Cute, Festive Holiday Outfit from J.Crew Factory

Cute, Festive Holiday Outfit from J.Crew Factory

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Now that Thanksgiving is over and we are officially moving on to the winter holiday season, I am getting excited about all of the parties, gatherings, good tidings, and cheer to be had over the next several weeks.

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Stocking stuffers for him

Stockings are possibly my most favorite part of Christmas morning. It doesn’t matter how old I get, I look forward to rummaging through that oversized sock more than anything else — slowly reaching my hand all the way to the bottom to reveal all sorts of prized knickknacks I probably do not need.

I don’t just love getting a stocking, though, I cherish stuffing Justin’s stocking, too. And yes, the 13-year-old that lives inside of me is fighting the urge to make an inappropriate joke out of that statement. I’ll spare you, though.

Even during the Christmases that Justin and I were already struggling to put food on the table each day, we still managed to fill our stockings with small trinkets in an attempt to keep this holiday tradition alive.

So, believe me when I say that Christmas stockings are my thing and I believe that I have mastered the fine art of filling them — sometimes even over filling them — with goodies. I take the time each year to find a variety of items for my fella’s stocking — from toys and games to candy and coffees and CDs and socks and beyond.

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Updated motherless daughter thoughts on the holidays

Updated motherless daughter thoughts on the holidays

For the first time in a long time, I am truly excited about Christmas.

When you are dealing with grief from parent loss, even years after your parent is gone, the holidays are an especially difficult time.

For the last 8 years or so, I feel as if I have gone through the motions and celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas because that’s what everyone else around me was doing. Underneath the surface, though, there was a large part of me that wanted to just get through the holiday season and into the new year as quickly as possible.

This year is different. I am actually looking forward to decorating, Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts, baking cookies, visiting family, doing generous things for others, and simply enjoying the spirit of the season.

I don’t know exactly what changed this year because I still miss my mom very much — the desire to have her here is a feeling that will forever be present in my life.

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Home for the holidays if only in my mind

Home for the holidays if only in my mind

It’s no secret that the holidays can be emotionally exhausting after the death of a parent. It doesn’t matter how many years they’ve been gone, there will always be an empty place in your heart during what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of year.

The first Christmas after my mom passed away was miserable. My dad and I didn’t even bother hauling the decorations up from the basement. There wasn’t a tree in our living room and lights didn’t adorn the front of our house. My mom’s coveted collection of Santas and nutcrackers remained packed away. To top it off, a snow and ice storm knocked out our power and my dad, brother and I spent Christmas night in a hotel after eating dinner at Denny’s. Miserable.

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