It’s no surprise that I’m a huge fan of Thanksgiving. A day focused on gratitude, food and family is one of my favorite days of the year. Needless to say, I’m adamantly against the Christmas creep. Now that we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving and all it’s glory, I’m ready to shift gears!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and the holiday season is now in full force. We kicked off our celebrations after Thanksgiving by attending our town’s tree lighting on Friday. We lucked out with a 50 degree day and grabbed a pizza to enjoy on a picnic table. On Sunday we took a spontaneous trip to Wonderland Express, a miniature train exhibit complete with all of the Chicago landmarks, Christmas decorations and snow.
I am filled with joy when I see my wide eyed two-year-old look at well, everything. It is downright magical to experience all of our family traditions each and every year. I put together a holiday bucket list for our family to help us celebrate the season.
Our Holiday Bucket List
- Grab a good viewing spot at our town’s tree lighting (complete with a pizza picnic!)
- Spend a Sunday afternoon decorating our tree followed by a nice family dinner
- Send our Christmas cards (B can help with “stickers” aka stamps)
- Watch as many of the Hallmark holiday movies as I can (I’m doing embarrassingly good so far!)
- Check out Wonderland Express at the Chicago Botanic Garden
- Make hot cocoa, hop in the car and look at Christmas lights before bedtime
- Hire a babysitter and go on a Holiday date night with Rich in lieu of big gifts (I made us a reservation months ago at Oriole and I cannot wait!)
- Take our annual weekend-before-Christmas road trip to Michigan- where we celebrate Wiglia with my family, visit Santa, purchase Kielbasa to bring home and see as many friends and family members as we can
- Bake cookies to take as presents for B’s teachers at daycare (I bought some adorable tins in the dollar spot for them)
- Celebrate an intimate Christmas Eve just the three of us- we’ll go to Mass, I’ll make our traditional dinner and then we’ll read B a new book in new pajamas (hint- this year is train themed!)
- Spend Christmas Day mostly in our pajamas- eating cinnamon rolls, (that I’ve already ordered from our favorite local bakery), presents for B, stockings for all of us and then dinner with my in-laws and brother-in-law at our house
- Host our last Book Club meeting of the year- I chose Goodnight June as our last book of the year since it’s a cute, easy read that is partially set in an Italian restaurant which means I can order a lasagna from our favorite to serve.
- Invite friends over our second annual NYE pajama party. I make two appetizers and provide champagne. Our friends each bring 1-2 appetizers. It makes for a huge spread of snacks on our kitchen island that we snack on while our kids run around. I also may order this game, which is described as Cards Against Humanity for parents.