family life

Top 10 Holiday-Related Things on My Mind

I’m voting today. I’m hopeful the lines won’t be long since just about everyone else I know took advantage of early voting. We’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, here’s thinking of the rapidly-approaching holidays!
Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

Top Ten Holiday-Related Things on my mind:

  1. I don’t like Halloween: the candy, the glamorization of evil and scary stuff… But I’ve decided next year I’m going to stop being “that house” that turns out the lights and never gives out candy. Next year, I’m going to be the house with the friendly lady who gives out really awesome candy.
  2. I’m already planning my Thanksgiving menu. I decided last year that I’d just make that into an annual tradition, especially since my grandmother lives so close and it’s hard for her to go very far.
  3. I have about half my Christmas shopping done. We’re not big Christmas spenders, because we’d rather focus on fun and traditions (and Jesus, of course!) instead of presents.
  4. I go back and forth about how much of a big deal to make out of Christmas, but I like what Amanda says in regards to her Truth in the Tinsel advent ebook: “Make a BIG DEAL of Christmas, and it will be a BIG DEAL in the hearts of your kids.
  5. I don’t care one whit about getting presents, but I like buying them and I like giving them, especially when it’s something I know the recipient actually needs or wants!
  6. On the other hand, I really HATE buying presents when it’s one of those because-I-have-to-or-someone-will-be-upset situations. Blech.
  7. I get a little melancholy this time of year because the holiday are always such a reminder of what our family isn’t. There’s a lot more time with Kathryn gone to her dad’s house, and some years it’s impossible to get everyone together because of all the divorced and re-blendedness in just about all sides of our family.
  8. I love the Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog and the Compassion’s Christmas Gift Catalog. There are even some gifts inexpensive enough for kids to buy themselves! Kathryn did that one year for my aunts and uncles and they thought it was the best thing ever — and only $5 each.
  9. Kathryn has her very first Christmas concert this week! She’s nervous, but I know she’ll do well. (And because of her practicing, I’ve had “Jingle Bells” and “Good King Wencelas” stuck in my head for weeks already!)
  10. We’ve never taken the kids to a Christmas tree farm to cut down our own tree, so we might do that this year. I used to do it every year with my parents, and I have fond memories of those trips, and I think our girls would get a kick out of it.

So, do you have holidays on the brain now that it’s November? Or are you in denial? 😉


Homeschool One more thing! Speaking of voting, the annual Homeschool Blog Awards are open! There are no long lines to wait in (like I might be doing right now!), and you can even do it from the comfort of home. You awesome folks nominated me for 6 award categories! I’ve never won — and that’s totally okay because there are some seriously wonderful blogs listed there — but it’s an honor to be nominated again this year. If you have some free time, hop on over and visit some of the great blogs there. {If you want to vote for me, that’d be EXTRA awesome. I’d most love votes for Best Photos; Best Encourager; or Best Nitty-Gritty Homeschool Blog.}

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I put up my tree on Sunday 🙂 I didn’t put anything else up yet, but I missed my tree (I didn’t take it down til March last year). It was snowing here on Friday morning, and it got me in the mood. I love Christmas and all that goes with it. I’ve been listening to Christmas music in my truck for a few weeks. Love it and so do my kids!


Yes! Definitely thinking about Christmas. I just fired up my Christmas playlist and I love it. These next two months are my absolute favorite time of year. I’m working on a really cute advent calendar to use with my kids this year. This will be a first for us.


I am totally with you about Halloween. My three year old was not into it this year either; she says it is spooky. But she loved the trick or treating part, of course.

Oh and Christmas. Yes, I love Christmas. This is my favorite time of the year. I am one of the crazy people that has already started listening to Christmas music. 🙂 We go an cut our own tree down every year with my parents and siblings. It is such a fun family day.

Love your list.

Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead

I am SO not a fan of Halloween. Glad they don’t really celebrate it here in Germany that much. But it seems to grow a bit more each year. Ugh.

Christmas on the other hand…LOVE it! We’re in a new apartment this year so it will be interesting to see how we use all our old decorations in the new place. And we’re thinking of getting an artificial tree since we’re in a 3rd floor walk-up. Should be interesting indeed. 🙂

Ellen, the Bluestocking Belle

No, I’m not thinking about Christmas yet, Jamie. I prefer to celebrate one holiday at a time, and Thanksgiving is actually my favorite! And we don’t put up our Christmas tree until the second week or so of December, BUT we leave it up until January 2 or so. Sometimes it stays up til Epiphany! But I *have* been listening to Christmas piano music for weeks now, for the same reason you have. 🙂 Another charitable catalog you may want to peruse is The Heifer Project. That’s my favorite charity because it helps people better their lives permanently. And then… Read more »


One holiday at a time, thank you. I have been making Christmas presents however. I do appreciate the two places you listed. Perfect gifts for the person who has everything and a great way to help others in the process. In December, my husband and I take our time decorating and celebrating. Stockings up on St. Nicholas feast day. Advent wreath on the first Sunday of Advent. Homemade cinnamon rolls and cookie baking extravaganza on St Lucy’s feast day, etc. When the children were small and I worked, it was the only way I could fit in all the traditions… Read more »

Meghan Carver

Agreed, agreed on No. 6! Totally unenjoyable giving because that person usually doesn’t like what I choose either. Great list!

Judy @ Contented at Home

Totally agree on #5 and #6–and the denial that you mentioned? Yep, that’s me. I just don’t feel like getting ready for the holidays yet!