Un-decorating… Oh What Fun It Is

 

Today, I began the un-decorating of my house. I am in the midst of putting away all the decorative pillows, ornaments, festive lights and Christmas wreaths. Sometimes putting these things away feels like getting rid of more than just mere ‘things’. Indeed, it sometimes feels like we also take our holiday cheer, surround it with bubble wrap and put it in a red and green storage box deep in the garage with everything else.

This year however, I’m not feeling that same yucky feeling as I put away all my Christmas decor.

Starting in November, this holiday season we have had visitors, countless play dates and night trips around the city doing fun things with our kids. The Aquarium of the Pacific was our first stop of the season, then the lights at the LA zoo, The Grove, visiting Santa, driving through Candy Cane Lane and even going ice-skating twice. Bebe (my mom) and my Aunt Joanne were here for a nice long visit that elated my little ones beyond anticipation. Thanksgiving brunch outside, Malibu lunches, walks around the neighborhood, Palm Desert relaxation with a friend, online shopping, lots of food and lots of fun have been what this holiday season has been all about.

 




 

Top all of that off with both Thanksgiving and Christmas concerts at my daughter’s school, Debbie Allen’s Hot Chocolate Nutcracker show, Cirque du Soleil, a Polar Express parade and a cozy, relaxing Christmas Day at home with my little family.

So, we didn’t get the Christmas cards done this year (or last year). We made the absolute best of it and while I pack it all away in the next few days, I know that I’m just packing away the stuff. This year, I am so looking forward to keeping the festive spirit alive. More visitors, more trips, more play dates, more celebrations and more decorations in my home for every holiday we celebrate. That’s my goal for 2017, along with of course, keeping up with this blog.

 

 

We are kicking it all off with a trip to Vegas tomorrow. I think I used to question why people brought their kids to Vegas, but now I understand. There actually are a lot of things to do with a family there and my hubby and I can switch off with hitting the tables after the kids are asleep.

I am happy to say though, that the one thing from Christmas that lasts in my home year-round is the smell. Pine, spruce, fir, it really doesn’t matter. These scents are appropriate year round as they are the perfect blend of homey and clean. Stock up now, because these scents are on sale everywhere I’ve been and I have picked up candles at almost every store.

Below are just a ton of pictures from our holiday that made the cut and here is to an amazing 2017 to everyone who sees this.

 


 

My Gorgeous Daughter Turning 4 and Holiday Birthday Parties

So, my daughter turned 4 just over a week ago and I put together a party at the house. This birthday party was Christmas themed and equipped with sing-a-longs, peppermints, ornaments and the holiday spirit in general. I wanted to document this for my daughter and share here how I put the whole thing together.

First, I came up with the theme. This wasn’t rocket science or anything — I love Christmas, kids love Christmas and we already have tons of decorations. I think April is just far enough away from Christmas to do something like this, although, there are no hard and fast rules. I say, when choosing a theme, make it something your kid loves and try to think outside of the box.

So Christmas in April it was, and Viv’s main request was a bounce house. I took to Amazon — ordered candy canes, peppermints, snowflakes for the ceiling, fake snow, Christmas ornament crafts and that was it! The rest of the stuff I already had.

I had Charlie Brown Christmas going on in the play room, Christmas music in the yard and a Disney Christmas sing-a-long going on in the front living area. The beauty of Christmas, is that music can set the whole tone for you.

I filled the water table with fake snow which was a bigger hit than I thought it would be.

Made some peppermint center pieces.

Hung snowflakes from the ceiling.


Set up an ornament making station for the kids (this was supposed to be the favor but I know not everyone got one) and that was basically all.

My advice:
1. Hire the 10 year old girl next door to ‘man’ this station and encourage kids to make an ornament. OR
2. Bag up all necessary items to make an ornament and send them with that to do the craft on their own time.

I sort of loved how much some kids enjoyed the activity though. It allowed them to just be creative and have fun on their own. So you could just wing it like I did too. Again, no rules.

I did get a cake, some pizza, water, juice boxes, alcohol (because it’s not really a kid party without that), bounce house and tables and chairs if you need them.

That’s it ladies and gentlemen. That’s how you throw your kid a Christmas themed birthday party to remember.

Oh, and I forgot to do this but my intention was to have my favorite Christmas scent melting in the house. It is called ‘Sugared Spruce’ and you can get it here at Candles by Victoria. Just another way to set the mood.

Thanks for reading!

Think about your child. Maybe you can throw him or her a Halloween party in their birthday month, a Valentine’s party. What’s your child’s favorite holiday?