Posted in Holidays, Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings

Hello! One week from today is Thanksgiving. Can you believe it?

Holly and Patty are doing the Monthly Musings link up a bit early due to Thanksgiving next week. So, I’m linking up with them to share my responses.

This month’s topic is:

I’m definitely team “give Thanksgiving its moment,” (it’s my favorite holiday!), but I also know that with a crazy busy schedule, the earlier I start thinking about Christmas the better as far as planning and organizing are concerned.

…so…’tis the season to really start thinking about holidays!

1. Favorite holiday tradtions?

I love baking cookies with the kids, buying Angel Tree gifts, going to see the Kentucky Horse Park lights and more!

My mom and Gma always bake cookies and send a few to us. Then, when we are in KC, we make waffle cookies. Spritz cookies are another family tradition.

I also love that the kids pick out gifts for each other. It’s always fun watching them exchange their gifts…sometimes on Christmas Eve and sometimes Christmas morning.

Holiday cards are another favorite tradition. I love receiving them. I feel like it’s a tradition that’s dying…and I blame social media and the cost of stamps! I know before platforms like Facebook and Instagram, holiday cards were a way to check in on others and share about the year. I truly love receiving cards each year.

2. What holidays do you celebrate?

We celebrate Christmas.

3. How early do you shop?

I try to start picking up a few things here in there in November, but it’s hardly enough to make me feel accomplished. I always feel like I need to get through the kids’ November birthday before I can really think about buying Christmas presents. I try to have a decent list for Cyber Monday, and I always feel accomplished after I buy quite a few things that day.

4. When do you decorate?

That varies year to year. The years we go to KC for Thanksgiving, I really try to have most of it up before we leave. That being said, the kids’ birthday usually throws a wrench in things just because we are busy with that before Thanksgiving. This is the third year that I’ve put up my pencil trees on Election Day. It just gets the Christmas ball rolling for me, and it’s just the right touch of cozy since it gets darker earlier.

Last year, was the latest I got everything out for Christmas, and I told myself that I would decorate earlier this year. I actually pulled the Christmas bins out of the attic on Sunday, and have the house about 80% filled with Christmas cheer.

My kids give me grief, but I remind them that I still love Thanksgiving…I just have to decorate when I have the time. Also, they don’t help decorated, they don’t get a vote…and I want to enjoy it for as long as possible.

5. Do you host any holiday festivities?

We don’t host any festivities. That being said, we usually get together with my brother’s family and let the kids swap gifts. We usually have an informal dinner and dessert.

We do love attending a few parties. Trav’s work always has a Christmas party and then another one of our friends hosts a fun one too! Our neighborhood used to have a progressive party with apps, dinner, and dessert, but we haven’t had that since Covid. We loved that tradition.

6. Favorite holiday meals or recipes to share?

For our Christmas dinner at home, I always make salmon, potatoes, and green beans. We keep it simple, but we all love that meal.

7. Best holiday organization tips?

For being so Type A, you’d think I’d be better at organizing. Some things I do are:

  • Keep an ongoing note on my phone with gift ideas, mostly for myself and the kids.
  • For two years now, I’ve shared an Amazon wish list with family with present ideas for the kids (and me!)
  • The past couple of years, I’ve thrown out or donated seasonal decor when I haven’t used it. Some of my bins could be consolidated which made for less bins to store.
  • I label the main bins “1 of 4,” “2 of 4,” etc., so I know exactly what I’m looking for when it’s time to decorate.

8. Gift wrapping. Love it or hate it?

I want to love it, but it’s always such a hectic process and sometimes last minute. Usually somewhere around December 20, I sit down in the basement, turn on a movie, pour a glass of wine, and wrap. It still is usually a hectic process for some reason, and I’m always glad when it’s over. I’ve thought about “wrapping as things arrive,” but then I’m afraid I’ll just end up overbuying because I can’t remember what I’ve wrapped.

9. Holiday coffee drink?

I don’t do many holiday drinks, but I will indulge in a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha from time to time.

10. Are you a holiday baker? Recipes to share?

Once we are out of school for break, the kids will bake cookies with me. Some years we make more than others, but we always make Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

For our Christmas dinner dessert, I always make Shay’s Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake.

It’s a family favorite.

I try to enjoy the season…it’s always so hectic, but I try to take it all in the best that I can.

This is such a fun link up! I can’t wait to see how everyone else responds.

10 thoughts on “Monthly Musings

  1. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday too so while I try to focus on that first I definitely have to start making my cards and planning my gifts out before that. My goal each year is to be done with the bulk of the buying by cyber Monday so that I only have a few things to pick up here and there during December. That said I’m kind of excited to start decorating next weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do usually feel better after cyber Monday. Year to year, it seems to vary who I focus on first. I either try to get all the kids’ gifts first or family and then vice versa. Either way, it always feels good to get a chunk crossed off my list


  2. Love this! I wasn’t even ready to “think” about writing this post and participating! It worked out well when I decorated the day before Thanksgiving because we are gone and then we come home ready for Christmas! I am not sure what I will do this year. I try not to force it and see what feels right to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I also love receiving Christmas cards! We get less and less each year, though. So sad! These were great prompts to think about and fun to read!

    Liked by 1 person

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