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Entries in holiday (10)


To Don't List


I saw this tip in a magazine this week: Survive the holidays by creating a To Don't List. What a good idea!

A To Don't List includes things that you should not be taking on if you want to maintain your sanity. It is a good reminder that you are too busy to make your life more complicated.

So before you get roped into making crafts for all 12 days of Christmas for your child's classroom, you'll think of the list and politely scale it back.

I am a pretty busy girl. I'm a wife and mother of two small babies, working on my MBA, launching a new web show, doing quite a few freelance jobs this fall and winter, in addition to MommyBeta and The Trending Show. Plus I am hosting Thanksgiving at my home this year in addition to traveling back to the Bay Area to visit my side of the family. I will probably need to say no more than a few times this season.

Don't get me wrong, I love participating out at my son's school but I can volunteer once or twice. Not EVERY time there is a call to arms. So here is my preemptive To Don't List. I will NOT:

  1. Volunteer for an assignment at Miles' daycare every week - every third or every other week will suffice!
  2. Try to knit my children's mittens. The mittens I started for Miles two years ago still sit finished only up to the thumb. Buy those damn mittens and call it a day.
  3. Start solids with Ava until after your travels in a few weeks. She is thriving on Mommy's milk and you don't need to go running around the country lugging baby food if it is the difference between starting solids at 6 months and 6 1/2 months.
  4. Stress about Thanksgiving table settings. The food will still be delicious even if you don't serve it on chargers.
  5. Spend too much time shopping for Christmas presents. Amazon ordered gifts will suffice. The mall is no place to be when you should be studying for an MBA or playing with your babies.
  6. Feel the need to keep up with Pinterest holiday crafts. That site can really make you feel inadaquate as a homemaker. Screw that! I will do the best I can but I'm not doing Santa themed nail designs!

What is on your To Don't List this year?


Valentine's Sweets

Despite the fact that I pin a lot of pastry on my Pinterest page, the truth is, I'm not about to make any of those things. I HATE to bake. Flour gets everywhere, sticky substances like shortening are hard to clean, you have to be exact with measurements, etc. In my opinion, the ROI on baking is low. I love to cook. Hate to bake. 

That's why I'll be ordering my Valentine's Day treats from our recent MommyBeta Podcast sponsor Bake Me A Wish. My husband likes to order Christmas cakes to our family from this site and he received a birthday cake from here last month and it was heaven! This site is great! There are over 25 flavors and they gaurantee delivery on the date of your ocassion. 

Now, I'm not a big romantic when it comes to Valentine's Day. I've been known to spend this evening in the grocery store. But my husband likes to make the effort and make dinner reservations so I figured I should too. But I'm not sifting flour for a holiday that I barely even observe. I'll do that for Santa but not for St. Valentine. For that, I'll break out the credit card. 

Send a cake for your loved ones this contrived holiday 'o' love and let us know how it goes!

Signed, the non-romantic pregnant mommy who is really just in it for the cake! 


Celebrating Chrismukkah


We're celebrating Chrismukkkah this year. My husband and I celebrate Hanukkah with his family and Christmas with my family. We’ll continue to honor traditions from both holidays. And when Reese is older we’ll explain the significance of each.  

For now, here is my attempt at combining traditions from the two holidays.  

The Tree: In stead of having a red, gold and green Christmas tree (like I've done in the past) or a "Hanukkah Bush," I decorated our tree with royal blue and silver ornaments - Hanukkah colors. 

Wrapping: I wrapped gifts in blue and silver Hanukkah paper and also found some blue and silver Christmas paper. To make sure Santa was still included, I found some fun silver wrapping paper with Santa's face all over at Target. Man I love that place! 

Stockings: I was going to go with blue stockings but I wanted to keep our set from last year. They are red, green and white and they have our names embroidered on.

Menorah: We decided to go with a simple and modern menorah. We'll be lighting one candle for each night of Hanukkah, progressing to eight on the final night. 

Books: Reese is a huge fan of lift-the-flap books. We have Where is Baby’s Christmas Present? and Where is Baby’s Driedel? She loves flipping the flaps on each page looking for what ever it is she should be looking for.

Dreidel: I found a large wooden dreidel at Target. I know Reese is going to love playing with it!  This will be Reese’s first gift of Hanukkah.

Opening Gifts: We will be exchanging Hanukkah gifts, one every night of Hanukkah. These are all small gifts and on the last day we'll exchange our main gift. We'll open most of our Christmas gifts on Christmas morning… maybe a couple on Christmas eve.

Santa Clause: Of course we can't forget good ol Saint Nick! We took Reese to visit Santa and well you can see for yourself that she's not quite a fan yet.  

Food: My favorite part of the holidays -- cooking and eating! This year I'm hosting Christmas Day dinner. Turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy and some type of dessert. I've never cooked a turkey so wish me luck! And if you have any easy and good recipes, please send'um my way! 

Then the following day we're going to celebrate a Hanukkah dinner at a friend's house. She's making brisket and latkes (aka Potato Pancakes - YUM!). 

So that's how I'm combining the two holidays. I wonder when Reese will be old enough to understand that our family celebrates two holidays and not just one. I hope I don't confuse the gal! If you celebrate Chrismukkah how do you incorporate traditions from both?



MommyBeta Podcast This Week: Taking Credit For Satan's Gift

Click here to download or listen to this week's MommyBeta podcast! Its all holiday talk this week! We discuss teaching our toddler's Christmas words like Satan and Satin and Santa. We also discuss the Elf On The Shelf and creative ways to play the game, and whether or not to take credit for Santa's big-ticket toys. And don't miss our gadget gift guide


Satin and His Alfs


My husband and I have a profound love of Christmas. Sometimes on random nights in, say, July, he’ll roll over in bed and ask me if I want to know how many days there are until Christmas. I always say yes, he does the calculation in his head, and we giggle with delight at the impending festivities.Nic at the tree farm.

Enjoying Christmas with Nic is one of the things we’ve looked forward to most about parenting, and we’re taking advantage of everything the season has to offer. Nic even has his Christmas words down: reindeer, snowman, Christmas tree and of course, Santa!

But to Nic, Santa started off as “Satan.”  Sometimes he gets his syllables a bit mixed up, and this made for an awkward trip to Pottery Barn Kids for my husband (Nic was pointing and screaming, “SATAN!” every 30 seconds).  Fortunately, he’s at least transitioned to “Satin.” And don’t forget his little friends, the “Alfs.”

It’s only December 7th and we’ve already done more Christmasing than most people do all year.  We’ve hit the Christmas tree farm, seen a crazy Technicolor light display, gone to a small town tree lighting and watched Santa arrive by helicopter. Not to mention all of the cider drinking, ornament hanging and carol singing we do in the privacy of our own home (we’re making a gingerbread house this afternoon!).

The good news is that I think Nic loves Christmas as much as we do. The bad news is that I don’t know what we’re going to do with ourselves come December 26th