Less Stress, More Memories: A Simply Wonderful Christmas


The holiday season has arrived. Stores will be flooded, if not already, with stressed out people trying to find the perfect gifts, even if that means breaking the bank to do so.

We have all done it as children. Now as adults, we again see the perfect catalog and dream about the perfect present or presents.

I grew up with a traditional Christmas Eve celebration at my Grandmother’s house every year from when I was two weeks old (and it has been even longer than that) and it still continues even though my Grandmother has passed away. I am so happy that my daughter gets to be around a big family on Christmas Eve for the first time this year.

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday because it is the one solid time of the year where we all get together, share a meal, and memories. Of course there are gifts—but honestly I think several of us are simply there for the family. Presents are nice, but throughout the years, they are so easily forgotten. Family is forever.

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I told my husband the other day that there are a handful of really special gifts I remember getting as a child, but other than that I do not remember them. What I do remember are the memories, the silly cousin photos, and special moments.

This year my husband and I are giving our daughter a very simple first Christmas. We plan on attending Mass, putting together a Christmas Eve box with crafts (like salt dough ornaments,) pajamas, books, etc. to share as a family with some little fun gifts as well. We also plan on attending my family’s Christmas where she will meet the majority of her family on my side for the first time.

We are buying her just a few special gifts but we really want the holiday season to be more about memories than things.

We want to take her to see family and friends, to the Christmas tree forest at the Art Museum and start new traditions as a little family. I want to be able to look back, and as she grows up, have her know that December is more than gifts under a tree. It is about family, friends, love, gratitude, and more.

The stores are always there and we can buy her anything anytime of the year. Here are some of the ideas we are doing for our Christmas Eve boxes:

For Baby

  • Christmas Books: Write a sweet note with the date and year
  • Toys: Simple things like blocks, and rattles
  • Hair accessories or hats
  • Socks
  • Photo album/scrapbook
  • Bath toys
  • Bibs
  • A few cute outfits
  • Snacks/baby food
  • Blankets

For Mom

  • Socks
  • Cute mom shirts
  • Hair accessories
  • Scarf
  • Craft supplies
  • Snacks
  • Lip gloss/chapstick
  • Nail polish
  • Journals

For Dad

  • Socks
  • Pajamas
  • Snacks
  • Reusable To Go Cups
  • Ties
  • Dad tee shirts

For the box itself Walmart, Hobby Lobby, etc. sell small unfinished wooden crates that can be painted, decorated, etc. and reused through year or painted a Christmas theme and recycled at Christmas each year.

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Bayly is a working mama with a sweet baby girl (Amelia-born in June 2017.) Bayly has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for ten years and currently works as a Lead Toddler Teacher at a local Montessori school. Bayly has been married to her husband (and high school sweetheart) since 2010. She is a proud born and raised Corpus Christi resident and loves all the unique local things that Corpus Christi has to offer. When she has an opportunity she loves going to the Farmers Market, the Aquarium, and other local attractions. She is a foodie at heart and loves trying new recipes. She attended TAMUCC where she majored in English, but she also has a background in Early Childhood Education. She is Montessori certified and is also pursuing a Masters in Early Childhood with an emphasis in Reading. Her hobbies include: blogging, writing children’s stories, finding new pins on Pinterest, cooking/baking, outdoor activities, arts and crafts, and more. Bayly enjoys country music and watching all sports. She has three pets—a dog and two cats. She is a member of St. Patrick’s Church. She is also a proud Aunt. She is excited to share her thoughts and experiences with you as she tries to navigate mommyhood with grace and a sense of humor.