It’s officially the end of the holiday season…at least in my house it is.  Our tree was down on the 30th and all decor was boxed up by December 31st.  While I normally wait until the first weekend of the year…my allergies started kicking in – and suddenly – I could care less about the pine tree smell in my house…I wanted it out!

But going thru my iPhone photos – I can’t help but get a little sad that we have to wait a whole 12 months for that holiday fuzzy feeling.  I don’t remember being as excited about the holidays – until becoming a mom.  Yea – when I was a kid, I had my fair share of excitement when the holidays came around…but it’s different now.  I get to choose how to celebrate, what to do and create traditions for my own family.   To me, the best part of the holidays is being together – surrounded by love, the smell of food, and the sounds of laughter.  Sharing a few of my favorite things that we did as a family this year – and what’s become a tradition around the Metelus household.

Oh Christmas Tree! Once the final Thanksgiving decor is put up – its time to break out the Christmas tree.  This year – I started our decorations early by putting up our lights and adding a Santa and a few snowmen to our yard.  The kids got such a kick out of them.  And since I was having a ton of family over for the Thanksgiving break – I wanted our house to be even more festive.  But I saved the tree for a few days later – because I didn’t want the stress of decorating with 20 people in my home.  Once we got our tree – as we do every year, Cee-Lo’s Christmas Album and Mariah Carey’s Christmas Album is our soundtrack – as the kids (including my nieces and nephew) get in the holiday spirit as we all decorate.

Christmas Celebration with the Mets
Christmas Tree halfway decorated…almost there!

Holiday trip:  With the kids out of school for two weeks, it makes sense for us to do a quick family getaway for the holidays…and this year – it was Disney to take part in Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  Orlando is always a fun trip for us since we have a ton of famiy there – but taking in the sight’s and sounds of Christmas topped off with Mickey and Minnie – is definitely a winner!

One Balanced Mama Christmas Traditions

One Balanced Mama Christmas Traditions

Family Photo shoot:  always the marker to kick off our family holiday season.  I talked about the importance of us doing this every year at the Family Christmas Card Photo Shoot Unveil post.

Metelus Christmas Traditions

One Balanced Mama Christmas Traditions

PJ hunting:  Because what’s Christmas without jammies.  Found all of ours at Target.

StoryTime at Bookstore:  This year – we took advantage of the local Barnes and Nobles bookstore and their storytime reading.  The kids enjoyed showing up in their PJ’s to hear the Polar Train Express (ok – so we missed the actual storytelling…but we made it in time for the cookies and hot chocolate, thanks to the in-store Starbucks.)  Still a good time for all.  We followed this up with a visit to the GoldCoast Railroad Museum’s Polar Express.  So much fun to do.

Polar Express - One Balanced Mama
Our Target PJ’s in full display at the Polar Express Train Ride!
Gold Coast Polar Express - One Balanced Mama
Of course we turned this into a playdate!

Christmas Eve Party – and this is where the PJ’s came in handy as well!  We hosted a Christmas Eve Pajama Game Night…all of our friends came over (toddlers invited) and to make it easy – it was pizza and wings with lots of desserts…and of course a full bar!

One Balanced Mama Christmas Traditions

Photos with Santa:   the obligatory Santa photo and selfie.  The Kids look mildly uncomfortable.
One Balanced Mama Christmas Traditions
One Balanced Mama Christmas Traditions

School performances:  you know the ones your get all hyped for…..waiting with iphone in hand to snapchat your child sing “Jingle Bell Rock”….the song they have been belting out for weeks in your home.  And then you get….nothing.  A complete meltdown.  You invited the entire family out for no reason. But hey – tis the season!

One Balanced Mama Christmas Traditions
The moment your child starts a subtle meltdown during her performance.
One Balanced Mama Christmas Traditions
That moment you try to talk her out of the meltdown…doesn’t work.
One Balanced Mama Christmas Traditions
…but yet she poses as if she completed an award winning performance!

Christmas Day:  We all know Jesus is the reason for the season….but there’s nothing better than seeing your child’s reaction when going thru their gifts.  Since my nieces were in their teens – we always opened gifts on Christmas Eve….something about waiting until midnight to start ripping off wrapping paper.  But this year – we waited until Christmas morning – allowing each person to have their moment of sharing what they received – and celebrated with an awesome brunch after.

One Balanced Mama Christmas Traditions
AJ’s gift to me was a trip to the nail salon…he knows what Mommy needs!

One Balanced Mama Christmas Traditions

One Balanced Mama Christmas Traditions
I think she loves her new Disney Princess Collection of dolls!

Would love to hear about some of your own traditions!  Until then – happy holidays!


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