Saturday, November 29, 2014

'tis the season

this is a sponsored post for the lovely people at acorn influence. as always, the thoughts and opinions are all my own.

thanksgiving (and the black friday craziness that follows) is officially over. don't get me wrong, i love the thanksgiving holiday. i love the delicious meal, time spent with my kids, parades and football. i love taking time to verbalize with each one of my children how thankful i am for the people they are and who they are becoming. i'm thankful for so many things and i thoroughly enjoy the time to revel in that thankfulness.

still, when the day is over, i am happy to move on. i'm still thankful, but i try to cultivate thankfulness throughout the year, not just on one day so i am not sad to move on from thanksgiving to my favorite of all holidays, christmas. there is just something magical about christmas, with the twinkling lights, the music, extra excuses for family time and adventures, beautiful church services, some of the greatest movies ever and giving to others in as many ways as is possible.

this weekend kicks off decorating in houses everywhere. we wrapped up all our decoring today and i am loving every second of our christmas splendor. here are a couple of things that make decorating for the holidays even more wonderful.

1. christmas music

there are so many amazing albums out there to chose from. the possibilities are truly and wonderfully endless. there is one album, however, that makes me think of christmas with my family. it is purely instrumental and provides the greatest relaxing christmas background music ever. this won't get you dancing but it will be just the thing to listen to while cuddling by the fire and drinking your favorite beverage.

2. winter scents

i love the smells of christmas. i love the smells of fresh cut trees, baking and cinnamon. i can't get enough of it. i'm too busy shopping for christmas gifts to make a special trip just to find scented candles at various stores. i am, however, in target nearly everyday and they conveniently have my holiday scents covered. i pass through the air care aisle every time i am in the store and pick up some new scents to enjoy. i love the winter pear scents and the evergreen scent i conveniently place by my christmas trees (especially the fake ones.) i can pretend that the crisp woody smell comes from my beautiful tree without having to deal with the falling needles. if you are like heather and live in sunny southern california, these scents are even more important as the christmas trees down there don't have that woodsy smell once the shipment of "fresh cut" trees arrive to the coast. these scents are the perfect solution. there are also a ton of really lovely candles that make decorating simple...and your whole house will smell like christmas. it is a little slice of holiday heaven.

3. letting the kids help...really

i will admit, i have been pretty crazy in the past about somehow creating a "perfect" christmas tree with "perfect" decorations. i'm learning to let go and let some of my perfectionism die so that my kids can actually enjoy decorating too. this year, the bottom portion of my tree is filled with unbreakable ornaments that are all clumped together. it is not perfect, but my kids got to help. my two year old walked around for hours pointing to the tree and saying, "i help mommy." i can look at the tree and smile (and shake off my inner cringe) in order to allow my kids some of the enjoyment of the christmas preparations. letting the kids in on the fun might just make your decorating more fun than ever. 

4. embracing the crazy

decorating, baking, wrapping, shopping, caroling, partying...december is full of it all. the month whizzes by in a flurry of activity and the joys of the season. embrace the fun and the crazy. savor the moments as the month goes by all too quickly. take some time to curl up and watch "elf" with your kids and to bake cookies with them. embrace all that the season has to offer, the wonderful and the crazy. you won't be sorry and your family will have memories that will mean ten times more than any gift they will ever unwrap.

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