Thursday, December 12, 2013

casual christmas.

I did a HUGE favor for myself this year and gave myself a break on everything Christmas related.  Time is going by way too fast and I wanted to really be in the moment as much as possible this holiday season while my girls are so little.  

I did 90% of my Christmas shopping on Amazon. Free two day shipping (we have Prime, which is AMAZING).  I did no crafty, Pinterest inspired gifts or anything of that nature - just good ol' gifts & gift cards.  Stress free!  The girls' presents we like to buy in person though - I LOVE buying toys for them :)  Speaking of which, have you read this article?  I totally love it.  

The Elf on the flipping shelf.  I commend all the moms that stay up late or wake up early thinking up new things to do with that darn elf, but as for ours?  He just travels through the house, doing nothing fantastical - sometimes missing a day or two ;)  Aubrey still gets a kick out of it!  

Christmas cards.  I have a hard time spending the money on a professional photographer to do our family pictures since I, ya know, OWN a photography business, so we kept it super simple this year.  I didn't have the time or energy to go buy us all new coordinating outfits, so we threw our Christmas jammies on, sat on the bed, put my camera on self timer - and BAM!  We had ourselves a Christmas picture.  Shockingly enough, the very first picture we took turned out perfect with everyone looking. By the way - Tiny Prints is KILLING it with adorable Christmas cards this year.  The hardest part of the process was choosing a design - they are all so adorable!

Even our Advent calendar is far from fancy this year.  We aren't doing treats, but some sort of Christmasy activity each day. (The activities are literally just written on a piece of paper, and I just let Aubrey know what it is each day) It has been SO much fun and has totally gotten us into the holiday spirit.  Here is our list of activities, which aren't done in order, we just pick whatever one works out the best for our schedule that day.  

-Decorate the house.  (And Aubrey got to decorate her own special tree!)

-Watch the old school Christmas cartoon movies - Frosty, Rudolph, The Grinch, Charlie Brown, etc.  (Aubrey LOVED them.)

-Have a family home evening explaining the true meaning of Christmas.  (We used her Fisher Price Nativity set to tell the Christmas story & sang Christmas songs with her.  She was so happy to talk about "Jesus' birffday")

-Went to our local Theatre of Lights.  She got to see Santa!

-Dug out all our Christmas books and read them by the tree.  She likes to read them EVERY day.  

-Take a trip to the snow.

-Go look at the lights at the temple.

-Paint our fingernails a Christmasy color.  

-Go meet Santa at "Santa's Secret Aventure." 

-Bake Christmas cookies & deliver to neighbors with our church's "Joy to the World" dvd.

-Make her own ornaments to put on the tree.  

-Fill a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child.

-Act out the Christmas story for Family home evening.  

-Attend Aubrey's FIRST dance recital.  She is a Christmas tree in "The Grinch!"

-Pay for someone in front of us in line at Starbucks.

-Eat "snowballs" for breakfast. (Donut holes)

-Make and decorate Christmas sugar cookies.

-Go look at Christmas lights.

-Decorate gingerbread houses.

-Learn Christmas songs.  (All I hear Aubrey sing nowadays is Jingle Bells & Rudolph!)

-Help Daddy hang up our Christmas lights on the house.

-Take the girls' pictures in their Christmas dresses.

-Exchange family presents on Christmas Eve.

There you have it - our simple, but fun Christmas ideas.  We are having the best time doing our festive activities & I know by taking it easy this year, it's leaving us more time to have together as a family just enjoying each other.  This time of year is truly special!

Can't post without a picture :)


  1. I love it! I love seeing your pictures with the girls while you guys do your activities. I think that is a great idea for an advent calendar. This season is definitely flying by though..enjoy it with your littles and hubby!

  2. I love that you are doing Christmas activities for you calendar! AND....The Elf on the Shelf isn't actually supposed to be doing silly things like everyone is doing with their elves. You are doing it exactly right! Sounds like you all are really enjoying this holiday season. Have a great Christmas!

  3. I really love this Lisa! I'm totally stealing that advent. Slender for next year when both kids will be old enough to enjoy/participate, such a cute idea to make every day fun! I think your "simple" Christmas is still really nice because it's special and it's focused around the girls just enjoying the season and all it has to offer. You don't always need all the other things, those are just the sprinkles on the cake