Monday, November 29, 2010

Sharing some Cheer

Send Holiday Cheer Christmas Card
Shop Shutterfly.com for elegant Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.
Been playing around with Shutterfly again. :)
Here is a card I made just for you, my tens of faithful readers.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Stay Sane Y'all

Linky: Stay Sane This Christmas by Making Wise Decisions
"In the end, Christmas is meant to be enjoyed. It’s meant to point our hearts towards God’s grandest gift to us, found in the shoddy manger in Bethlehem. It’s not meant to stress us out."
Yes, I am posting another linky.  :)
Some nice reminders for this time of year when it feels like everyone wants a piece of you, your time or your money.

Holiday Meltdowns

Linky: Holidays and Meltdowns They go Together like Peanutbutter and Jelly

Great little article and a must read for this time of year if you have little ones.  No, it's not just your kids.  :) 

We were pretty surprised last year when our little guy was super grouchy on Christmas morning.  But on good ol' Facebook I realized that he wasn't the only one. We are going to change our tact this year and change our expectations too.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Update

Oh yes, I know you all were waiting on the edge of your seat for this one.  hahaha

I am pretty much finished shopping for the boys.  Just need some stocking stuffers and something for the husband.  wooohooo  A few little things for other people, but the big stuff is done.

I am enjoying Christmas shopping this year.  "Gifts" is my love language so I usually get a thrill out of planning/making/buying gifts.  One year I made handmade gifts for everyone on my list.  This year is a lean one, but not the leanest we've had.  We save a little each month throughout the year so I have a little cash to work with come shopping time.  Throw in some good deals and I think we've done ok. 

Regardless of your gifting budget, family traditions are an important way to make the holidays special and memorable.

For us, I want to focus a lot on the season of Advent.  I have a children's book advent I'm working on.  I also would like to start doing an Advent wreath so we can follow along with the reading and candle lighting that our church does.  (More great Advent countdown ideas here, here and here.)

Another tradition involves going to a lights and animated village at a garden center near my in-laws.  I would really love to start the tradition of annual trip out to Longwood Gardens as well.  My lights-obsessed son would flip! 

Of course there are traditions about the gifts themselves.  My mom would let us choose a small gift to open on Christmas Eve. I am doing a variation on that and am giving the boys new PJs to open every Christmas Eve.  Some people have a set number of gifts or themes for the gifts.  (I love these wear, read, want, need tags!)  I have thought about limiting the number of gifts and we naturally have been buying less and less each year out of necessity.  Still pondering this one.

The boys' PJ's for this year from Gymbo. Love 'em!

What family traditions do you remember from childhood?  Which traditions will you start with your family?

I read a similar discussion on FB the other day.  The one mom said that she fills the living room with red, green and silver balloons.  So the kids have to wade through them to get to the tree.  She said it has really helped on the slim gift giving years and the kids love it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oh CRAP.



I used be someone who filled out Christmas cards on Halloween...while handing out candy of course.
I used to be someone who actually sent Christmas cards. heh.
I used to be someone who had all her Christmas shopping finished by Thanksgiving.
You know.  So I could spent December baking and wraping my presents with MarthaStewart touches. 
I am NOT kidding.  I love that stufff.

We have pared down our gift giving tremendously in recent years, but the sudden realization that Christmas is less than 2 months away has me feeling slightly panicked.  Guess I better start a list or something....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Read Me Linky:

Make Home a Haven Using Personal Filters by Simple Mom

I was going to email this out to some of my friends.  (You know who you are. LOL)  But I figured I'll just post a linky.  This article really resonated with me.  This is something I have been consciously working on for awhile but I've never heard the term "personal filter."  Very fitting stuff for this time of year.

My favorite part was about avoiding TV commercials and not taking your kids to browse the toy isle if you want to cultivate a heart of contentment in your home.  Advertisers spend a lot of money to convince you that you truly must have that shiny new toy, fun new boots, or that delicious bacon double cheese burger, etc etc.

Reminds me that I need to watch The Story of Stuff again.  (Did you noticed they added a few more stories recently?)

I heart Shutterfly

I love Shutterfly.  I have for a long time.  I especially love that I have had photos safely stored on their site for years. 
Yes, years. 
I have been happy with the calendars and greeting cards and prints I have ordered.  (Photo
calendars make for some very happy grandparents, btw.) 
So when Shutterfly offered me some free holiday cards if I did a write-up, I jumped at the chance! 

Ok, so I am supposed to tell you about my favorite of the Christmas cards designs.  Honestly it is hard to choose! 

The premium, folded cards are nice. 
Peace on Earth is clean and classic.


I like Good Blessings because it refers to one of my favorite verses. 

I love the concept of Family Memories from the Christmas Story Cards.  Perfect for someone who takes a lot of photos, or like me, has a little baby who has grown up a lot this year.  I'd say this is my favorite if I had to pick right now.



Now if only I could get a decent photo of my kids...


Disclaimer:
This post is part of the Shutterfly free card promo for Bloggers.  You can participate here.