It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Who’s ready to take in all the Christmas fun?! Y’all know we love holidays, and the lead up to Christmas is truly one of my favourite times of the year. Below you’ll find tons of fun winter family events, from town light-ups, to Santa visits, to holiday market shopping. Wishing you all a magical, merry, holiday season! PS- Don’t forget to enter at the bottom of this page to win an advent calendar!
One of my favourite Christmas traditions is making cinnamon buns to enjoy on Christmas morning. They are the most indulgent breakfast ever, and pair perfectly with presents and a little fancy coffee. This recipe is incredibly easy, and can be put together in five minutes (…as in at midnight after finishing your wrapping!) 😉
Festive baking is one of my favourite things to do! With two little ones, I always turn to recipes that are easy, tasty, and fun. These Christmas tree brownies are super simple, and will have people raving! I brought these to our preschool party last year and was asked for the recipe twice (confession… they aren’t homemade!). I especially love that the decorating is simple and straight forward!
Christmas Eve is a big night at our house, my family has always celebrated Ukrainian Christmas Eve with 12 traditional dishes. (And, of course our own modern spin on some of those dishes!) Its a big, loud, fun night and the tradition I remember most from my childhood. After a night of family and festivities I love tucking the girls into bed and reading them a Christmas story. It is, absolutely, without doubt, my favourite part of Christmas.
I’ve put together a Christmas Eve Box Gift Guide for the Littles- these boxes are perfect for any age, and are especially great for those hard-to-buy-for, have-everything kids. And, who doesn’t love seeing their kids in matching holiday PJs by the tree on Christmas morning? I mean is there really anything better? I love the idea of gifting these to friends and family to end off the Christmas Eve celebrations. You can package them in something like these fun Christmas Eve boxes, or pick up some simple craft paper boxes and dress them up with bows!
We are a holiday-loving family and I’m excited to share a list of local Kelowna family Christmas events and activities to enjoy! From brunch with Santa, to visiting a Christmas tree farm, or checking out some live theatre, there is so much local holiday fun to take in! I’ve categorized this generally under “types” of activities, and will continue to add to the list as details become available, so keep checking back! I hope you enjoy this holiday fun as much as we do!
Another Christmas has come and gone, and this one was one for the books! We truly had the best Christmas with the girls! Vienna is the perfect age for all things Christmas magic, and we loved soaking up every minute of it. Christmas break was late this year, so it seemed like we didn’t have as much of a lead up to Christmas as usual. But, we took the pre-Christmas weekend to do all of our favourite things: decorate cookies & make Christmas goodies, attend our annual family Christmas bowling night with cousins, host Christmas Eve breakfast for our friends, and watch Every. Last. Christmas. Movie. Possible.
Round two of our Christmas Little Readers’ list includes books perfect for your preschooler, or kids aged 4-7! Vienna loves Christmas stories, and I love finding new books with meaningful messages for her collection. We save these longer books for when baby sis is in bed and it’s such a nice thing to cozy up and do together, especially during the busy holiday season. For books perfect for younger babies, check out our Baby’s First Christmas Library!
The Christmas countdown is on, and if you’re like me you’ve got a few last minute gifts to wrap up. I don’t love crowds, but I do love shopping when everything is so festive! (Perhaps not ever having worked in retail during the holidays has contributed to this. 😉 )
I’ve teamed up with Scallywags, my favourite local children’s shop, to give one winner a $50 credit to shop for those last minute stocking stuffers! Scallywags stocks quality products and beautiful small shop goods, this is truly the store to browse for the absolute best products! Entering is easy, details are at the bottom of this post!
Well, that in-between week of hanging on to anything Christmas has come to a close (remind me again, when do I have to stop putting Salted Caramel Baileys in my coffee??) and I’m reflecting on what an amazing thing it is to have little kids at Christmas. (Truth: I started this post during said week but never finished it and now it’s January).
We I set out our Holiday Bucket List in true Type-A, Pinterest-loving fashion and we had a great month of celebrations. Here’s a quick recap of the festivities!
It’s Christmas week! Can you believe it? Anyone else love the build up to Christmas more than Christmas itself? I am always sad Christmas afternoon when the excitement is passing and I know it will just be regular winter again soon. I truly love all the chaos and fun that comes with Christmas planning.
Both girls got pretty sick last week, which delayed a lot of our Christmas festivities. So now we are taking it ALL in and loving every minute of it! We took V for her first ice skate at the local outdoor rink; mailed our lovely Christmas cards; did some festive baking and made a gingerbread house (which is slowly, mysteriously losing all of it’s decor, as per the photo); took a few sleigh rides down the nature trail by our house; and are binge watching Christmas movies in our Christmas PJs all night, every night. On our list this week is cookie decorating, a Christmas light tour, eating too much and drinking all the Christmas coffees. 😉
Oh, and shopping. Because we still haven’t done that.
Although it’s really late (we’ve got 4 shopping days left?) I’m hoping to wrap things up tomorrow and avoid all of my last minute errands– I literally run out every Christmas Eve to pick up something I forgot. This year Vienna asked Santa for a “Dress Up Room”. Yup, you read correctly, girlfriend wants an en-suite. Just wait ’til you see how we are trying to pull that off last minute.
If you’re local and last minute like me (ahem…. shipping deadlines have surely passed by now… sh$t), then check out this Local Last Minute Gift Guide I’ve put together with the help of some great small businesses offering promos to get those last items crossed off your list! I love supporting local, and these shops are a few of my fave!
None other than my go-to self-care place, Illuminate Skin Care and Aesthetics. If you have not treated yourself to a facial by Meredith than it’s a must-do! Treat yourself or anyone you want to spoil! The Eminence Organic Hungarian Facial is Ahhhhhmazing. And, because the owner, Meredith, is also amazing, she’s offering my readers 25% off an Eminence Organic Hungarian Facial gift certificate purchased through her online site from now until December 24th!!! These only go on sale ONE other time per year (and that time isn’t coming around again for a while). START THE CAR! 😉 Use the code GIFTOFGREATSKIN to score your deal today! You won’t regret it!
Anyone else never know what to buy their husband? I barely know anything about electronics, but recently impressed my husband with a decent pair of headphones as a gift! If you are local head over to Andres Electronic Experts and you can pick up a set of Bose SoundTrue headphones for $89 (That’s 10% better than any price online price). Or, tell them about your husband and I’m sure they will find something that fits! If he really doesn’t need anything what about a Parasail adventure with Eldorado Parasail for HALF price. Say what? Maybe buy this for anyone on your list!
For the Babes
We are in toy overload over here, and the girls really need nothing. Of course they will still get some gifts, but Aria’s stocking will be filled with a few of my go-to baby products this year. If there is one thing we still always need, it’s baby products: diaper cream or baby lotion. And bunny crackers. Can I put those in a stocking? For amazing baby products shop online at Nu.Babee and save 15% off your purchase with code MAMAWRITES until December 24, 2016!
As for toys, my shopping go-to’s this year are local kids stores or Chapters, which has a great selection of toys too!
Ok- this is the only self-serving item on my list (in that I would indirectly profit from it) BUT I am honestly only including it because it’s a great idea for locals! If you have hard to buy for in-laws, or relatives that need nothing, a gift certificate to Kelowna Cruises is a great local option (full disclosure, this is my husband’s company). Buy a gift card for a dinner cruise for two for the 2017 summer season before December 24, 2016 and we’ll give you $20 off (Mention code MAMAWRITESBLOG) ! We get lot’s of last minute requests for these GC’s every year and always have great feedback! (Or, if this isn’t their “thing”, I suggest local wine. Lot’s of local wine).
Merry Christmas, the countdown is officially on! Here’s some shots of our Christmas week so far! xo