Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Let's Be Honest Mamas || Holiday Edition

s i m p l i f i e d   h o l i d a y s

Today, I am joining a group of amazing bloggers for our Let's Be Honest Mamas series and this month we are talking all about the holidays. My friend Kacie from Elements of Ellis (find her blog here + IG here) puts these group posts together once a month. I think it's really fun to read other mama's opinions and ideas on subjects we all talk so much about. I linked everybody else participating this month at the bottom of this post so be sure to visit their blogs!

Christmas always looks a bit different for us because we are a military family, usually stationed in a different state from our families. We try our best to create happy memories for our little family while still trying to balance traveling and spending time with extended family without too much financial hardship. We learned what works best for us during this season of life. 

+ How do you make the holidays less hectic around your home?

  • I am a planner, so I get stressed when things aren't planned. I start setting money aside ahead of time, usually around August/September so the holidays aren't as financially stressful for us. We keep gifts and meals simple and don't commit to too many parties/ gatherings. 

  • + In a season inundated with receiving, how do you teach your kids about giving?

  • Since Eloise is so young still, we decided to start small and keep it simple. Around thanksgiving this year we made muddy buddies together and then handed them out to our neighbors, mailman, garbage men and post office. I explained what it means to thank people in our lives that maybe don't get recognized. As she gets older and can understand more, I'm sure this will change. I would love to volunteer at a shelter or food bank as a family, or sponsor a local family's Christmas dinner. 

  •  + In order to enjoy the holidays, it's important to be thoughtful with your celebrations and only do the things that make you happy. Are there traditions you've said “no” to? How did you make that change/tell your friends and family “no” is a way that didn't upset them? 

  • This one is tough for me because as a military family, we are rarely stationed near our families. Traveling gets expensive, so we decided to travel every other year around Christmas. Before Eloise, on our "off" years from families in WA, Nick and I spent Christmas exploring local places instead of giving gifts to each other. We went to New York City for Christmas one year, and Catalina Island, CA another year and it was so much fun having this time together, just us two. But after Eloise was born we decided to always give her Christmas in her own home. SO this year, we are driving from CA to WA with our trailer and are staying for a little over a week to celebrate early with our families and then we will be home in time for christmas at our own house. 

  •  + It's easy to overspend this season. Share your tips for limiting the amount you spend on gifts. (example; making gifts, the 4 gift rule, etc.) 

    • Right now we don't follow a rule, but we follow our set budget. I would love to start following the 4 gift rule of "want, need, wear, read" as Eloise gets older, and then have her stocking and one gift from Santa. I've talked a little about our minimalist views, specifically Eloise's toys, so we always create an amazon wishlist for her of mostly books and toys we know she would love. We try to limit battery powered toys and encourage imaginative play, but that's a whole separate blog post I could write. We also set up a college fund when she was born and love when people put money into that for the holidays instead of gifts.

    + Preparing meals for the family can be stressful. Do you have a simple meal you prepare ahead of time to help lessen the stress?

  •  We always have cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning and I usually prepare them the night before. We keep dinner simple and do steaks and potatoes or baked potato soup. Comfort food + Christmas cookies all the way.

  • I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comments here or over on IG!

    Bloggers: Kacie Ellis elementsofellis.com // Amber Hill amberlately.com // Kymberly Janelle lifewithkymberlyjanelle.com // Stephanie Pollock stephpollock.com // Emily Lindsey happilylindsey.com //  // Carla Thompson curiousnatalia.com

    1 comment:

    1. What a great idea to make something to give to the mailman, etc! I'm getting so many good ideas from everyone's posts for when Hazel and baby #2 get older! :)