holiday season essentials

holiday essentials  


seasons greetings! today, i am excited to partner with MAN CRATES to share my list of holiday season essentials. things that i always have on hand this time of year that make things easier, cozier, or holly-jollier. whether it is something to help my skin stay moisturized during the dry arizona winter or a Christmas tradition that our family just couldn't go without...these are a few of my favorite things!

1 | l'occitane shea butter hand cream. this is my very favorite. and i like to buy the three pack of the smaller size so i can have one on hand no matter where i am - one by my bed, one in my purse, one in the car. but, they also make great stocking stuffers.

2 | tea from teavana. we drink a lot of this all year round but especially when it is chilly. they have this peppermint chocolate one that is amazing. it is rich and satisfying and a great way to get that hot chocolate fix minus all that hot chocolate. not that i am opposed to hot cholocate...but, it is nice to mix things up.

3 | tata harper be true lip treatment. my favorite. it just melts into your lips and keeps things all soft and ready for that bright lip color that i love to don during the holidays. it also comes in handy for meeting under the mistletoe...wink, wink.

4 | moleskin notebooks. yes, i love my iPhone. but, there is something so nice about jotting down ideas and thoughts and shopping lists in a crisp notebook. pen and paper. i might have a couple of these in my purse at all times.

5 | quinn popcorn. my favorite snack. and a total must for movie night. and we watch a lot of movies during the holiday season. a movie just isn't the same without popcorn.

6 | love actually. speaking of movies, this is the movie that ben and i watch every year to kick off the season. we usually watch it around the five weeks until Christmas mark because that is precisely when the movie is set, so, no brainer. this is definitely not one for the kids. but, it is my favorite. a dash of irreverent British humor with lots of heart. i am always tearing up by the end. and sometimes, even in the first few moments.

7 | ciao bella gelato. and this year, specifically, the seasonal mistletoe chocolate peppermint flavor. it is the very best. ben and i grab two spoons (and sometimes, bowls) and dig in. we like to eat the entire container in one sitting. 'tis the season and all that.

8 | ben's homemade chex mix. this is a dangerous, dangerous tradition. every year, while i am busy trimming the tree or doing other elf work, ben grabs his ingredients and whips up a big batch of this stuff. he uses extra butter and spices (plus, a secret addition that really takes it over the top) to make it crazy addictive. so good. we munch on this throughout the season and sometimes, get generous and share with others. but with elinor in the mix now, there may not be much left to share. she loves her snack time with papa.

9 | Bing Crosby Christmas album. that crooner gets me feeling all warm and fuzzy and festive every time. he is a favorite and always in heavy rotation.

10 | veuve clicquot champagne. you gotta have some bubbly, right? come on. we love to pop the cork and fill our special celebration flutes with something sparkling. Christmas day is a busy and full and special day for us. since all of our family lives nearby, we do it all! the day starts with our own little family celebration then it is off to ben's family's place for presents and breakfast (usually eggs benedict which is my absolute fave) then we hop in the sleigh and are off and away for an afternoon with my family followed by dinner to close things out. we love our time with all our family. it is the bestest. but, one of the sweetest times of the day is the early-early morning, just us. ben and i wake up extra early and get some music playing. then, we pour ourselves some "Christmas morning mimosas" and clink before opening gifts together. we have done this since the first year of marriage. and i love it. it is time for us to connect and celebrate and enjoy some calm. and presents. so fun. and then, we wake elinor together and really get the party started*.

*to clarify, elinor's partying does not include veuve. we are only wannabe french...

11 | scotch gift wrap tape. we go through a ton of this. well, ben goes through a ton of this. he gets a little wild with the tape. and i have learned to just buy in bulk. and you gotta get the purple package. the green one just doesn't do the trick. you want the invisible stuff.

12 | wood wick holiday candle from restoration hardware. this is the ultimate candle. it crackles when it burns. and then smell is perfectly Christmas without being overwhelming and heavy-handed with the pine. a lovely balance and a total must for us.

13 | fuzzy slippers from restoration hardware. ben bought these for me last Christmas and i am obsessed. they are warm and practical and almost chic, as slippers go. the first slipper-wearing of the season is a bit of an event for us. and it usually goes hand-in-hand with the first flannel-pj-pant-wearing of the season. a grand occasion. we are very fancy.

14 | Charlie Brown Christmas. another movie favorite for us. for me, for ben, for the whole family. it is short and sweet and gets to the heart of things. the perfect way to get your heart in the right spot for Christmas.

well, that's my list. i would love to hear some of your traditions and musts for the season. isn't this a magical time of the year?

and a big thank you to our affiliate, MAN CRATES! if you are looking for a gift for a man in your life, check them out! they make some really awesome stuff. jerky and spicy stuff and sports stuff. anything that a man could want, all packed into a manly crate that must be opened with a crow bar. how rad is that? and their company manifesto is great: 

We say 'no' to ugly neckties, cologne samplers and executive trinkets. We don't save wrapping paper, we don't do ribbons.

We ship bragworthy gifts for guys. Gifts that you can't wait to arrive because you know the recipient will love opening them.

Gifts that people gather round at the office, people following the sounds of wood being torn from wood by the included, laser-engraved crowbar.

We are Man Crates, and we deliver awesome gifts for men.

seriously though, good stuff. head over to their site and take a look. they have something for every man. and you can even build your own! now, all i need to do is buy a crow bar for ben... and then i can stock up on these crates of goodies for him!