Holidays are *usually* a time for cheer, gatherings, parties and events. This year may look a little different than years past, but with a little bit of creativity, they can be just as filled with joy and celebration as always. I always remember back to when I was a little girl and what the feelings that I loved and cherished. One of those was the feeling of my family slowing down for a couple of days. No one went to work or school, and we spent time with just us. I loved that I was able to sleep in my older sister’s room during break and we giggled and chatted until we fell asleep. I loved that I could hear the heat kick on and smell coffee brewing as I listened to the hustle of the breakfast shuffle from my warm bed. I loved seeing my relatives all dressed up for midnight mass with fancy dresses and collared shirts. I loved that I felt so warm when it was really just so cold outside!
This year, I want to recreate those feelings, using creativity and a little bit of help from my family and some awesome brands and local spaces that we love. One of the first things on my list is to set up a formal holiday zoom with my extended family. Same as our usual holiday party, but we will be on zoom instead. We plan on setting up our smart TV to accommodate so we can all get on screen and decorating a ton! I will be making all of the traditional snacks from the pigs in a blanket all the way to the holiday cookies and egg nog. We will all get dressed in our holiday best as we celebrate as a family in the closest way we can together! With 8 kiddos in our family, we have plenty to talk about and see, down to the matching holiday pajamas that I bought for all of the kiddos in the family. We will pre-ship our gifts to our loved ones and delight in them opening something special that my kiddos made or picked out from one of our local stores. We are especially excited for our baby cousin to get his very first Milo and Gabby Dylan Dinosaur toddler pillow and double lined blanket along with my twin nephews getting their very own Innobaby Stainless Bus Plates with matching Innobaby cups! Practical, quality gifts to use at home are my theme this year as I thoughtfully purchase various items from small businesses that I love.
One of my favorite memories that I would like to create for my kids is that feeling of being together in a different than normal way. My older kids are now old enough to share space, so they will be having several sleepovers throughout the month of December using their favorite sleeping bags and bedding from Milo and Gabby. We will set them up in the bunkbeds and listen as the giggles die down and the quiet takes over the exhaustive talk and binding. They will each have their Milo and Gabby nap mat, pillows, and double sided fleece blankets. The nap mats have a built in pillow and are made of the same material as their bedding. They love the adorable designs and that each of them has their own little friend to call a bedding home. My littlest guy will be getting his very own Milo and Gabby alligator pillow this year so he can join the big kids crew finally! The bonding that happens when they spend time alone together is priceless and always made more comfortable with their luxe bedding items that make it feel truly special, like I did when I was a little girl sleeping in my big sister’s room.
On Christmas morning every year, I make a brunch. The kiddos will each make mini quiches in their Innobaby Silicone Chicken Steamers and bake them for their morning meal by the tree. They can be used in the oven, so its a perfect way to include them and their portion sizes in the making of our Christmas morning meal. They will cozy up with their faux-mosas (orange juice with sparkling apple juice and a raspberry) in their Innobaby Stainless steel cups while we chat about all of the holiday magic. And of course, we will have some sort of cookie by like 7:30am as the kiddos look through their gifts and cards while chatting about the previous night’s zoom. Truly, most of all, I am looking forward to slowing down and soaking in the end of one wild year by our fireplace with the chatter of little voices enjoying the day.
Most of all, I want my kiddos to remember the feeling of togetherness as a family this year. We will be ordering from local places around town to keep me out of the kitchen and down on the floor with my kiddos more often. We will spend time looking at the plethora of holiday lights that are sprouting up around town already, and most importantly, we will spend time just being together with our added little spices of holiday cheer sprinkled in. We have added a brightly colored tree to our decor this year and will be adding little bits and pieces of holiday decor that they kiddos make, including our own homemade holiday chain and homemade ornaments.
This holiday season, let’s embrace the world as it is and focus on those roots that have always made the holidays something we think about year after year. We can relish in the slowed down nature of the days while embracing the technology that will bring us a step closer to “normal”. As always, who knows what the rest of the year will bring, but memories have been pumping into the thread of our family all year and we fully intend to continue the making of memories- big, small, and even the unexpected memories that float our way as each little personality grows and grows with the times.