Christmas Traditions – 12 Activities to try

holiday traditions // 12 activities to try // sss storiesI think I’ve mentioned a time or two how I am BIG on making new, and keeping old, traditions for various holidays. We didn’t have a ton growing up but the ones we did, I cherish. Growing up in Michigan meant the holidays were filled with all sorts of winter activities, sledding, making snow men and snow angles, ice skating etc and I can still remember exactly how the house smelled, with the wood burning stove going, as we would come in from playing outdoors for hours to thaw out, hanging the wet layers of clothes to dry and snuggle up in our long underwear with hot coco.

Just typing this out has me all weepy and homesick for Michigan. Thinking of Archie not being able to do these activities in sunny Los Angeles breaks my heart a little, so I’ve decided to really get planning on how I can make our holidays as a family extra special no matter where we are.

I came up with 12 activities for the 12 days of Christmas and in lieu of an advent calendar, each day we will pick an activity to do together. To get me in the mood, I pulled on my favorite pajamas, fixed up a cup of GODIVA hot chocolate and started checking #1 off the list. The activities themselves may change from year to year but a I am getting the warm and fuzzies just thinking about the fun we will have with Archer through the years to come.

holiday traditions // 12 activities to try // sarah sherman samuelhot-chocolate1#1 Ornament time capsule – cut a 1” strip of white paper, as long as you’d like and have each of your family members write down their favorite memories from the year. When everyone’s finished roll it up and tuck it inside the ornament. Now each year you will add a new ornament and can have fun looking back at the memories as the years go by.

#2 Hot chocolate stand – The lemonade stand’s adorable winter version… set up a stand and sell or give out hot chocolate to neighbors and spread the holiday cheer. Think vintage plaid thermoses, GODIVA hot choloate, Pendelton blankets, and kids dressed up Christmas Story style.

#3 Decorate the Tree – turn up the Christmas tunes and get at it!

#4 Ice Skating – Even in the warm climates you can find a rink around the holidays

#5 Baking Day – set aside an afternoon and bake all your favorite cookies and treats and then bring them around to friends, neighbors, and family. Sugar cookies, apple crisp, chocolate cookies… I’m dying to try the “GODIVA Triple Chocolate Chunk” cookies.

#6 Holiday Light Tour – jump in the car and drive around to see the lights at night

#7 Make a Gingerbread House

#8 Crafting day – Get out all your crafting supplies and make some homemade presents

#9 Put out the Nativity Scene and read the story of Christmas

#10 Present round up for charity – Round up your little’s toys they have outgrown or go shopping together for new ones to give to a local charity.

#11 Go caroling – No one really wants to hear me sing but I can lip-sink like nobody’s business

#12 Movie Night – Curl up in your holiday PJs and watch a marathon of Christmas Movies.

My hopes would be that having the activities lined up and making an effort early on will teach us to slow down a bit, enjoy the season for all it’s worth, and teach Arch the real meaning of Christmas.

If all this is too ambitious for you but you still want to give back, GODIVA is running a holiday promotion that makes it easy. For every cup of hot chocolate sold in their store, they are donating $1 to Toys for Tots. So add that to the list, or make it your whole list. Either way… I won’t judge. :)

Happy of Holidays from this sappy sally to you and yours. x

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel

SOURCES: Mug // Hot Chocolate // RUG // Pajamas // Slippers 

This post was done in collaboration with Godiva. A as always, all thoughts and ideas are my own. Thanks for supporting our sponsors. x

a “cozy” gift exchange party

cozy gift exchange tabletop // sarah sherman samuelParty season is here and who can ever get enough?! A bunch of girlfriends and I get together every year for a gift exchange party and this year I am hosting! I’ve teamed up with Anthropologie to share a few of my favorite ideas on how to host a fab gift exchange party with your gals and threw a holiday brunch in the studio while I was at it.

cozy gift exchange party // sarah sherman samuelholiday cheers // brass champagne glasses // sarah sherman samuel READ MORE

DIY holiday wall hanging

DIY holiday wall hanging // sarah sherman samuel I threw my first party in the new studio for which I whipped up this evergreen wall hanging and it is easily my new favorite piece of holiday decor. This crazy simple DIY has loads of visual impact but doesn’t take up any floor space, making it perfect for small spaces.

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a dog’s christmas

 a dogs lifeSpeaking of fur kids… ours have adjusted pretty amazingly to having a baby in the house. Granted, they still both sleep in our bed and are still spoiled pretty rotten, but what I didn’t expect was how quickly they accepted little Arch as one of the pack. It is incredibly sweet to see them tip toe around him and let him yank on their tails without so much as a flinch.

Petco recently gifted Pikku and Cracker with all sorts of Seuss character toys from their new Dr. Seuss Pet Fans Collection and they have been loving them! Behind the funny looking characters and silly prose that Dr. Seuss was one smart fella. It is kind of impossible not to be a fan. Now, alongside my reading his books to Archie, the pups have a bit if their own Seussville.

a dogs lifeEven though they are easy to please… I’m pretty sure they’re their new favorites. How do I know this, you might ask? Well, I know this because they are the ones they hoard, and hide, and bring to us. It’s actually pretty funny to watch our two dogs with opposite personalities do what they do with toys. More often than not, they end up hidden in our bed! I am not sure if they are bringing them to us out of love or just hiding them from each other, but every once in a while I will crawl into bed and find the Grinch staring back at me. Or I find Thing 2 hiding under my pillow.

I am pretty sure Cracker does most of the hiding… she gathers them up and has a grand ole time with them until…

Pikku comes along, steals Thing 1, and tries to rip its’ head off!

a dogs lifepikku-holiday-640Either way, the pups are enjoying their early Christmas pressies and it has further cemented that we are all Seuss fans over here. Check out the entire line in stores or at petco.com/drseuss. I can’t wait until Archie is old enough to watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” every year… on repeat.

One of my favorite quotes from sir Theodor Seuss Geisel is “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” Now that is some truth to remember!

Sponsored by Petco

holiday gift guide for fur kids

gift guide for pets // sarah sherman samuel…and we can’t forget about our furry children! Whether you want to REALLY splurge (that dog bed though) or just give a little stocking stuffer, here’s a few fun pieces for your pet.

dog bed // leather leash // rafia mice // treat bone // rope ball // lion mane // feeding dishes // cat house // crab toy

see all the rest of the gift guides…
for him
for her
for the littles
for the host/hostess

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