Monday, December 24, 2018

childhood Christmas memories and traditions

Happy Christmas Eve! Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite childhood Christmas memories and traditions.

1. Eating Chinese takeout on Christmas Eve - My family has been doing this for as long as I can remember and I still do it today. It started because there are only so many meals in a row you can eat holiday food leftovers, so mix in some Chinese takeout leftovers and you're good! I'm excited because our favorite Chinese takeout in Dallas is just around the corner from our church so we'll go to Christmas Eve Mass and then pick up all the leftovers before heading home to eat and watch some Christmas movies.

2. Putting on the Christmas story plays with my siblings - I have two sisters and a brother and we'd put on a full production of the Christmas story (the Biblical one, not the Red Rider BB Gun one) each year when we were little. We'd play the parts, making my older sister play everything except for Mary, Joseph, and the Angel. The costumes were old dance costumes, bed sheets, and bath robes; we'd even use stuffed animals as props! We of course thought it was Broadway quality, but I'm sure we'd all die laughing if we saw a recording of it now.

3. The Christmas I didn't get anything on my list - When I was 6 years old I wrote a letter to Santa, put it in the mail, and then didn't get a single thing on my list. Okay so that sounds really harsh, and there's of course a good reason, but it was very traumatic to 6 year old me. My mom was 7 months pregnant that Christmas and I was not exactly excited about getting a baby sister. So instead of Santa bringing me those gifts they all came from my baby sister two months later. Instead under the Christmas tree I got the pink version of everything my older sister had asked for/gotten under the tree from Santa. My mom thought if the new baby gave me all the gifts I'd wanted I'd be more excited about her being born.

4. Reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Growing up my mom would read this book to my siblings and I every year. This is such a classic story to me that I'm always surprised when more people have never read it. It's a great short read (about 75 pages) that's fun and endearing and really helps you remember the true meaning of Christmas. This year I borrowed a copy from my library and have been reading it a few pages a night to help put me in the Christmas spirit!

What's one of your favorite childhood Christmas memories?

Friday, December 14, 2018

2018 Gift Guide - Gifts $30 and under

When I started thinking about what holiday content I wanted to share on the blog I started by thinking of what holiday content I enjoy seeing from others. Gift Guides are the obvious go to for October through the end of the year, but if we're being honest those posts are the ones I'm least likely to open on other blogs. Now I'm not saying I never open gift guides, but I find most of them just don't appeal to me. Most feel like just a repeat of everything I could find by clicking the gifts section of Nordstrom and I think we're all smart enough to be able to do that without a linked gift guide. So after much thought I've decided to be much more selective in the gift guides I do publish this year and honestly today's may be the only one I publish.

Gifts $30 and under are my favorite gifts because they are so versatile. These can be for stocking stuffers, white elephant parties, coworkers or small just because. Most gifts in this category are a little frivolous but that's what make them so fun!

history of women mug - If I thought I had room for another coffee mug I would buy this one in a heart beat. I think coffee mugs are great gifts because they're available in such a wide variety of colors and prints and styles.
cow ornament - Ornaments are my favorite gift for someone I don't know well. Cute local boutiques have great options, but they're sometimes on the more expensive side. Department stores have great choices and are usually a great bargain!
glitter hour glass - There's no way you could open this and not smile! I think this would be such a fun gift for your favorite gal pal at work.
tumbler - Like ornaments, tumblers are some of my favorite gifts for people I don't know super well. Everyone needs to stay hydrated so this is a fun and practical gift.
peppermint bark - I can't stop won't stop eating peppermint bark. It is my holiday guilty pleasure and I thought this puppy paws version was extra cute!
earring supply kit - If you're trying to find a practical gift this is the one for you! It has a variety of earring backs and wires to help you make your favorite pair wearable again.
picture perfect picture frame - A framed photo is a great gift for someone when you know you want to give something meaningful, but maybe don't have a huge budget. This Kate Spade one is currently on sale and darling!
face mask set - This set is a great value; 4 masks for under $10! Add a bottle of wine or a candle and this is a super great gift for someone in need of a little self care and relaxation.
bubblebath - I love philosophy's holiday collection! These delicious scented bubble baths are such a  fun gift for any age

What are your favorite $30 and under gifts?