Holidays · Traditions

Planning Christmas Magic

I need to preface this post: when I was writing this, I was in a good mood, feeling all happy and full of Christmas-y thoughts, and when I went to preview & publish, there were all sorts of ridiculous formatting issues that took a long time to resolve. In that time, Adelina woke up from her nap and got tired of playing by herself, and had three meltdowns (one of them was mine). So now everybody is incredibly frustrated, I get mother of the year award for neglecting my child to finish the %*/$!ing post and clearly, I have my priorities all lined up in the proper order. Moral of the story: don’t listen to me, I’m a hypocrite. Or Murphy’s Law. Probably both. I posted all this to Facebook and lots of very nice moms informed me that it’s called “motherhood,” so I guess I’m not too horrible of a person ha ha. Anyway, take what follows with a heaping dose of reality as context 😉

I have some serious catching up to do in terms of blogging — there are a lot of things I’ve been wanting to write about, which means of course writer’s block and then a few months passed… oops. But first:


One of my goals this year has been to be deliberate in how we celebrate the holidays and how we spend our family time. I want to make it meaningful, not just get caught up in the rush and shopping and obligations that can come with it all. I’ve had a few failures along the way, but mostly it’s been really good.

Andrew and I had an awesome discussion a few weeks ago about planning and preparing for Christmas traditions. (I strongly recommend this worksheet by the way!) I’ve been staying relatively calm and happy as the holidays get closer, but man that balance can be tricky!

We brainstormed what we wanted — and what we didn’t want — to have and experience for our holidays, and then compared those to our goals for this period (basically: family time, Christ-centered, relaxed and content, thinking outward). It was interesting comparing lists to our stated intention, because it didn’t always match up — and so we deleted some things from the list. Also, I’m essentially done with my Christmas shopping. (I love it!)


Seriously, if you haven’t already, check out the worksheet and see what a difference it can make for you. Anyway. This year we’re finally putting up lights! We set a Christmas budget a while ago and so to stick to it, we’re starting small, but I’m so excited to come home to these.


OK I know it’s pretty basic, but it’s a start. Next year we’ll add another strand or two. Also, that roof line is seriously high. We do not have a big enough ladder!


Oh and yes, there’s snow. Lots of it. We had a big snowstorm into Thanksgiving, and it was the perfect kickoff to the Christmas season!


So much fun to watch dad scrape snow off the sidewalks 😉 He was a trooper in putting up the lights too. It did bring back childhood flashbacks though ha ha.So of course we put up the tree after thanksgiving, although we’re not done decorating it yet, and we have a little “helper” who won’t let us do the bottom half, so it’ll have to do for this year 🙂


I love that we are setting up Christmas traditions for the future, it is so exciting to be full of hopes and dreams for our family. Obviously you have to be a little realistic… but what a great journey.Meanwhile, I’ve been hard at work the last month doing some Christmas sewing. Adelina has finally been taking good, long naps, so that is absolutely a factor in my ability to do this sort of stuff ha ha. Also Andrew’s nice 4-day weekend was helpful! I started this pillow a year ago… And now it’s done! I love how festive it is, and I just love this fabric line (Aspen Frost by Moda).

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Let’s take a closer look at some details, shall we?

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Not perfect, but it’s a labor of love 😉 Here’s the pillow pattern if you’re interested. This designer has so many fun projects, I might have to try out this, this or this next! I’ve learned a lot over the years — and improved! Adelina’s been a trooper too with all the preparations. This photo makes me laugh! It was a last-minute shopping trip the day before Thanksgiving… sigh. I had everything but one crucial item, of course. It was so funny, the lady behind us at checkout said out loud “I swore to myself I wouldn’t be here today!” And I just laughed and replied “yup!”

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Thanksgiving was wonderful, by the way. I still had to work but it was only one newscast so it wasn’t bad at all — I just skipped out after dinner and got back in time for pie! Our friends Chris and Laurin invited us to join in with all her family so it was really fun to be part of a big celebration. That’s one of the downsides to being out in the wilderness with just your tiny family: not having extended family nearby. Anyway, I’m sad we didn’t get a picture, but I DID grab a shot of this beautiful rustic apple pie I made 🙂

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Yum. Seriously though, everything was absolutely delicious. The turkey, the sides, the salads, the desserts… oh man. I wish I could have some more right now! And Adelina had the time of her life, their little boy is just a month younger than her and he has some pretty fun toys including a little plastic slide that she spent probably half an hour climbing and going down on. No afternoon nap, so she was definitely wired! Oh, and the final project to get ready for the Christmas season? An advent calendar! I finished it this weekend.

We are printing out the advent scripture study paper chain from here and putting one in each of the little pockets. (Also here’s the pattern if you’re interested!)

(Yes, those are tiny pockets with even tinier numbers. This little thing was a lot of detailed work!) So see, it’s fun and educational! Ha. Also little candies or chocolates will fit.Anyway. We are feeling so grateful these days. The economy isn’t doing so hot locally, which is scary, but then when we think about Andrew’s job stability, the security and warmth of our home, and the wonderful people who surround us, we can’t complain one bit. Life doesn’t always work out quite how you planned, and you don’t always end up where you imagined on your detailed little road map, but it’s OK — I guess that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We’ll wait and listen. And so, it’s been a wonderful November, here’s to a beautiful December full of just the right things — like this.

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