Although I’m always a bit sad for summer to end, there is a certain excitement with the change of the season. It seems like right after Halloween, we jump into full holiday swing with a flurry of events and activities that keep us hustling and bustling into the New Year. Busy is the normal pace in our family, but the holidays, in particular, brings us to a whole other level of crazy.
A good crazy.
A fun crazy.
An overloading-of-excitement-that-will-make-your-head-spin crazy.
What I love most about the season is indulging in the all the holiday specific activities. You know, the things we can’t or tend to neglect during the other ten months of the year. Here is HotMama’s Holiday Top 10.
Getting Together with Family:
I am extremely family orientated and love spending time with loved ones, which is why I usually travel with such a large posse. Life is hectic and it is easy to let too much time pass in between get-togethers, but around the holidays everyone makes it a priority to gather. I see more family in one month than I do all year with 6 out of our 8 holiday parties being with family and I love every chaotic minute. My kids love being a part of a big family and when Halloween was over Firecracker clasped her chunky hands together and exclaimed, “Now it is time for Christmas! We get to see our whole family!” I loved that family came before presents! A full heart is better than a clutter home!
This season always puts everyone in the spirit, the party spirit that is! Everyone is throwing some kind of bash, even work becomes more fun thanks to holiday parties. I have a close circle of friends, multiple jobs and an enormous family. Therefore, I have multiple parties to attend! I just dust off my collection of fashionable Santa hats and get ready to get my holiday cheer on!
Meeting Santa! Again and Again:
There is only one time of year where Santa can be spotted virtually everywhere and that time is now. My kids love the man in red and Cuddle Bear loves the free candy canes. We are out and about all season long, paying a visit to Santa everywhere we go. Malls, parks, hotels, theme parks, you name it! If Santa is there we say hello. Don’t forget the photo! I love displaying the many different Santa photo ops all over house as part of my Christmas décor. Say Cheese!
We live in Southern California, so we have a number of theme parks at our disposal. I have a pass to most of them and frequently visit them throughout the year. I love visiting the parks during the holidays, because the décor is so festive and they usually have special seasonal activities that they don’t offer the rest of the year. Here are some of my favorites:
Christmas lights make everything more beautiful and honestly, I don’t know why we don’t have them up all year long! I can’t enough of Christmas light displays and I just want to soak them all in before they disappear for another year.
Most places have local neighborhoods that go all out for Christmas which make for a perfect night of light gazing. We love this particular community on the lake, because they put on their own Christmas boat parade. It is a beautiful event that really brings the community together.
Regional Parks usually have some sort of Christmas display and we try to visit ours every year. Our park has carnival games, an ice themed hay maze, breathtaking lights and a Christmas train that takes you through the enchanted forest to Santa!
Let’s face it; we just don’t eat like we do around the holidays. Okay, so we may pack on an extra layer for the winter, but it’s worth it and what else are New Year’s Resolutions for? Eat, drink and be merry people!!!
Snow (even if man-made):
We live in state that only gets snow in the mountains or is man-made at various locations, so if we want to play in the snow we have to drive to it. We may live in a warm climate, but what is Christmas without a little snow? Firecracker and Cuddle Bear love the snow, as most children do, so we always try to incorporate it into our holiday activities.
During the season Sis, Grams and I collaborate to come up with a Christmas Adventure. Usually taking place any time between Thanksgiving and the first weekend of December, we take the family on a holiday themed travel. It has to have something special that screams “Christmas Time!” To afford a trip for the holidays we only buy presents for the kids, leaving some extra moo-la for travel. It really kick-starts the excitement of the season!
I’ve always loved receiving Christmas cards. Some people are so creative, some are funny and some are sweet. I display all the cards I receive in my home during the holidays and even pull out old favorites as part of my décor. Once I had my kids, I took my own cards very seriously. I spent most the year thinking about the theme of my next card. (Yes, I already have next year’s planned in my head). I try to think of something that encompasses our year and what we as a family are all about. It may sound dorky, but it sure is fun.
Tis the season to spend money! I am not a huge shopper most of the year, because I’m usually saving for travels. During the holidays, however, I am all about it! Although I don’t particularly like annoying crowds of people or long lines, I do love the energy. Honestly, I do most my shopping online in the middle of night, but I like hitting the malls to enjoy the Christmas décor, take part in the holiday specials and see Santa. By ordering the important stuff ahead of time online, the stress of holiday shopping is greatly reduce and affords me the opportunity to enjoy the holiday madness. There is something exhilarating about hustling around all day, before ending the day with a fun dinner, a festive cocktail or a cold beer at a crowded restaurant.
Plus, let’s face it. It is so fun to see the look on your loved ones’ faces when they open that perfect gift.