Monthly Musings November 2023: How We Holiday


Are you ready to kick off the holiday season Besties? I totally am! Today, Holly and I are getting together with a group of talented writers to share how we celebrate the holiday season. We want to hear about all of the holidays. I personally love to learn about different holidays and the traditions they hold. Ok, let's kick off the holiday season Monthly Musings style!

1. Favorite holiday traditions?

Even though Hockey Guys is not little anymore, the elf does still make an appearance at our house. He doesn't do anything too crazy at our house but he does make an appearance and show up in a different part of the house every morning.

The last few years we have also gone to church on Christmas Eve around 6pm and then gone out to dinner just the three of us. It has been a really nice way to start Christmas and just have a quiet evening and reflect on the night.

We also adopt a nun every year and fulfill her Christmas list. The things she asks for are so simple that they warm my heart. This is probably Running Daddy's favorite Christmas tradition.

2. Favorite holiday fashion items or accessories?

Besties, I have an entire Christmas wardrobe. This is what I usually wear on the weekends during the Christmas season. Please note that the photo below doesn't even include any Christmas pajamas. That would be a whole separate photo. And yes, one of these items includes a monogram.

3. Share your favorite holiday recipes.

I actually don't make a lot during the holidays because I am not much of a baker. I do make a really Good Christmas breakfast casserole and my friend's mom taught me how to make Oreo truffles a few years ago with gluten-free Oreos or the gluten-free peppermint  Joe Joes from Trader Joe's, which frankly I am having trouble finding this year.

4. How do you celebrate the holidays?

We celebrate Christmas as our main holiday. Christmas Eve day I typically spend getting any recipes together and then get ready for church. We used to go to the super early Mass but now really like something closer to 6pm. Still early, but usually after all the little kids have gone to the earlier Mass and it is less crowded. As I mentioned above, we have started going out to dinner on Christmas Eve. I should probably make a dinner reservation somewhere this weekend for Christmas Eve. We usually make it home in time to watch White Christmas

Christmas morning we usually get up now whenever we wake up. Running Daddy and I usually get up first and have coffee. When Hockey Guy wakes up, I check to see if Santa stopped by. Yes, Santa still comes to our house.

I put the casserole in the oven and then we start opening gifts. We all take turns opening gifts. Each person opens all their gifts and then we move on to the next person. We like to talk about what we got each person and explain their gifts.

Once we open all of our gifts we make a call and talk to family out of state on the phone. It's very old school.

We then head Dancing Grannie's for dinner. My inlaws have a ton of people over for Christmas dinner and then it is also a flow of people in and out to visit during the entire night.

Once we get home, the four of us (Stormy included) usually settle in by tree when we get home. This is a Good way to recap the day and the night. 

5. Do you go see Christmas lights?

Lights are always part of our Christmas tradition formally and informally. I love to take my morning walks and see what our neighbors have done along with checking out lights on my commute home.

We actually have a neighbor who won "The Great Christmas Light Fight" a few years ago. It's nothing short of amazing and one our favorite things about Christmas. Be sure to hit the video links in the link above.

Some years we go to dinner in Annapolis, MD and then go see their drive-through light show. We usually wait until after Christmas when the crowds are much lighter and this also helps extend the Christmas season.

6. How do you decorate your house for the holidays?

Running Daddy takes the outside and I am all about inside. We don't decorate until after Thanksgiving and as of this moment, we don't have any decorations up. Running Daddy wanted to wait until we had some seasonal treatment done on the lawn before doing the outside lights and I just need to get everything out of the attic.

One thing that I love that we added I think two years ago was our Christmas bedding. I think that everyone should have Christmas bedding. I remember when I asked Running Daddy what he thought about Christmas bedding and he said if Christmas bedding made me happy then to buy it.

Here are some photos from Christmases past that give you an idea of how I decorate the inside of our house. Not much changes from year to year.

7. If you get a Christmas tree is it real or fake?

We are a two tree household. We get a real one for the living room and then about five years ago I got a pre-lit pencil tree for the family room. I love that we have two trees and I often think about getting a third but not sure where I would put it. I know that it would have all of our White House ornaments on it.

8. Favorite holiday treats?

I am all about chocolate peppermint. There is no Better combo...period.  

When I could eat gluten I was all about getting a small panettone. I need to see if I could find one that is gluten-free. Hockey Guy used to like it when he was little. Maybe if I can find one that is gluten-free he will try it with me again. 

9. If you have pets, do your pets get and give gifts?

A big yes to both! I have already purchased Stormy's gifts and they are small and fun. He also gives fun gifts like slippers and funny socks.

A story that I love from a few years ago about Stormy's gift-giving that I need to share. My friend's daughter helps me with gift wrapping and I drop off gifts to wrap and then pick them up days later. She was wrapping gifts and asked if Hockey Guy (but used his real name) had a sibling and her mom said no...why? She asked "Who is Stormy then?" Well, our friend wanted to know why Hockey Guy's dog buys him gifts and they don't get gifts from their dogs. Ooops!

10. Best tips to make the holidays less stressful?

I have a tendency to get sick at Christmas. I run myself crazy and then get sick when I stop. The last two Christmases I have been dealing with my gland issues. I am hoping that due to my surgery  earlier this year, my glands are going to behave and I will be ok.

When I was just plain old sick a few year ago, I did a post mostly as a reminder to myself on how to make the holiday less stressful. This post  is as relevant today as it was when I first wrote it. I hope it helps you too.

Ok, your turn. Share How You Holiday by linking up with us or in the comments below. I cannot wait to hear how people experience different holidays and holidays in different parts of the world and in different parts of the country. Wishing you the Best holiday season and we have only just begun!

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  1. I love your Christmas wardrobe and bedding-how festive! I hope that you are healthy and well during the holidays. Take care of yourself Patty xx

    1. Thank you so much. The wardrobe is a lot I know . Thanks for taking the time to read and comment .

  2. Okay, I kind of want some Christmas bedding right now :) Also, I want to buy Rachel and I matching "Hallmark movie watching" shirts. We LOVE watching those movies together!

    1. I look at it this way, if you buy them now you can wear them for an entire month. The bedding I got on Zulilly and it was around $30 for the queen set. They have that set and other cute ones on the site now. Looking forward to reading your post.

  3. While we don't have one person open all their gifts at once; we do only have one person opening gifts at a time so we can all see what everyone got and talk about it. It helps extend the time we spend opening gifts too especially on years like this where I think each of my boys will have maybe 2 things to open!

    1. I love this. I love to see what people got and then also tell people the reason for the gift etc.

  4. LOVE your Christmas bedding and completely agree with you on Chocolate and Peppermint- BEST holiday flavor combo there is! Your Oreo truffles do sound amazing- love blogging with you friend XO

  5. How sweet to adopt a nun for the holidays! I love it! Your tree and decorations are beautiful, and your Christmas bedding looks so cozy. I've been thinking about getting Christmas flannel sheets and I think I might get hubby on board for that! ;-) Thanks for hosting!

  6. I love your holiday bedding and all of your festive clothes! Those Christmas lights are amazing! I would definitely consider adding another tree. Especially if you already have a good idea for a theme :).


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