7QT: How I Spent My Christmas Vacation by Jenna Hines


In the car. So much in the car. We drove all around the great state of Michigan. I’m going to guess we spent 12 hours in the car over the course of the past week.

How do you deal with travel/seeing family during the holidays?



My pear loaf turned out wonderfully. Will totes make it again.



I was thinking about doing a vlog on what we got for Christmas, but is that totally materialistic of me?

Sam getting into dad's stocking.

Sam getting into dad’s stocking.


Speaking of gifts, I started to feel a little guilty about only buying the kids one toy each for Christmas. We tried this this year:


So, since I was feeling down about it, I went and bought Ellen another gift right before the big day. When Christmas morning came, she opened a few gifts, and then said she was done. She didn’t want anything else. We think she was a little overwhelmed. Anyway, the point is, I took back the other toy I bought and felt pretty good about the fact that she was fine with less. I really hope I can somehow keep that feeling alive.


Ok, let’s keep going with gifts here. Mike is writing a children’s music album, and I surprised him with artwork for the cd cover. Love.

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I need another blogging thing. I’m thinking outfit posts, recipes, photo dumps, something. Thoughts?



I’m not huge into New Year’s resolutions. I mean, they’re fine and all, but I just figure anytime is a good time to make a change, right? But, this year, I thought it was appropriate to institute a change in our family. So, starting January 1 we are going to make an effort to celebrate the liturgical year. We already have Hallie’s cookbook and Lacy’s curriculum. Are there any other resources that you like? What traditions or celebrations does your family take part in? Lemmeno.

Update: Just read Kelly’s post about this. Awesome.

Linking to my sick gal, Jen.

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  1. says

    #1 – We put our collective feet down years ago. Both my and Mr. Andi’s parents are divorced, all four are remarried, and both of mine remarried when I was FIVE. If they want to see us they have to make the drive to our house. I know it sounds harsh, but I spent my entire childhood going back and forth – opening presents on Xmas morning then not seeing them again until the day before I went back to school – and I was So. Done. when Sarah Kate came along. My mom and stepdad came Monday and stayed until Wednesday, my dad and stepmom came Thursday and stayed until today. Scott and the kids will see his mom when they go up in a few weeks for a duck hunting trip, and his dad and his wife will visit us sometime in January (we lucked out because they were out of the country for Xmas this year).

    Do I sound like a terrible person? I might be. But we have family time at home on Xmas, which is something I never had growing up, and we go to Xmas Mass at our home parish (which would be hard to swing because I am a convert and no one in either of our families is Catholic), and I only feel a tiny bit guilty about it.

  2. Megan says

    We started doing #4 this year too! I was just like you, feeling like ugh, one toy, my boys are going to flip! But they handled it just fine, and like Ellen, barely made it to their fourth gift because they were enamored with the first three. For my 6 year old his “something he needs” was an alarm clock, so we got him a cool lego batman one, so it was sort of like a second toy….

  3. says

    Driving with little ones is the worst, especially for holidays. Bless you for making it through :-) My husband and I still haven’t figured out how to break up the holiday’s between our sides. We traveled to see his family this year for Christmas and we’ll see mine for Epiphany. Maybe next it’ll be mine for Christmas. Our families live a good 8 hours apart, so there’s no way we’re doing both in the same day lol.

    I love that idea for the gifts.

  4. says

    We got Lucia nada for Christmas and she got WAY TOO MUCH from everyone else and was so burned out that I am glad. We didn’t get anything for her last year either. She’s too yon to know now but I think it might be a tradition for all our kids and always. She got gifts on St Nicholas Day and her name day and I know she’ll always get a ton from family. There is only so much that a kid could ever need, or even want, you know?

  5. says

    You don’t know how good #4 makes me feel! I’m pregnant with my first now and we really want to do that same thing for Christmas and birthdays… the problem? I LOVE BUYING GIFTS! (I already have our baby’s next 2 St. Nicholas Day’s covered lol). But it’s so nice to see that kid’s are just fine with a few gifts so thank you for sharing that! And LOL at Sam getting into the stocking.

    Our families are only about 5 hours apart but we refuse to rush around seeing both for holidays, so we go to one for one holiday, and one for the other. So far it’s working out really well. We don’t want to travel when our baby becomes a toddler and older because we both loved being home on Christmas as kids, so at that point family will be welcome to come to our house.

  6. says

    I think Cupcakes was overwhelmed too. I LOVE the artwork for your husband’s album!! (Well, except the spider. Obviously ;-) ) I know what you mean about the gifts vlog… I want to make a blog post with a collage featuring Cupcakes’ gifts, but I’m also worried about appearing materialistic. Isn’t it just being grateful? I don’t know the right answer, lol. If you figure it out, let me know!