The Santa Clause

I’ll Be Home for Christmas – If Only Virtually

Celebrate the Holidays together even when you’re not!

I'llBeHomeForChristmas

It is a reality of the world in which we live – we can’t all always be together for the holidays. However…it is possible to feel closer to each other even when we’re not – and even start some new holiday traditions! We’ve put together a few suggestions for bringing your loved ones just a tad bit closer when celebrating from different places.

  • Favorite Holiday Movie Night

ChristmasMovies

Make this one fun by sending movie treats to all and set a time and date when all of you can watch your family’s favorite Christmas Movie together in different places. Even if your family can’t agree on a favorite, you can pick someone’s favorite this year and another’s the next year. Or agree to each watch your own favorite on the same day and at the same and munching the same goodies!

  • Same Christmas Carol CD

MuppetsChristmasCarol

One tradition my family had was to decorating the tree while listening to Christmas music. One of our all time favorites was the Muppets Christmas CD. One year my daughter Anne made me a Christmas mix. Like this mix, your family favorites can  be copied and distributed to all so that when each household decorates their tree, all can be listening to the same ‘mood music.’

  • Traveling Christmas decoration, ornament and/or advent calendar

NativityAdventCarolers

Ok – this one can be as fun, religious or sentimental as you would like to make it. It can be a treasured Christmas ornament, the family nativity set, the angel or star tree topper, a family photo from the last time you were all together on Christmas, the proverbial white elephant holiday gift, etc…I like the idea of an advent calendar that has compartments. The person that had it last Christmas is responsible for stuffing the compartments for the person being sent the calendar this year – 25 days of sharing fun with someone you love!

  • Special Gift Time

FourStates

My girls have always made gifts for each other to be shared on Christmas Eve. My son-in-law has joined us in this tradition and I just love seeing what each of them craft for the others each year – they are truly incredible! I myself have been the recipient of some wonderfully hand-crafted gifts. The grouping above are pictures I received showing my heart in each state where my daughters live. Such personalized gifts absolutely make the holiday! DIY gifts ,or specially selected gifts, are even better if you share the event via Skype or FaceTime so you can all be together in the same virtual room and participate in the joy of giving.

  • Recorded Storybook or Message

Recordable Storybooks

This may be more for grandchildren, but I would bet grownup siblings, daughters, and parents could enjoy the tradition as well. Hallmark has an assortment of books that will record your voice as you read the story. Not all of them are Christmas related, so you could record a favorite book your family enjoys. There are cards and ornaments that will capture your personal message too! You can make your own recording as well using the ‘old school tape’ method or a CD that you record from your computer. This gift can be enjoyed over and over again throughout the holiday or whenever you want to feel closer to your loved ones. Be silly, be serious, be jolly, be sentimental – whatever strikes your fancy.

 

Don’t despair over being in different places during the holiday season! Embrace the life you lead and stay connected to those you love by getting creative and sending a bit of ‘you’ to wherever ‘they’ are! That’s what holiday traditions do –

make each of us feel as though we are home. – M

PeaceLoveJoy

Favorite Holiday Movies and Songs

Favorite Holiday Movies and Songs

The Holidays just wouldn’t be the same without these classics. Some hold memories from our childhood, some from our childrens’ and nieces’ and nephews’ childhoods, and some from recent years. There are so many aspects that come into play that create a sense of Christmas or the holidays for us, we often don’t even realize all the factors. I know we can all get a little sick of Christmas music at this time of year, but there are still some favorites out there that are must-listen-tos for me. It doesn’t feel like Christmas without having seen – or at least had them on in the background – during this season. Can’t wait to hear what your favorites are!

HOLIDAY MOVIES

Favorite Holiday Movies

Poinsetta tic point

It’s a Wonderful Life – Love this movie and hate this movie. Love Clarence and all he does for George and love all the good things that George does and love the old fashioned times of the movie. Hate that George never gets to do any of things he sets out to do. My stomach always churns a bit when Uncle Billy loses the money in the bank because I can see myself doing that ( I have left my phone, my ID, etc…all over the place) and it could have ruined them! What I love most is the opportunity George had to see what impact his life had on others and that helped him see that life is worth living even with all the challenges and heartbreaks. If only all the people we love could truly see what they mean to us!

Poinsetta tic pointMiracle on 34th Street – How adorable is Natalie Woods in this movie – seriously! Her rendition of a monkey still makes me smile. I love how calm Chris is during his whole trial and I love that most people in the movie find a way to respect other’s beliefs and leave the judgments behind.

Poinsetta tic pointRudolf, the Red-Nosed Reindeer – This one still tugs at my heart. It probably says a lot that I most identify with the inhabitants of the Island of Misfit Toys. Again, by the end the characters have found a way to get over their preconceived notions and accept one another.

Poinsetta tic pointThe Santa Clause (with Tim Allen) – I have seen this one many, many times and I still laugh out loud throughout this movie. The North Pole in this movie has to be every kids dream come to life.

Poinsetta tic pointThe Polar Express – Fell in love with the book and its artistry while working in the school system and while my children were younger. Then saw the movie and enjoyed the different animation technique. Last year, got to ride on the Polar Express (actual steam locomotive that they used footage of to animate for the movie) to the ‘North Pole’ with my granddaughter so this one will remain a favorite for all the Christmas Magic that it brings.

HOLIDAY SONGS

Favorite Christmas Songs

Poinsetta tic pointI’ll be Home for Christmas – Reminds me of my grandmother wishing for all her ‘kids’ (our parents and aunt and uncles) to visit her during the holidays. And also reminds me of the many years spent as a military spouse. We were pretty fortunate to only have missed a couple of Christmases but there were always families that were missing a loved one during that time.

Poinsetta tic pointMuppets Christmas Carols (Bring me some Figgy Pudding): It’s just fun and what could be better than fun!

Poinsetta tic pointI’m Dreaming of a White Christmas AND Mele Kalikimaka – From all those Christmas spent in warm climates, I feel these two speak to me. I grew up with white Christmases and being where we could spend the day at the beach felt odd. Having returned to the cold north, I find myself dreaming about those Hawaiian Christmases!!!

Poinsetta tic pointBaby it’s Cold Outside – I love the playfulness and the back and forth of this song. It is great fun to sing with someone else, even if neither of you can sing very well!

Poinsetta tic pointHave Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – It’s a mellow heartfelt song just calmly and peacefully wishing all a Merry Little Christmas Time. Our wish for all of you.

Please let us know some of your favorites for this season – whatever holiday you are celebrating.  -M