonderful. My sisters and brothers and I grew up in hard times with many different influences in our lives. I won’t play my little violin of woes though, because while we could have possibly had easier childhoods, we certainly had a childhood in which we were very much loved.
My relationship with my grandmother is one of the many blessed things that came from a childhood of struggle. She is my person… my person that I go to, my person that I look to and my person I’d happily emulate. (I am tearing up while typing this in a Starbucks in the middle of nowhere OKC). But, she seriously is one of the greatest people I’ve known in my life so far. She is a strong woman, fantastic mother, amazing friend and one talented lady. Everyone who has ever met her has loved her instantly. She has created such a wonderful family environment for us and for my extended family. Even after my mother and father divorced my grandmother (my father’s mother) always cared for my mother and invited her along to family events.
My grandmother always made the holidays for me growing up. Every year she would work on a ham to bring to Thanksgiving dinner and spent countless weeks working on stockings for each and everyone attending her yearly Christmas Eve Party. And after each of the holiday events we always got together casually just to eat left overs and bask in the love of the family.
Being home reminded me of how much I enjoyed the start of the holidays. It wasn’t about gifts (though, those are always nice) it wasn’t about the food (again, quite nice) but, it was always about enjoying our time with family and friends.
The holidays for me now, as I live states away from family, are about the family I’m creating. My friends, my husband and members of his family come together throughout the holidays. We are creating our own traditions—Brandon’s stuffed squash in our friend’s potluck Thanksgiving; Christmas morning brunch followed with a full kitchen of cooks working on an Asian-style feast for Christmas evening; and having traditional holiday meals from different areas of the world with Nick and Natalie.
I’m very thankful for the beginning of yet another season of enjoying old traditions and the creation of new ones. I’m thankful for the many people that make up my family.
Okay, I know I’m skipping right from Halloween to Christmas here but I had to share this holiday planner with you! I promise I’ll get back to the holiday at hand as soon as possible (along with some other fun inspiration boards and a circus themed baby shower). But, for now… get inspired for the winter holidays!
When I saw Courtney from Pizzazzerie.com’s post about her Holiday Party Planner for SheKnows.Com I had to go immediately to check it out. If this beautiful 26-page digital wonder packed full of amazing photos and fabulous ideas doesn’t inspire you… well, I don’t know what will!
|image via sheknows.com/holiday-entertaining-planner|
The photos were taken by Kristin Steele Photography. The shots are inspiring alone but then add on all the ideas and you have yourself some winning work. (I obviously liked this thing!)
I really enjoyed that the party ideas were all new takes on the holiday. While I enjoy some tradition I do tire of party after holiday party of mistletoe, candy canes and hot chocolate.
The party that I can’t wait to throw (other than ALL of them!) is the Coffee and Dessert Party. I love all the browns and tasty looking desserts. I can’t wait to try the Gingerbread Latte!
|Image Via sheknows.com/holiday-entertaining-planner|