Christmas

How I’m Spending Christmas This Year


Aloha! I’m still dreaming of the amazing week we had in Hawaii celebrating my 40th birthday with 8 of my closest girlfriends! It was SO nice to decompress and celebrate with my girls! It’s been a chaotic and VERY busy year and it was just what we needed before heading into our 40’s! Eek! Mahalo Fairmont Kea Lani for hosting the ‘Jilly Girls Gone Wild’ edition for my 40th birthday! 😉 LOL! You sure did spoil us and we are SO grateful for the experience! More on that to come!

Mele Kalikimaka! That’s Hawaiian for Merry Christmas! 😉 Okay, okay, I know I’m not in Hawaii anymore but it was SO fun seeing Hawaii in the spirit of Christmas! It was just the kick-off to the holiday season we needed! But, I’m SO happy to be home for a white Christmas with my family this year. It’s the first year in a long time that we have not traveled for the holidays. As you might have noticed over on Instagram I’ve been lucky enough to experience a LOT of trips this year! Although I’m super grateful for the experiences I’ve had I am SO excited to be with my kiddos and Justin! This past weekend was filled with rest, cuddles, Christmas traditions, and cookie-baking really got us in the Christmas spirit!

As you may know, normally we alternate Christmas with each of our families. Last year we spent Christmas in Calgary with Justin’s family and it was SO amazing! I’m so used to chaotic Christmas’ filled with laughter, tons of food and fun, but also toddlers crying, and dogs barking! LOL! Being with Justin’s family last year really helped me appreciate a quiet Christmas and realize how nice it was to unwind and be present together! They are amazing hosts and we loved the time spent with his family!

We spent an entire week at Justin’s parent’s house and stayed in our pajamas 99% of the time which we ALL loved (and needed!). We drank coffee, sipped wine, visited with friends and family… and Justin’s mom even pulled out some of Justin’s old toys for Leo to play with!

Psstttt … speaking of toys and gifts for that matter, if you’re still on the hunt for some great stocking stuffers and gift ideas for friends and family on your list, you should check out Urban Outfitters as they have highlighted some of their Top 50 Gifts! They’ve also curated great gift ideas for the women on your list, a ton of home decor items and perfect stocking stuffers! I’ve linked some of my favourites below!

Jillian Harris How We Spent Our Christmas HolidaysJillian Harris How We Spent Our Christmas Holidays

This year, it’s my parents Christmas and I wanted to re-create this quiet and present Christmas with my parents and the kids. As my parents get older I am really trying to appreciate all of the time we have together. It’s so special for us to spend the holidays together and for the kids to have the time with their grandparents. Luckily this year we get the best of both worlds as Justin’s parents will be in Kelowna for Christmas too so we get to experience parts of Christmas together! It’s really special that we get to have Christmas in OUR home this year, especially with Leo so excited as he is getting older! Both of our parents made Christmas magical and we are SO excited to do this for our own kiddos!!

Jillian Harris Christmas Decor

Leading up to Christmas has been SO fun with Leo! Of course, Annie too!! LOL But Leo especially since he is older and is really starting to understand the magic of Christmas. I’ve been LOVING doing the ‘Elf On The Shelf‘ every night with Justin for Leo! Next year I want to get him the Elf On The Shelf Advent calendar! It’s so cute and will add even more magic to his Christmas! It’s been interesting coming up with a new idea for every night! LOL! 😂

On that note, I wanted to say THANK YOU to all of the amazing people who gave such unique ideas for Elf On The Shelf over on Facebook! You all ROCK! It’s been so special to see Leo light up over Christmas and make our own Christmas traditions together, he’s really understanding Christmas and is completely in the Christmas spirit! It’s so incredible to see Christmas through his eyes. Mamas out there, what’s your favourite Christmas tradition with your kiddos?!

It’s been a life-long tradition with my family that every Christmas Eve we dress up and go to mass and this year it’s extra special, as Justin’s family will be in Kelowna so they will be joining us. After mass, we will have a quiet Christmas Eve prepping the house for Santa’s arrival. Leo is SO excited for Santa, so we will make sure to have cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer and of course, the final night of the Elf On The Shelf! LOL

Jillian Harris Modcloth New Years Eve Dresses

Christmas morning we get to wake up in our own beds with the kids so excited to see what Santa brought them! If I do say myself… I think Santa did pretty darn good this year! 😉 We were mindful of how much we got the kids and tried to really make it more of a fun experience for them to open and play with! My parents will sleep over Christmas Eve so they are there when the kids wake Christmas morning… stockings are the BEST PART am I right??? They are really excited to see the kid’s excitement Christmas morning and be a part of the new traditions. My parents made Christmas the most wonderful time of the year 🎶 (see what I did there?! 😉LOL) and they really put so much effort into making sure it was special and memorable and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to do this with my kids and parents!

All of this ‘planned quiet time’ will be followed up with our traditional Christmas chaos on my family’s side. But, luckily this time it’s at Tori’s so we get to enjoy Christmas without hosting the madness! LOL! Thank you for taking one for the team, Tori! There will be almost 40 people and all of the cousins will get to experience Christmas together. That was one of my favourite parts of Christmas was spending time with my cousins, especially as an only child. As you know, my cousins feel more like my sisters and we want our kiddos to feel the same way we did. We are SO lucky that we all decided to raise our families in Kelowna and we are thankful for how well (for the most part 😉LOL!) they all get along!

We will cap off the Christmas magic with spending boxing day with Justin’s family and having a nice little quiet dinner. It will be so nice to relax with them in the Christmas spirit! Now that I write it all out, it kind of does feel like a lot LOL but it will be the perfect blend of quality and quiet time with both of our families. I really want to be calm, present and focus on my family and have very little anxiety this Christmas season. I’ll be taking the week off and relaxing leading up to my 40th birthday on the 30th! We will play out in the snow with the kiddos (YAY! We will have a white Christmas!!) and just have fun and be present together. I’m SO looking forward to this time!

I hope you all have a magical Christmas filled with quality time with family and friends. Don’t forget to slow down and be present! What are your Christmas plans? How do you decide how to split time between families and make your own traditions?

xo

Jilly


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  1. Love that blue dress on you! At first look I didn’t even notice Nacho!

    Merry Christmas and Birthday Blessings!

    Make sure you give your mom something special on your day! 👍🏻🌵✌️

  2. Sounds like the perfect way to spend the holidays! Our son is only 11 months old but celebrating Christmas as a parent and creating traditions of our own with him has been the most amazing experience. Merry Christmas Team Jilly xo

  3. Sounds like the best Christmas plans! At the end of the day, it’s who you are with at these special times that matter the most. Soak it all in and enjoy every moment. Oh, and Happy Birthday! XO

  4. Combining our Christmas traditions has been a challenge for my husband and I! His family always has a big Christmas Eve dinner (which we go to), then gets together again on Christmas morning to do open stockings together. I really want to have a quiet morning at home with our 3 year old opening gifts and letting her enjoy that before my family comes over for dinner at our house. Plus my families tradition was always to have the stockings with Santa gifts…so it makes no sense for her to have a stocking at Grandma’s house! lol
    It’s tough to compromise!

  5. I just wanted to let you know that one of my students gave me your cookbook today. I am over the moon excited, bc it was on my Christmas list to myself. Now I can start cooking delicious recipes ASAP <3

  6. Merry Christmas and all the best in the new year. Happy 40th Birthday on the 30th. We share that day. I turned 60 last year. I just love following you and reading your blog. Most of all I love seeing all the cute pictures of your kiddos and how much they change over the months.

  7. My family had a family vacation at the Fairmont Kea Lani this past April. What a spectacular hotel and stunning location. We made such amazing memories there. They took such great care of us. Truly exceeded our expectations! I want to go back!

  8. Happy Birthday for the 30th. (I’ve got an “0” birthday myself on the 1st, with a higher number than yours.) I would, however, trade weather with you. Today it’s going to be 116°F here today, while I’ll be dreaming of another white Christmas.

  9. Merry Christmas, and Happy Birthday for the 30th. (I’ve got an “0” birthday myself on the 1st, with a higher number than yours.) I would, however, trade weather with you. Today it’s going to be 116°F here today, while I’ll be dreaming of another white Christmas.

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