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What I love most about holidays are family traditions, the big ones and the little ones. I come from a big family and when we all get together there are about 40 of us. I really cherish the time we spend cooking and sharing meals. And now getting to watch everyone interact with my daughter Elouise just makes everything even better.
How do you make the holidays special for your family?
To make the holidays special for my family, I try my best to plan intentionally. It's so easy to get caught up in the business and excitement but that's not really what the holidays are about. I do my best to plan a good mix of low-key family time at home, small outings, big exciting trips, and then, of course, there are parties with families and friends.
What do the holidays mean to you?
For me, the holidays are most about giving to others and connecting with our loved ones. Don't get me wrong, I love me some sugar cookies and a trimmed Christmas tree as much as Buddy the Elf, but I try my best to not let the real reason we celebrate get lost in a whirl of twinkle lights and jingle bells.
So you have any tips you would love to share with other moms about the holidays?
I would just remind all you moms that's it OK not do it all. If your kids' Elf on the Shelf doesn't move for three days, it's not the end of the world. Dare I say, give the present of being present because after all, that's what will create the most meaningful memories. I'm still working on that over here. Also, keep gift-giving simple; over here, we stick to four simple things: one thing you want, one thing you need, one thing to wear and one thing to read. Plus, I'm sure Santa will be dropping off one special gift.
Have you started any new traditions with your kids?
This year is Elouise's first Christmas and the planner that I am wants to schedule everything to the minute and start 53 new traditions. However, my husband has ever so sweetly reminded me that she won't even remember this Christmas (even though I will). Instead, I've chosen a couple of new traditions to start and a few already existing ones to include her in. We will be donating some clothes and toys, making cookies for our neighbors and ending Christmas Eve night in our newly opened jammies, reading the story of Jesus' birth from Elouise's story Bible.