Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Looking Forward: Holiday Edition

It's mid-November so that means the holidays are upon us. The holiday season seems to start way earlier than it used to but I love the winter holidays so it's not the worst thing that it starts earlier! I think it can be easy to get bogged down with to do lists and holiday stress during this time of year, which is kind of a shame because it's such a fun and exciting time of year - at least for me. I used to regularly write "looking forward" posts and was reminded of how they generate joy/excitement when I read Jenny's recent post about 5 things she is looking forward to. So here's what I'm looking forward to this holiday season!

This holiday season, I'm looking forward to...

- Putting our tree up this weekend. I used to be team put the tree up after Thanksgiving but we put it up in mid-November in 2020 because we were desperate for some cheer. I loved it so much that I've been converted to team decorate the tree mid-November. People can change!

- Going to How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Children's Theater with Paul on Sunday. We are going with my friend and her 2 kids (the family that hosted him for a play date last weekend). I think he's as excited to be attending something with his buddies as he is to be seeing The Grinch! 

- Celebrating Thanksgiving with my family at my brother's. This means we do not have to travel for the holiday as my brother lives in the metro area. I'll start off the day by doing a 10k with my neighbor. The race is at the lake we run around multiple times/week. While it's a "race" it will be more of a fun run for us with no pace/finish time expectations.

- Having my Chicago niece and nephew over the day after Thanksgiving. I haven't seen them since last Thanksgiving so am excited to get some extra time with them. They are 11 and 15 I think (I have the hardest time keeping track of ages but I do have 8 nieces and nephews to keep track of...). I think I will take them to this local children's book store that has animals - like pet cats, chinchillas, birds, etc and then to an ice cream place down the block and then we'll get pizzas? It might be boring for my older nephew but my boys and my niece will love it, I think. Surely the ice cream and pizza will at least be of interest to the teen!

- Having my college girlfriends and their kids over for a cookie decorating party on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. I haven't hosted them for a cookie party since 2019! I took a break from hosting this during the pandemic but am excited to bring it back!

- Getting out the Advent calendar on Dec 1. The boys get a few m&ms every day and then they get to pick a present every 2-3 days which is a Christmas-themed book. 

- Going to the outdoor light show at the local Arboretum the first Friday in December. I did this with Paul last year and he still talks about it. 

- Celebrating Will's 2nd birthday! Since his birthday falls on a Saturday, we'll have his party on his actual birthday. We are team "low key birthdays" so we'll just have a birthday dinner with some family. No theme or decorations! Paul will help me bake the cake since he loves baking with me and is a really good little helper.

- Going to Mexico for 4 nights/5 days with Phil in mid-December! We are so excited to get some time away together for the first time since having kids. It will be an adjustment to be away from the boys but I know they will be in good hands with my parents and some alone time will be so good for us. Since we are old, tired parents, we are excited to sleep in, eat meals without someone (I'm not naming names but his name rhymes with dill) having a breakdown, lay on the beach, etc. We'll do an early Christmas with my parents when we go to get the boys (the boys will spend the week at my parents' lake home). 

- Celebrating Christmas at home. We'll go to Phil's cousin's house for Christmas Eve and then will have a quiet Christmas with my MIL at our house on Christmas Day. 

That is a lot of activity/celebration but it's all stuff I love and am looking forward to. And after several years of going nowhere/doing nothing, I am welcoming a full calendar with open arms! Plus any holiday stress that accumulates in the weeks to come will probably dissipate when I'm laying on the beach with a margarita in one hand and my kindle in the other!!

What are you looking forward to in the next 6 weeks? Do you love the holiday season as much as I do?


Nicole said...

Oh my goodness, this all sounds so fun and wonderful. So much to look forward to! I forgot you were going to Mexico...eeeee so fun!!! I am 100% here for early Christmas decorating - why not? So cheerful and fun. Also, I hear you on the keeping track of ages. I have 8 nieces and nephews and I have to do that thing where you count their ages from your own kids' ages, if you know what I mean (so and so was 4 when M was born so...) I bet the teen will be interested, sometimes it's fun for kids that age to have an "excuse" to visit childhood things!

Sarah said...

Oh wow! This list sounds delightful! I also really like this prompt. But honestly, I **wish** I lived my my college girlfriend and had stable T-giving plans. I crave these kinds of traditions.

Jeanie said...

I want to do YOUR Christmas activities! They all sound like such a good time. I'm not sure what our TG weekend will bring now. I'm considered more immuno-compromised till early December so steering clear of crowds and all. Hopefully I can self-distance from the kids but who knows. The cookie party and Grinch sound extra fun!

Elisabeth said...

I LOVE holidays and traditions. I'm looking for balance (I'm sure I'll write lots about this myself in the coming weeks) and that might mean letting go of a few things?

Things I'm most looking forward to:
- Watching White Christmas with my best friend. She comes over to my place every year and it might just be my absolute favourite thing I do each Christmas. We know the movie so well and quote lines to each other and laugh and it's - gah. It's practically perfect in every way.
- Getting the kids started on their Advent calendars. It's this little thing, but they love it so much and it makes a fun start to every day.
- Setting up the main tree in the living room.
- Participating in a Live Nativity event at my church.
- Having my parents come to live locally over the winter (so we'll see them A LOT over Christmas).
- The food. I just love the food at Christmas. It's all steeped in tradition and it's so tasty and we've basically perfected a 3-4 day menu around Christmas.

You have so much fun stuff ahead, Lisa. I'm especially excited for your trip to Mexico. The sleep! And eating meals with ONLY adults at the table is one of the most pleasurable experiences for parents with small children. Full stop. Yay! Love these type of posts.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

Oh my gosh! You are going to Mexico with Phil! That is amazing! All of your plans sound so lovely, and you will have so much great family time.

I am so envious of your ability to go to that bookstore. It sounds amazing! My daughter would LOVE it!

One thing I am looking forward to is a mini getaway with my husband. My parents will stay with the kiddo while we go spend the night in a hotel. It is a very short getaway, but it's something! I am very grateful to my parents for enabling us to do it.

Grateful Kae said...

I love your list! This all sounds so great. Going to the Grinch will be so fun! We took our boys to that one too several years back. (Actually, I remember it clearly- Asher wasn't as young as 4, but maybe 2nd grade or so?? Anyway we had tickets for an evening show, just based on our availability, I remember being sooooo annoyed because he fell asleep at the end!! He is my kid who would always conk out at the end of every event/ dinner out/ whatever for the longest time! hahaha. We have dozens of photos of him on vacation sleeping in a restaurant booth at the beach. Great that he was so easy going- we never stressed too much and knew that he'd just fall asleep wherever/whenever, wheras Ethan is like the Energizer Bunny and never gets tired. But I was not thrilled about him falling asleep during a paid performance! He also fell asleep once when we went to the Spring Concert of the UW Marching Band- which was LOUD- and there he was, snoozing away at the end...haha. I remember Ethan saying to me, "How can he be sleeping with all this noise?!!" Again, Asher would have been in elementary school by this age, not a little toddler or anything. It was crazy. He still is one that I wouldn't doubt could fall asleep out somewhere in public, at age 12, if he were tired! He doesn't do it as much now anymore though. ;)

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

Not looking forward to the unreasonable expectations put upon us by the inlaws in regards to celebrating holidays with young children. I was out of this life and then back into it with a kid who needs a gosh darn nap and apparently nap time is the time to eat always on that side. Oh and no dates that repeat so it's a pain trying to plan crap. THATS what bah humbugs me. I am looking forward to eating green bean casserole next thursday and friday because we actually talked my inlaws into doing thanksgiving on friday so we only have to go one place each day and dont piss off anyone in the process! I'm excited to see Adeline excited about Christmas because she's ALREADY excited about it.

NGS said...

I agree with Jeanie - I want to do YOUR list!

I love going to see the lights at the Rotary Gardens. I love putting up the Christmas tree. I love getting holiday cards and hanging them up. I love wrapping presents. I love eating Hershey's candy cane kisses. There are things I'm looking forward to, but I don't think our schedule is as full as yours is!

Coco said...

Sounds like a lot of fun to come. I find holidays is the best time to reunite with friends and families. I Hope I can go to China soon to do that.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Wow, that is a lot of stuff, but all of it does sound so fun! I am especially excited about the Grinch and the Mexico trip. When you said "rhymes with dill" my first thought was Phil? and I was wondering why would you be excited to have dinner with him if he is going to throw a fit at the table. How embarrassing! Haha!

The holidays don't stress me out, but of course I do not have kids and a partner to try to please in addition to my parents and my inlaws so I guess I have it easy! We are going to do a low key Thanksgiving at my parents house where we will not even have turkey, but will instead spend the time hiking and looking at lights and playing games. We have decided that it is those things that are important and have cut out the long tedious food cooking option. Plus turkey is okay but we have also all decided that it is not wonderful! We prefer pork chops!

I do have a lot of weeknight get togethers in the next month or so... work holiday party, friend's housewarming holiday party, different friend's 50th birthday, a concert, cookie making etc...I will definitely be glad when January comes and I have some weeknights free to relax more! However, it is also very fun and festive!

Jenny said...

Yes... I absolutely love this season. We'll also get our Christmas tree next week. We always used to get it after Thanksgiving, but for the last couple years we've done this: Get the tree the day before Thanksgiving, put it up but don't decorate it. This gives the branches a good chance to fall. Then on Black Friday we're all ready to decorate. We realized that getting the tree, putting it up, and then getting it decorated was a lot for one day (especially since i work on Fridays and won't get home till around 4.) So... that's coming right up. In less than a week we'll have our tree!
Your getaway sounds amazing. My husband and I never did that when the kids were little- or, ever, now that I think of it. We didn't have parents nearby so it just felt like it wasn't an option- but I wish we had tried harder to work it out.
I'm also looking forward to starting the advent calendar, although ours is for the cats, ha ha! It's just fun to open a door every day, and there are little cat treats inside shaped like fish or stars, and the cats love them. We used to do Lego advent calendars when the kids were younger, and those were really fun too.
I'm excited for you- the holidays are so fun with littles!

Stephany said...

Tehehe, like Kyria, I was like "Phil??" before I saw the "without having a meltdown" and figured it wasn't your adult husband having the meltdown at meals, but your toddler son. ;) I'm soooo glad you guys booked this trip to Mexico and are going to enjoy yourself. You need that! And I'm sure it will feel so good to be in Mexico and enjoying the weather after leaving snowy Minnesota! Good planning, friend.

I would 100% have my Christmas tree up if I wasn't going to be out of town right after Christmas. But it will be going up the weekend I come home, for sure!

You have SUCH a fun holiday season planned. YAY!

TayaRunsandReads said...

OMG your vacation sounds AMAZING. So glad you will get some time alone with the husband!

What 10k are you doing?? I am still trying to decide if I want to do one or if I will just do a run around the neighborhood since I will have to get to cooking

San said...

These truly sound like wonderful plans for the holiday season. I hope you can enjoy it all to the fullest, Lisa, esp. the mini-vacation with Phil. <3

I am looking forward to the holiday season as well (although I don't have half as many fun plans).