The Basics: What will your holidays look like?

One of my friends was teasing me for choosing basics as my theme for the month that kicks off the insanity of the holidays. I have been spending the past week or so thinking about that and about what I want the holidays to look like for our family this year. (Side note- can you believe that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK already?!?!) So here are a few basic principals I’m hoping to live by during the holiday season:

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One of my favorite pictures from my son’s first Christmas season last year…

*More Music: My son is OBSESSED with music. And I am always in a better mood when I have music on while I get things done or while we play. It has been strange this year not wanting to hear Christmas music early while I’m out and about but I can’t wait for Advent to hit and to share some of my favorite hymns as well as other holiday favorites like the Nutcracker suite!

*Baking: I know, I know, I’ve been baking the whole year. But part of why I chose baking is it is really something pretty basic to family gatherings and what makes me happy. Christmas baking is my favorite- family favorite recipes, sugar cookies, petzels (special italian christmas cookies) and more! And while my son isn’t quite old enough to help with these projects, he will definitely enjoy eating them- and maybe painting with frosting!

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PEPPERMINT EVERYTHING!!!!

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Before our family Thanksgiving dinner last year…

*Family: I haven’t seen half of my siblings in months. That’s crazy to me. I’m looking forward to the holidays when we will all take time out of our schedules to be together and reconnect. I used to have a really hard time with family at the holidays because my parents are divorced and it felt like no matter how we planned someone felt disappointed in the way time was divided or at the very least I felt stressed out in the way time was divided. Since starting my own mini family it has been easier to negotiate time with the rest of my family and now I just look forward to whatever time we get and decide not to stress if we are running late from traffic or because my toddler threw his shoe out the window and now we are scrambling to find it…

*Friends: I still have several friends I went to high school with who live somewhere else now but come back to Arizona for the holidays and it is always a treat to reunite with them be it at a big party or a small informal tea time. It’s always a different number of people and a random assortment of days but I will take whatever time I can to reconnect. Sometimes I even need to reconnect with the people who live in town because our schedules are so busy! Either way, with these friends, when we are together it is like no time has passed and that is one of the greatest gifts of all.

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IMG_4410*Traditions: I have several traditions from my own childhood that I really love and can’t wait to share with my little guy. I especially look forward to a new Christmas book every year. I also want to create a few new traditions for our family though I’m not completely sure what they will be yet, but I am already excited about them.

*More consistent spiritual practices: More time in prayer and devotionals and readings and less time fretting about what comes next. And hoping to enjoy a Christmas Eve IMG_4452mass this year because my son was sick last Christmas and we spent most of our time trying to comfort him. He’s old enough this year to take more in as well and while this may just mean he will try to eat the nativity display in church, I think it’s far more likely he will be clapping along with songs and feeling the immense amount of love that Christmas reminds us to feel each day.

What are you looking forward to with your holidays?! I LOVE hearing about everyone’s special and favorite family traditions!

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