As soon as the turkey leftovers are packaged away and the food comas kick-in, families begin to unload the Christmas decorations, cuddle up by the fireplace, and enjoy time with one another. Mom and fashionista Annie Mescall from The Annie Issue, is here to talk about a few of her fun Christmas traditions with the family. Read on for fun holiday ideas including a custom hot chocolate bar, writing Christmas cards, and baking homemade desserts.
Photos by Jenna Sparks
Happy Holidays! First off, I would like to express how grateful and excited I am to be a guest blogger for PAPYRUS’ 31 Days of Cheer campaign. I’ve held a special place in my heart for Christmas ever since I was a child. Not because of the presents and decorations, but because it’s the one time of the year my entire family comes together. Everyone in my family lives within an hour of each other, so our house is jam-packed on Christmas Eve. My family members are the most hardworking people I’ve ever known. They don’t take weekends or holidays off and work 10+ hours every day. To have everyone together for one whole day exchanging gifts, eating, and playing games is a day I look forward to every year.
A White Christmas
Now that I have a family of my own, all I want is for us to be close. This will be Liam’s third Christmas and every year that passes, my husband and I tell ourselves that this will be the year that Liam will understand what’s happening. Liam is already shaking his presents under the tree and sipping on hot chocolate every night. He’s really into the holiday spirit.Every year, we fly down to Houston for Christmas Day because that’s where our families live. We want a more intimate Christmas with just the three of us so we have our annual mini Christmas here in Colorado as well. Our entire day is spent at home; we don’t leave the house at all. Winter in Colorado is snowy and cold. It’s almost impossible to drive in the snow sometimes. Our mini Christmas is usually a white Christmas. The exact opposite of how it is in Texas. I chose this Denver musical box for sentimental purposes. Our very first Christmas was here in Colorado and we want to keep that memory forever. Liam has a fascination for trains right now and the moving train is his favorite.
Holiday Family Traditions
We have a few family traditions as of now and try to add a new one every year. Tommy’s favorite tradition is where we create a custom hot chocolate bar. We drink at least 3 cups of hot cocoa as Tommy and Liam overflow their mugs with colored marshmallows! Our traditions are easy and fun. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
One of our newest family traditions is baking cookies from scratch. This is the one time of the year where I will go out of my way to bake something that didn’t come from the bakery aisle at the grocery store. Liam is the best helper; he loves helping me mix the batter. He usually ends up getting flour all over himself, but I don’t mind because his giggles are the sweetest. One of my cheer suggestions this year is to “bring joy to a stranger by giving them a gift”. This year we are going to be baking cookies for our neighbors and sending them Christmas cards. We aren’t close with all of our neighbors, but we want to wish them a happy holiday in a thoughtful way.
Sending Cheer to Those Far & Near
I chose these Christmas tree pop up cards from PAPYRUS because I there’s a lot of charisma to them. Most of our neighbors have children that are Liam’s age and I know that the pop up tree is something that they will appreciate and enjoy. Liam is obsessed with the tree! He thinks it’s magical. I mean, I even think it’s awesome how much the tree and presents go into detail. Liam has been helping me sign the cards and you’d be surprised how perfect his scribbles are. Tommy has been helping me write wishful letters on these pretty red car cards to our distant family members. Tommy’s family is huge and they live all over the country. We thought it would be kind to send them some cheerful cards to remind them that they are in our thoughts and prayers during the holidays. Need additional ideas on what to write in a holiday card? Check out PAPYRUS’ guide here.
Cards are really one of the simplest things you can buy, but they make a very thoughtful impact. I have a whole box of cards that I’ve received from families, friends, and strangers over the past 10 years. Some of those cards are from graduations, birthdays, celebrations, and anniversaries. Our focus this year is to bring positivity and joy to not only our family and friends but to that person walking in the grocery store that seems like they are having a bad day.
PAPYRUS is helping me with my goal this year, which is to write and give out 25 Christmas cards to someone that isn’t our family or friends. This may be the happiest time of the year for most people but it’s important to remember that it can also be stressful and difficult for some. Even if that card brings them 5 seconds of happiness, it’ll be worth it. I hope that everyone can take at least one cheer suggestion from PAPYRUS’ 31 Days of Cheer and put it to good use this holiday season.
Thank you so much for reading!
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