In My House

Eight Reasons to Be Happy Christmas is Over

I hear a lot of people say they feel disappointed and sad when Christmas is over. The gifts are all opened, the tree has to be taken down and put (or thrown) away, and our calendars are no longer filled with holiday gatherings.


There is no reason to feel depressed after Christmas. In fact, there is plenty to celebrate about the hustle and bustle ceasing!

We had a wonderful Christmas, but there is still something so great about returning to normal life again.


Here are eight reasons I’m glad Christmas is over:

8. New Year’s Eve plans. These plans have definitely gotten low-key in the past few years, but it is still fun to plan a little something. This year, my husband and I are taking advantage of a baby-sitter back from college for winter break to go have a romantic dinner just the two of us. We will be back on the couch by 9 p.m. and I’m certain will be sound asleep before the ball drops on television. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

7. The major cleaning spree that goes with putting away Christmas decorations. Yes, I’m the super OCD gal who cleans up my tree on December 26. I can’t wait to get the house back in order and organized to my little heart’s content. I swept and mopped a little spot under the couch that I’m pretty sure had not been swept since we moved in. Nearly three years ago. Gross.

6. The endless barrage of holiday television specials gives way to legit programming. Welcome back, How to Get Away with Murder and Vikings.

5. You can enter Target without being trampled alive.

4. Weekends can be weekends again. Holiday parties and preparations are fun, but oh-so-time-consuming.

3. Days get longer. I realize this happens on December 21, not Christmas itself, but there is something so inspiring about the fact that the days are now going to get longer instead of darker and darker.

2. Spring coming.

1. Plans for the upcoming year. I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, but it is fun to anticipate what 2016 will bring. I hope it will bring a few opportunities to travel, and some organization to my Tupperware cupboard.


I’m Glad We’re Not the Only Parents in Our Child’s Santa Photo

It’s a trend I have been seeing more of: Parents in their children’s Santa photos. Anything to calm them down, right?


Back in the 1980s, the child was forced to stay on Santa’s lap regardless of the epic meltdown that ensued. Hence some pretty stellar photos of us red-eyed, snotty-nosed 1980s kiddos, bowl-bobbed haircut and all.

In 2015, we parents have gone soft. We would rather have a photo of our child at least half-way smiling with Santa, even if it means hopping into the photo ourselves.


And even if it means being photographed in less-than-photo-worthy clothes and hair because we didn’t think we were going to be in any photos that day.


Look at it this way, we kids of the 1980s get another chance, now in our late twenties and early thirties, to be photographed with a Santa we no longer fear. In fact, my husband and I made small talk with Santa while we waited for our photos to print.

That’s when Santa said of himself: “When you think about it, Santa Claus really is pretty scary.” What a wise old elf.

In My House

It’s the Little Things

Sometimes it’s the little things about Christmas that bring me peace during an often chaotic time of year. Here are a few of my favorite little things…

Decorations made by my daughter. She did this last year at daycare. So tiny.


My Norman gift tags. I found them when my husband and I were in Vegas for our anniversary. Have you ever been to a Kitson store? They’re fantastic!


Our humble Christmas light display, because we just couldn’t be the house with no lights.


The fact that my husband never puts tags on gifts, but I suspect this little gold box is for me.


A girl who is way too exhausted after our annual drive around town looking at Christmas lights.


Evenings spent by the tree.


What are your favorite little things during the holidays?

In My House

Christmas Greetings

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is sending and receiving cards.


This year we did things a little differently and sent out a Thanksgiving card instead of a Christmas card. I felt the need to give Thanksgiving a little shout-out, and we had just completed my daughter’s autumn-themed photo shoot.


There’s just something so heart-warming about opening the mailbox and seeing an item that is not a bill or a Sirius radio ad.

And nothing says “holiday spirit” like this card from a dear friend.


The inside:


This year I displayed all our cards on this iron wall-hanging that stays up year-round. My daughter enjoys looking at the brightly colored greetings.


How do you display your Christmas cards?

In My House

Portable North Pole: Greetings from Santa

My sister-in-law told me about, a web site that allows users to create personalized messages from Santa for their littles ones.


You can create a free video that features your child’s name, age, interests, and more. My 17-month-old daughter was glued to the screen watching her message.

For $4.99 or $9.99, you can purchase premium videos and a portion of the purchase price will be donated to children’s hospitals around the world.

Merry Christmas!

In My House

My Five Favorite Christmas Movies

The weather is going to be cold here this weekend. We have a Christmas party to attend and I am in dire need of a pedicure and hair trim, but then it’s all about curling up with a blanket and one of these gems.


5. Love Actually: This is a beautiful movie. It has drama, romance, and comedy courtesy of Bill Nighy’s hilarious performance as the washed-up rock star trying to resurface with a holiday hit.


4. Elf: You’re a cotton-headed ninny muggins if you don’t like Elf. This is my husband’s favorite and it always puts a smile on my face.


3. Home Alone: I am old enough to remember when this movie was released in theatres and I talked my family into taking me twice because I loved it so much. Kevin outsmarts Harry and Marv in the most hilarious ways. Keep the change, you filthy animals.


2. The Family Stone: I went to this movie in the theatre by myself when I was just out of college and living away from my family at Christmas time. The all-star cast is reason enough to watch it, but the underlying theme is how, even as adults, we all kind of return to our childish ways when we go home at Christmas. Craig T. Nelson is absolutely perfect as the father.


1. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: This television special is an all-time classic. It celebrated its 50th birthday last year and is still going strong. My daughter loves the music, so we’ll be watching this several times this season.

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

(All images from

In My House

Sephora Holiday Gift Guide

Sephora is such a fun place to be. Unfortunately, because I live in the middle of nowhere, the nearest Sephora is something like five hours away. I relish my few opportunities each year to visit a Sephora location and place an occasional order online. Here are a few items from Sephora that would make great gifts for you, me, or any of the ladies in your life.


1. My sister-in-law recently gave me a gift set of Philosophy Snow Angel. It is fresh and light. I love it. 2. Who doesn’t need good hand cream in winter? Wouldn’t this Tony Moly apple hand cream be the cutest teacher’s gift? It is also available in a tangerine. 3. Winter has my hair all dried out and thirsting for a good deep-conditioning treatment like this Drybar Mudslide Nourishing Hair Mask. 4. While I wish Clinique could have come up with a less creepy name for the Whole Lotta Chubby gift set, I would be thrilled to receive this as a gift. These lip and eye colors are two of my all-time favorite beauty products. 5. Sephora’s Colorful Five Eye Shadow Palette in No. 8 Sunrise to Sunset Bronze features neutral shades that would be flattering on anyone, and it comes with a brush. I get so annoyed when eyeshadow compacts don’t. 6. I am a huge fan of roller ball fragrances. They’re so convenient for travel or just to throw in the purse. This Tory Burch fragrance is light with just a hint of spice, and it comes in the most adorable holiday cracker packaging.

In My House

Can I Take Out a Restraining Order on the Elf on the Shelf?

To you parents out there who have jumped on the Elf on the Shelf bandwagon, I applaud you, and I enjoy seeing your pictures of the elf’s silly antics on my Facebook newsfeed.


(Image from

However, I am glad my daughter is too little to understand the Elf on the Shelf thing this year. Furthermore, I hope this trend has gone by the wayside by next Christmas.

For one thing, this elf kind of creeps me out.  His beady eyes peeking out at me from the garland on the mantel make me uncomfortable. Peeping Tom, anyone?

The Elf on the Shelf is the commercialization of Christmas at its finest. The story is the elves show up to watch children for Santa in the days leading up the Christmas. The starter kit retails for approximately $40. Then there are accessories to purchase such as the elf’s letterman jacket and couture T-shirts for the little guy to wear.

Plus, during an already busy time of year, parents are now expected to concoct a funny and interesting activity for the elf to be doing every morning when their children awaken.

How stressful!

What happened to the value of the idea that “Santa is watching”? Isn’t that enough to encourage good behavior during the holiday season?

If you’re having fun with the Elf on the Shelf, I have no judgment. But if you’re stressing yourself out trying to manage yet another holiday expectation, cut yourself some slack and issue the Elf on the Shelf an eviction notice.



In My House

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Confession: I almost didn’t put up my tree this year. With my busy work schedule and active toddler, the thought of hauling the totes of decorations up from the basement and putting it all up seemed too much.

But a good friend who is the busy mother of two boys under the age of three, said “do it.” And I’m so glad she did.


I kept it simple this year. No outdoor lights. Decorations only in the living room and dining room. Careful placement of the tree behind the couch to create a barrier from little hands.




I made sure all our Christmas books are close at hand for evenings in front of the tree.


Of course the girl was a lot of help.


I hope you have a wonderful weekend making holiday plans, attending festive events, or just curling up with a mug of hot chocolate and a cheesy Christmas movie. We have a Christmas party to attend and will be riding on the float of our small town’s parade of lights. ‘Tis the season!

This post was also featured on Faith-Filled Parenting. Check out Christa’s great writing on that site!