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15 days to the beginning of the end of the Christmas season


In the same way I like to observe bank holidays, I am picking up another British custom this year, which is to IGNORE Thanksgiving. It is mighty unpatriotic but I need to just blow right past Thanksgiving to focus my energy on Christmas. Why?

  1. I am not hosting Thanksgiving, so I can.
  2. Christmas makes my skin crawl. It has always been stressful (“a Madison Avenue word”) to me. Gift giving is NOT MY JAM. It’s just not in my DNA. And that’s a lot of the hassle and subsequently, stress, of Christmas.
  3. Now that we live in Texas, I can’t pull a John G and wait to shop until December 24. Presents for both families have to go in the mail (but if I am being honest, better the gifts in the mail than us on a plane at Christmas). And last year, in my first year away from home, it was an EPIC FAIL. I got hosed by USPS and my gifts didn’t make it in time for Christmas. LOTS. OF. ANGRY. SCREAMING. (by me).
  4. Instead of curing the “stress” of Christmas with flavored coffee and bath bubbles, I am motivated to get on top of it and get it done, so I can enjoy my boys and the season.
  5. “Just getting it done” is insufficient–the Christmas gifting has to be good because a) we have a kid and b) I am a SAHM (as in, so what is my excuse?).

All of this said, trying to manage all of the Christmas–not just the gifting–is like project management on CRACK. I have started doing some things, but they are things that just make me feel like I am organized. FOR EXAMPLE:

  1. HEADQUARTERS. The day after Halloween, this appeared over the door to our back room: img_0402For the record, the only things “in the workshop” are a few clothes for OJ, and the presents I have bought for myself (total Pat move).
  2. HOLIDAY CARD. I made a game plan to get on top of our mailing addresses so I don’t get hosed by the infinite TIME SUCK that is the family holiday card. I made a calendar to basically have everything setup and ready before we leave town. Yeah, I keep moving the dates back on my calendar.
  3. DECOR. In the past, we have put up Christmas decorations over Thanksgiving weekend. Since we just have a moment when we get back to town before T has to go back to work, I thought I would have him get the decorations down from the attic before we leave so we can jump right into it as soon as we are home. Then I thought, why can’t we just put up Christmas decorations before we leave for DC? Since we aren’t having Thanksgiving here, we can just bypass the Thanksgiving decorations. And then last week, I thought, T just needs to get the Christmas decorations down NOW. So he did, and I pulled everything out–washed the dishes, laundered the linens, and put up the mantel decor. I then realized we don’t have a slew of festiveness–as if we have enough decor for a one bedroom apartment.img_3982
  4. img_8203ADVENT ACTIVITY CALENDAR. And now, THIS. Orders were due before October 31 so to think about 24 activities was a stretch but today OJ and I went to collect our custom advent activity calendar from Fig and Puddingimg_6272

    I was drawn to an advent activity calendar to hatch and solidify some holiday family traditions, enjoy spending time with my boys, and have an intentional season. I am motivated to deal with the crazy that is Christmas, so that we can have these family moments together.

    But let’s be real. Even as I was drafting our list of activities to submit my order, and it got more and more involved, I started thinking this might have been a bad idea. Luckily, the set comes with some empty circles for the days when you just want to punt. We may just use all the blank cards before the fifth of December. Stay tuned.

My friends, it is 15 days to December 1 and 36 days to December 25 so KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE CHRISTMAS PRIZE.


It’s a form of parental torture, actually

This morning I woke up and felt like it was Christmas morning! Halloween is my SECOND FAVORITE HOLIDAY, right after my birthday. How exciting to introduce OJ to all of these traditions!

Okay I might have jumped the gun a bit.

It was like a form of torture to go trick-or-treating with a two year old. And now we have a haul of candy that needs to evaporate before OJ wakes up tomorrow, never to be seen again, and endure the whining that follows. BUT LET ME GO BACK A BIT.

We invited our neighbors around for 5:30 to meet up before trick-or-treating and then we sent the kids off to knock on doors. Apparently in Texas they call this a, “Halloween Block Party”. How genius! I love it. Thanks, Catherine.

Unlike the party, the rest could not be planned.

1. Our son would not put on his pilot’s costume (standing in here is a pic from the Halloween Party at school last week).


2. For his FIRST EVER trick-or-treating, OJ went out in an orange t-shirt and jeans. WHAT A PUNK!! I ALSO have no photos of that–why would I!? Instead, I have a photo of the hot mess that came home, two lollipops and one hour past his bedtime, which spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R.


3.The things we do for our kids. I was a flight attendant without her pilot.




The quiet days of summer’s end

I do not consider myself a creative natural, but I am always willing to try…

Here in Texas, the summer heat stays with us until practically Halloween but these August days are the quiet days of the end of summer because these are the last days before kids go back to school August 22.

For the last three months, we had our patriotic stars and stripes wreath on the door (gotta blend in). While this can be appropriate decor for a long time–Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July, we have really outlived the timeliness of those decorations now that we are into August.

So I made my first burlap wreath. My gameplan is to use this wreath for the whole fall and just change out the flowers section as the season progresses.

I swore up and down that I would never purchase (much less make) a burlap wreath. Lesson: never swear.


I watched some youtube videos and picked up some different ribbons from JoAnn’s and Michaels. After sampling my three options, I went for the burlap mesh, which I used for my Mardi Gras door decor and Fiesta wreath. Having worked with it three times now, I can say: I really have a love/hate relationship with the stuff.


And voila–our “fall ready” door. IMG_4243


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