Cool Shit – Christmas, Christmas, Christmas is coming!!!
In previous years (my entire adult life) I have been accused of getting ‘too into Christmas’. Christmas music generally starts playing in my house early to mid-November. Decorations follow shortly thereafter. I get excited and giddy and stupid just as much if not more than my kids around Christmas. I love everything about it…the cold weather, the beautiful lights, the decorations, the tree, the music, the food, the way people give a shit about each other a little bit more…I could go on and on.
Because of my excess enthusiasm surrounding the best holiday of the year, I have had rules and limits put on just how much cheer was allowed in the house and when. And then I started to dread Christmas. I felt like all the magic had been taken out of it. The kids seemed to be all about the presents, expecting bigger-better-more than last year. I was always stressed about money and how to pull it all together. And not being allowed to fully embrace the season in all it’s glittery, twinkling glory gave me absolutely nothing to look forward to.
When my son turned on the Christmas music roughly around the middle of November this year, I groaned and moaned and told him to keep his door closed or headphones on and whined that it’s not even December yet, come on! And then it hit me like a snowball to the face…I was turning into a bonafide Grinch! What was once my absolute favourite time of the year had become an inconvenience and a burden and a huge source of stress, nothing more. Not only that, but I was grinching out on my kids and stealing their joy and fun.
I realized there’s no one putting those rules and limitations on me anymore and I am now free to let my Christmas freak flag fly! I had a chat with my kids about my stress around presents and let them know we would be changing things up this year. They are going to get 4 things…something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read (Thanks Pinterest!). The focus of this holiday season is going to be spending time together. I thought there would be an uprising of some sort, but guess what? They were thrilled! They were beyond excited that they were getting their giddy, childish, Christmas-loving mama back!
So, though it’s not quite December, I’m devoting this week’s Cool Shit post to my favourite Christmas crafts, activities, movies, and recipes for your holiday enjoyment. I’m done apologizing for adoring and celebrating the shit out of this magical time of year. You’re welcome.
- Elf ‘I just like to smile, smiling’s my favourite’ So. Very. Obnoxious. Buddy the Elf epitomizes how I feel about Christmas.
- Home Alone ‘Keep the change you filthy animal!’ I’m all about slapstick comedy. There are few things I love as much as watching people fall down. Wait, that didn’t come out quite right. No, actually, it did. People falling down is funny. And this has lots of that. Plus the feel good aspect.
- A Christmas Story ‘You’ll shoot your eye out!’ I remember watching this when I was a kid and being shocked and so very pleased at some (a lot) of the humour in it. So much sarcasm. So much dry humour.
- Love Actually ‘Love actually is…all around’ I do love my chick flicks. And I love Christmas. So this is pretty much the be all end all for me in the gooey, feel good, holiday department.
- Little Women ‘Marmie! Marmie’s home!’ Such a classic…one of my all time favourite Christmas movies. I know it’s been done a few times, but I love the one with Winona Ryder and Claire Danes. A simple, innocent time, with such a focus on family.
- Sugar cookies on In Katrina’s Kitchen Soft and warm and chewy, I love love LOVE sugar cookies!
- Nuts and bolts on Brooke Bakes I still maintain that my mom does the world’s best nuts and bolts, but her recipe isn’t online so here’s my next best choice.
- Shortbread cookies on Down Cakery Lane Costco has the most amazing shortbread cookies…a little bit chewy and buttery soft but no matter how much I beg, they won’t give me the recipe. These ones are pretty damn good.
- Christmas crack on Averie Cooks I can’t actually have this in the house, it is such a problem. Dear god, the salty and the sweet and the crunch. To die for!
- Butter tarts on Under the High Chair My great Auntie Eva made incredible butter tarts and they are still one of my favourite holiday treats.
- Paper snowflake designs on DIY Cosy Home I’m such a derp when it comes to cutting snowflakes. Like, my brain just doesn’t work that way and I end up with something that looks like a 2 year old did it. This helps!
- Gifts from your kitchen on Talk Crafty to Me You can guess what my neighbours/friends/family are getting from me this year… Seriously, though, these are some awesomely simple and classy ideas!
- Advent activity countdown on Design Dazzle I did this a few years ago with my kids and they still talk about it as their favourite year. Puts the focus back where it should be. I think we’ll reinstate it this year.
- Random acts of kindness countdown on TSJ Photography Something to add on to the activity countdown, I think this is so important, especially around Christmas. It feels so good to do shit for other people, but I get caught up in my own little life so often and forget. This is a great way to be more intentional on a daily basis and is something that could be carried on throughout the year.
- 50 DIY days of Christmas on The Paper Mama There are so many fantastic flippin ideas on this page! I may just go full Martha Stewart for Christmas this year, with all of these ideas!
What are some of your favourite activities/crafts/memories/recipes?