Tuesday, December 15, 2015

#AMonthofFaves: Holiday Festivities

Don't forget to visit cohostesses with the mostest Tanya Patrice and Tamara!

Today's topic is all about your favorite holiday festivities, and admittedly, this holiday season will be WAY outside my comfort zone. As you probably all know, I have a five-year-old son from a previous relationship (I'm married to my college sweetheart now). Greyson's dad and I get along remarkably well for two people who have a history. We make sure our focus is our son, and we both have wonderful spouses who also love our child.

Most years we split the Christmas holiday right down the middle, but this year, G. will be traveling with his dad, stepmom, and siblings to upstate New York to visit that branch of the family. He'll be gone from the evening of December 17 to December 28.

It's going to be very weird celebrating Christmas with my husband and my mom but no kiddo. I know it's the right thing for him to do as these long trips don't come around very often, and it's the first one his dad has taken since G. was born in 2010.

Several people in my personal life, friends from work and family alike, have commented that I'm "powered by Christmas cheer" this year, and to some extent that's true. But I'm also trying to squeeze in a fair bit of celebration before the kiddo takes off on his grand adventure.

How are we celebrating?

Our living room. I can't get enough of our tree.
Put up our in-house decorations the day after Thanksgiving. The tree is lit, the gifts are wrapped. Greyson even has Christmas lights in his room.

In the middle of decorating, a selfie-stick pic.
The gifts are bought. David and I made an extra effort to start our shopping early this year so the financial burden isn't so great. We've also been able to buy more for our favorite people this way. Not that MORE matters, but it feels good to be in a place that we can spoil Greyson and my mom a bit. When we got home and David and Greyson saw the wrapped gifts, they both climbed COMPLETELY under the tree to start shaking boxes. How I wish I'd gotten a picture of that.

Ugly sweater party!
We went ham on the outdoor lighting. We bought a "star shower" early in the year because no one likes spending hours on a ladder putting up house lights. This achieves a similar feeling without the chance of breaking a leg. We added a funky "Ugly Sweater Party" blow-up, some lighted weenie dogs, and some walkway Christmas trees to top everything off. As soon as G. saw the blow-up, he hugged Santa and ran around the yard screaming. Mission accomplished.

The star shower is our favorite easy out when it comes to house decorating.
Phones have been scarce in the evenings. This is something I'm trying to be more cognizant of in general. I don't want my kiddo to think I have to be biologically attached to a device. Not only does Greyson have plenty of "homework" in the evenings--reading practice, sight words--but we've also been spending more time outside, making playground trips, and playing a lot of volley-basket-soccer ball with a new, lightweight ball that we can play with in the kitchen at night when it's dark way too early.

Christmas movies! We've had several evenings of on-couch movie watching. One night I insisted on the Jim Carey version of The Grinch. Greyson complained while he sat in his chair completely rapt. Mom wins.

There will be other traditions, but our official family get-together has been shifted to New Year's Eve. This is when we gather with cousins and stuff ourselves. Christmas day will be a skeleton crew of my husband, my mom, and myself. We'll open some gifts, make the best of it, and probably just hang out talking all day. David mentioned ordering a bulk box of flowers from Sam's Club to deliver to a nursing home or hospital to get us out and doing something positive.


Show us your festivities and holiday'ness by linking up down below!

26 comments:

  1. Oh, Andi. I know this will be tough, but you sound like you're taking all the steps to make the best of the situation. Rod and I did this for many, many years with our girls. Rachel always spent Christmas with her mom, so it became normal for Amy to spend that time with her dad and stepmom. The girls were with us after the 25th, usually sometime around the 27th or 28th. We learned to celebrate Christmas Day whenever they were both with us, sometimes as late as New Year's. For us, it was never about the specific day, but about being together as a family.

    Hang in there, friend. You guys are awesome parents.

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    1. He's on the road now with only about six hours to go 'til New York! He saw snow and said, "IT'S CHRISTMAS!" Needless to say there are a lot of photos and video happening. hehe

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  2. Oh wow - your house looks gorgeous! I'll have to tell my Clark Griswald-esque husband about the star shower!
    And - I can imagine the holidays will be a little tough this year, but as a child of a non-amicable divorce, kudos to you and your ex for being friendly for the sake of your son!

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    1. LOL, thanks! It's just so dang easy, it almost feels wrong! Thank you so much re: amicable. We try and do a darn good job almost all the time. lol

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  3. What a sweet idea to deliver flowers!! love this. My husband is really feeling the sadness of being away from everyone but I've been a bit of a grinch. (I don't want to travel last minute due to cost and hassle) Maybe I can talk him into doing this idea, too.

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    1. Aww, thanks! We will be clipping and bundling on Wednesday night!

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  4. I'm sure you'll miss Greyson but agree that the trip is right for him. You can celebrate another day. I love David's idea of passing out flowers at a nursing home - I'm telling you, that man is a keeper!

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    1. He really is the best. We'll be snipping and bundling flowers come Wednesday night! Greyson is having a good time. :)

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  5. Love the house lights and your tree.

    So sweet about the flowers at a nursing home.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Elizabeth
    Silver’s Reviews
    My A Month of Faves

    Elizabeth
    Silver’s Reviews
    My A Month of Faves

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    1. Thanks for stopping in! Thank you for being so active in this event! <3

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  6. Oh I loved how you guys are celebrating! With Greyson away, it will be different, but you can always celebrate Christmas again! That reminds me of that Gilmore Girls episode where Rory was away for Christmas and they celebrated Christmas in January.

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    1. Exactly! We're just extending our holiday a bit this year. :) I loved that GG episode!

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  7. Yeah, we won't have the girls and Xander at the same time this year and it's breaking my heart. I feel ya on all the feels! It's hard not having your little one home for the holidays - I'm thankful I have mine for at least part of it.

    But! I love your coping mechanisms! LOL Your house looks lovely - I NEED THAT STAR DISPLAY! Where did you find it? Have I just overlooked it all these years?

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    1. I'm glad you have yours for at least part. <3 That star display was a CVS special! lol

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  8. I'm really looking forward to Christmas in the coming years. I've always been sort of meh about it, and this year just feels like more of the same, with the little man just along for the ride... but once he can actually get into it, holidays are going to be a lot more fun with a little one to focus on.

    Speaking of which, it sucks you won't be spending Christmas day with your son, but oh how I love hearing about non-traditional families where the kid has just a plethora of parent-types who love him. It can be so tough to put our own stuff aside. Cheers to you guys for making it work so well.

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    1. David has always been a bit of a humbug just because he gets tired of how overly commercialized everything has become at Christmas. But, with Greyson around, it is a lot more fun. To see them enjoy it with innocence is amazing. :)

      He definitely has a plethora of loving parent-types. More people in our village to help him along his way. :)

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  9. We have a star shower!!! (QVC, FTW!) We actually used it for Halloween, not Christmas, though. We went multi colored with the outdoor stuff this year and thanks to a well placed railing can make the place look festive without ladders or climbing or injuries. Well. Mostly. Jim did get into a fight with the box our new illuminated snowman came in...

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    1. YAY! I love that you used it for Halloween. I like that idea, and I think we'll switch ours to the green setting and try that next year!

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  10. I love the way you are just shifting things forward and back. Because, after all, it's not the specific day that matters, right? It's the feelings and the family and the love!

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    1. Yep! That's always been my mantra. Celebrating together is the most important thing, even if it's not on THE DAY.

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  11. Awe, I'm glad you're finding ways to get celebration time in early. It would be weird not have my kids around for Christmas. With my oldest 16 and planning on living at home for college, I'm hoping to ward it off for longer than usual! Good luck - hopefully it will seem to go quickly for you.

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    1. Thank you! He's well on his way to the great white north now, and he's having a grand time. :) Lots of photos and video.

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  12. I've never heard of a star shower! Love it! And y'all's tree looks marvelous.

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    1. Thank you! So easy it's almost like cheating.

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  13. It will be different not have Greyson there but I'm always impressed by how well you and his dad manage to make life easy for Greyson. He is blessed to be loved by so many people and not pulled in two different directions. Will you at least be able to Skype with him? Love the idea of going to a retirement home on Christmas - so many people there have no one who will visit.

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    1. Awww, thank you. We do try our best. We don't always agree, but we work through it. We will definitely be Facetiming, and his stepmom has been updating me and sending lots of pics and video. :)

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