Speaking of Willow Glen, I love it this time of year, with it’s trees and festive neighborhoods!
We took a night last week to do a special family dinner out in Willow Glen and see the lights. Willow Glen is one of the most charming areas to me as the streets still resemble the era they were built in, and they take pride in preserving the home size and neighborhoods as they originally were. It’s a delight to drive through during the holidays since many streets choose a theme for their Christmas lights. This year we saw candy canes, arches, icicles, and snowflakes as street themes! It has become a tradition to have dinner there and then drive through with the Christmas tunes playing.
Today finally school is out! My boys are home and in jolly moods! We made a list of all our favorite Christmas movies we want to watch on my blackboard.
So far our list…
It’s a Wonderful Life
The Christmas Story
A Christmas Carol (The George C. Scott version)
The Santa Clause
Rick Steve’s European Christmas
I would love to hear your favorites if you could share!
One idea I’m trying to pass to my boys this year is that Christmas is special because of the rituals we love and not gifts. It’s the movie nights, the baking and decorating cookies, get-togethers, special dinners, seeing the lights, advent calendars, playing board games and all that which makes it so fun.
My husband and I are trying to buy less this year as we usually go overboard each buying more than is even used and played with. I loved a recent article on Houzz about making Christmas simple and more meaningful. So many also left comments following the article about how they do it. One lovely idea that many do was using a formula to make the gifts for kids easier. My kids are teens, so we told them we are doing something you want, something you need, something that is a surprise, and something to read. They will also get a stocking with some very nice things and a little envelope with some money to shop after Christmas sales.
My oldest is 16 and he thought it was great. The 13 year old wasn’t as crazy about it. We may split a few of his gifts into two items. He says he prefers quantity. Oh brother. This is typical of these guys as Jackson is a minimalist and needs nothing ever, and Griffin is an active hoarder that we had to take off garbage duty as things kept showing back up in his room!
We shall see how this all goes, but it is making Christmas shopping a way easier and I am doing my best not to just grab things I see that aren’t part of the plan.
We also made the guys do a charitable thing. Sacred Heart Community Service said one thing they really need is gifts for teenage boys as they get so little for that group. Bingo I thought! That is perfect for us. We are shopping tomorrow and each will pick a gift to give to another teen boy.
We did begin some baking with the Christmas Dream Drops from Sunset magazine. Always a hit and easy.
We got a few wreaths up. I love my bay wreath that Griffin my youngest made with Scouts. They even cut the foliage up in the mountains and spent many nights making these pretty wreaths. I hung a little sign on mine.
I also fell in love with this tinsel wreath I found and added this Eiffel Tower ribbon. I do like having wreaths on the French doors!
Much of the decorating has been just adding greenery and a lot of it stayed in the storage boxes this year. The house feels calmer and I like it.