A Little Guide to Christmas Cheer

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OK guys…I couldn’t hold off any longer. I had to start in with the Christmas cheer. I’m not decorating my house or pulling out all the festive stops until next week post-Thanksgiving, BUT…I wanted to pop in and do a little round-up of some holiday favorites that will help create a festive vibe throughout the holiday season – particularly items that you want to find before the season is fully underway (I’m looking at you Advent calendars!). Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Holiday Jams

We are big fans of Hanna Jams for all seasons around here, but their matching family Christmas jammies  are so ridiculously cute I can barely handle it.

Happy Holiday-ing!

2. The Giving Manger

We started the tradition of The Giving Manger a couple of years ago and it is my absolute favorite. It’s such a fantastic way to step outside the consumerism that can sometimes overwhelm this beautiful season and to teach our children (and honestly to remind ourselves too) that giving is really at the heart of Christmas. It’s a tradition that can be as simple or as elaborate as you choose to make it and it can be tailored for any age. I can’t recommend it enough.

Happy Holiday-ing!

3. Advent Calendar

When I was growing up, my mom always got us those little cardboard Advent Calendars with the pop-out chocolates inside, and while I did always love them I wanted to find a way to have fun with Advent that wasn’t tied to sweets. We’ve tried a variety of approaches…tiny gifts each day (think stickers, some treats, etc.), fun festive activities each day, and so on. But this year I’m planning to do a little Advent reading from the Bible each day and keep it simple. For the countdown component though, I got these adorable little Meri Meri Advents – a Nutcracker charm bracelet for Fern, and a Little Nativity Advent for Clive. I also saw a couple of other fun ones including a Star Wars Lego set little canvas countdown and an heirloom quality wooden house.

4. Advent Wreath

I was unfamiliar with advent wreaths until a couple of years ago, but it’s a tradition I am learning more about and that I really love. You can read more about the advent wreath here, and here is a super cute Advent candle option. Not technically a wreath, but I’m all about taking traditions and making them your own. You could always place it inside a wreath as a table centerpiece. You would also need to add a final candle alongside the grouping on Christmas…but I thought it was really cute. Someone should really make cool/modern advent wreaths, because there is so little out there. Tons of DIYs though if you’re feeling crafty!

5. Ornaments

Every year I choose a special ornament for each of my kids that feels representative of their year or of something they really liked that year. This year Fern will be getting an ice cream cone ornament (because she wants to “be an ice cream seller” when she grows up), Clive is getting a Darth Vader one (because: obsessed) and Alice will be getting a little Kitty (because we having lovingly come to dub this year as “The Year of the Feral Cat”…home girl be cray). My favorite places to look for cute ones are Paper Source, World Market and Target.

6. Special kid decor

While I would love to be “that mom” who sprinkles Christmas cheer throughout every room of the entire house, I’m totally not. I get too overwhelmed when there a tchotchkes everywhere. That said, I do make a point of having a mini tree in the kids’ room. They can hang whatever little ornaments they want on it and it gets the rainbow colored lights they love V.S. the white ones I use on our big tree and it makes their room feel so cozy and fun. This one on Amazon looks like a good value of quality to price and had good reviews.

7. Special Mugs

Nothing puts out the holiday vibes quite like cozying up with a cup of hot cocoa and at our house we make it extra special by having a special mug for each of our kids. We have these ones with their initials on them and they’re both really great. I’ll be finding one for Alice this year, but that simple black and white one with a C is what Clive has (they obviously have other letters), and Fern has the floral one from Anthro. Clive’s is the perfect size for little hands and is child specific and Fern’s is a mug for anyone, but is nice and light and easy for an older child like her to use.


8. Can’t forget Mistletoe!

The kids think it’s the funniest thing to sneak kisses under the mistletoe and I think it’s super precious.


Happy holiday-ing!




Oh…and P.S. Here is my most favorite Christmas album to spread even more holiday cheer while you deck your halls!

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