Now that the dust is settling…

Christmas morning

I hope everyone celebrating had a very merry Christmas. Ours was low-key and relaxing — just the way I like it. In fact, our entire Christmas season was pretty low-key this year. I think I did less this year than I’ve done any year that I can remember — with the possible exception of the year my daughter decided to enter the world on Christmas Eve.

I didn’t do a smidge of baking, we left the Elf in the attic, I didn’t put out my Christmas village, we didn’t make gingerbread houses, I didn’t decorate my foyer banister, and my outside decorating was minimal too. The kids didn’t even notice that we didn’t have a Pinterest-perfect Christmas, and I’m much happier because I stayed sane.

Even on the blog, I didn’t do my huge gift guides, and my sponsored posts were few and far between. Usually Q4 (the last 3 months of the year) is pure insanity for a full-time blogger. Last year, I came down with the flu after Christmas, and I’m convinced it’s because I was pushing myself way too hard and my body was crying out for relief.

This year I took a big step back, and it felt great. I think that was due in large part to my switch to fashion blogging. I am not as well-rounded as I was before, at least from a PR perspective, and I simply didn’t get anywhere near the amount of offers that I typically do this time of year. I’m okay with that, though, because it allows me to put more time and energy into the posts that I DO write, and I’m enjoying the new focus.

So Christmas. Ours was nice. We spent the morning leisurely opening our presents. I must have been good this year because Santa brought me a new ring, a fun travel mug, and a fur throw for my bed. I tried to get a creative picture of my gifts, but I lack this talent. The kids were laughing at me contorting myself on the floor at different angles, trying to get a good shot. This is the best I could do. But isn’t that coffee travel mug the cutest? I just hope I don’t break it.

gifts - 1

The kids had a good haul as well. It was fun to watch them open their presents, and I even managed to sneak a couple of surprises in there, which is really hard to do with kids this age.

christmas morning

After presents, we went to brunch at my inlaws’. Dontcha love how I manage to get out of cooking for every major holiday??

Because the weather was so unseasonably warm, I wore this lightweight dolman sleeve top with my black destructed jeans and leopard ballet flats. This was just a quick iPhone capture before we left the house.


While our Christmas Day was quiet, on Sunday we’re hosting 25 for dinner and a gift exchange, so I’m gearing up for that. I waited to do my grocery shopping, hoping that the stores won’t be as crowded after Christmas, so that means I have to go get everything tomorrow. I’m not doing anything fancy — meatball hoagies (I buy the meatballs from my butcher) and apps and desserts, and that’s it. I’m all about easy entertaining these days.

After that, we’re heading up to Maine for a few days. My grandfather is celebrating his 99th birthday, and I’m super excited to be with him for that. Best of all? It’s supposed to snow!! I am so over this spring-like weather. It’s bad enough in the springtime, but I REALLY detest it in the wintertime. It will be great to spend time with my extended family too.

It’s fun to get together with friends and family over the holidays, and I love giving and receiving gifts, but amidst the hustle and bustle, let’s not forget the One who left His heavenly throne in order to bring the hope of reconciliation and eternal life to a lost and hurting world. After all, there is no greater gift.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


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21 Responses

  1. Glad to hear that your Christmas was low key too! I was felling somewhat guilty because that’s exactly what we did. My dear sister-in-law, had a bilateral mastectomy on Tuesday, came home on Wednesday & is doing well. BUT, her cancer diagnosis has made us all take a step back & realize whats really important at Christmas. All about celebrating the birth of Jesus. And re-evaluating the need for quality family time, without all the “trimmings”. All 5 of our families kept things to a minimum & concentrated on family time. We celebrated our whole family Christmas a week early & it was wonderful. That early celebration left today with just a warm happy feeling of family time, no rushing anywhere! Wishes to you for a happy & healthy 2016! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us!
    P.S. where in Maine do you go? Every year for the last 7 years, we’d leave the day after Christmas & travel to Wells, Maine & return New Years Eve. This years we didn’t due to my sister-in-laws surgery & our daughter is due in 3 weeks to have a baby.

  2. When my girls were little I knocked myself out to make every inch of the house Christmasy….Id put away all the usual decor and replace it with something from my Christmas boxes…..Then, one year we went to a party at a friends home where the atmosphere was very warm and Christmasy…..and,as I took it all in, I realized that the Christmas decor consisted of a lovely tree, and lots of candles…period! I have scaled down considerably since that ‘fateful’ day, and though
    I do put out a few of my favorite Santas and garlands on the sideboard and kitchen Island, I can focus on the fun of it all without being exhausted……This year, because of a back injury, I also did 100% of my shopping online……wow! Talk about starting a new tradition!! Merry Christmas to you and your adorable family!

  3. We too kept it more low key this year with our indoor and outdoor decorating, but we did enough to let others know we were celebrating the birthday of our Lord and Savior. Keeping things less stressful does make it easier for us to really enjoy the season. Question: Is there a particular reason your daughter likes giraffes? I know your party will be enjoyed by all! My husband & I got to help play Santa for our16 yr. old granddaughter, by delivering her vehicle to their home yesterday morning. It was so much fun to watch her, ride with her to go get coffee and stop by the home of one of her girlfriends. Her whole family came out to see the U.N. Landrover. Standing back observing the two girls was so special!

    Oh, I love the shot you took of your gifts! The mug is so jazzy and the ring is beautiful!

    Have a blessed day!

    1. Hey Ginger. I have NO idea why she got her heart set on that giraffe. At first we had NO intention of getting it, but the more she talked about it, the more I thought about how cute it would be “under” the tree, and since she’s 10 and our youngest, I said to my husband, “This is probably the last year we have to put a big toy under the tree.” These days, it seems like everything they want has a battery or a charging station, and I thought it was refreshing to give such a traditional toy. She has quite a large collection of stuffed animals, and she took “Casey” up to meet them all as soon as she got her. She has been carrying that thing around the house. It’s hysterical. I’m so glad we went ahead and did it.

    2. And how fun to be in on giving the gift of a car!!! That is awesome. My son is inheriting my husband’s old Honda Accord. He got himself a jazzy new GTI this year. I just hope we can keep that Accord running! It is coming up on 200K miles!

      1. Carley lucked out! Thanks to one of her dads best friends & a man he knows, she got a 2002 Land Rover that is decked out with a snorkel, huge winch, huge hitch, full rack on the top, extra lights, etc., & it was actually used at the UN. She can’t wait for the guys at school to see it. Her parents know she will be very safe in it, & it’s a V8, so she can’t zoom around. It should last year for years. I hope your husbands old Accord will hold out. They are dependable.

  4. Glad to hear you went low-key:) I pushed myself like crazy and came down with the flu the day before Christmas Eve:( Been in bed ever since!

  5. It is such a pleasure reading your posts! Thank you for so many ideas of great outfits to put together!

    You mentioned you switched to all fashion blogging. May I ask what you used to blog on in addition to fashion? (I only just discovered your blog in the last 6 months)

    Merry Christmas to you and yours and a very Happy New Year!

    Sincerely, Amy

    1. Hey Amy! I started out as a typical mommy blog that was mostly an online diary. Over recent years, I started posting weekly meal plans, recipes, crafts, product reviews, etc. I even took on a couple of contributors. It became overwhelming to try to do it all, and do it all well. 🙂 I will still post a recipe or a product review from time to time, but I really like having more of a “niche” blog now.

  6. So happy you were able to enjoy the moment’s of this wonderful time of year. I do try to relax, but I find it to be so difficult. Since I come from divorced parents, and all of my family lives within 10 miles of us, and all of my husband’s family lives within 15 miles of us, we are “expected” to make it to everyone’s gathering. Christmas Eve starts with me cooking for my dad, who arrives and stays about 3-4 hours, then we rush out to Christmas Eve service at church, rush back home to get our 6 year old ready for bed so we can assemble Santa gifts, then on Christmas Morning we have to rush over to my brother-in-law’s house for breakfast and gifts, back home, rush back to brother-in-law’s for early dinner, then back home to prepare a couple of things to rush out to my mom’s house for late dinner and more gifts. It sure gets exhausting, and my poor 6 year old daughter doesn’t get to play with her things. I would love a suggestion on how to tactfully let everyone know that I would like to stay home with my husband and daughter next year, and maybe all of us could get together after Christmas Day. I guess that would be rude though. My dad is divorced and alone, so I am it for him on Christmas. I love Christmas, and I want my daughter to enjoy it. Maybe I am just supposed to endure all of the hoop la since I know our parents will not be around forever. Christmas is about Jesus and spending time with loved ones, so I will just be quiet and enjoy. I cannot wait to see what you have planned for 2016. I love your blog posts. Thank you. Happy New Year.

    1. Hey Gina. Family holiday gatherings can be complicated, but I do think kids get to an age where they prefer to stay home on Christmas Day. We get together with my husband’s family after Christmas every year. We pick a day we can all make it, that was yesterday this time. We did end up going to my sister-in-law’s for Christmas brunch, but we could have declined. I just figured it was only a few hours out of our day, and it got me out of cooking. Ha! But we don’t travel anymore on Christmas Day. My parents are 6 hours away, and the last time we went down, dragging all the gifts, I swore I’d never do it again, and we haven’t. I explained nicely that our kids want to be here on Christmas Day, and my parents understand. We sometimes travel down after Christmas to see them. This year we are going to Maine – my mom’s extended family is all up there. ANYWAY, my point is, I think we deserve to determine how we spend Christmas Day for our immediate family. I understand that some families get offended, and things can be awkward, but I also think that we can get so caught up in trying to make everyone happy that ruins our own holidays, and that’s too bad. Anyway… just food for thought. 🙂 I hope you work out a system that makes you happy and doesn’t upset anyone. 🙂

  7. HI, I came across your blog this summer while trying to pack for a 2 week European vacation in a carry-on… Yikes ????
    Anywho, I enjoy your blog and thank you for your efforts to share with us! My question is about the fur throw you received, do you like it? I’m looking for a similar one and wanted your thoughts!
    Thank you and HNY????

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