Holiday Mashup

Mama’s making you feel better tonight with a good old holiday mashup. What’s a holiday mashup you may ask? My living room.

holiday mashup

The family is going to be chopping down a Christmas tree tomorrow, so my husband brought down the ornaments from the attic. Sounds like we’re pretty damn on top of shit, huh? Not if you look closely enough at this picture.

Sure, you’ll see some silver balls and leafy wreaths, but, if you look closely enough, you’ll also see some things that don’t belong.

Maybe you see a painting on the mantle with some hand prints. Those aren’t just any hand prints. Those are turkeys. That there is some old fashioned, homemade Thanksgiving decor. Not too bad. I mean, Thanksgiving was basically a week ago.

Look again. In case you were wondering, we aren’t goth. Typically, one would not enter our living room to find skull-emblazoned lacy throws hanging from the mantle. You won’t find my husband or me rocking heavy black eyeliner and Manic Panic. No, you’ll just find us on the couch consuming booze instead of taking down outdated decorations. That cloth, along with the terrifying booing pumpkin on the mirror, have been up there for a solid six weeks.

So, if you are lamenting the fact that it’s already December and you haven’t decked the halls in your house, yet – have no fear. At least your living room isn’t a holiday smorgasbord.

 

StoryWorth: The Perfect Holiday Gift

What do you buy someone who has everything – especially when “everything” is not hyperbole, but a literal observation of their basement? Finding the perfect holiday gift for parents, in-laws, and grandparents is one of the most daunting tasks of holiday gift shopping. My kids are insatiable gluttons who want demand everything. They’re easy. The 65 and older crowd, however? They don’t want any more “stuff” in their house.

If every knick knack you perused on Black Friday left you with nightmares of your future self tossing it in a dumpster after you shipped your folks off to the nursing home, well I’ve got the gift for you!

StoryWorth touts the tagline of “The most meaningful gift is family.” Of course that’s true. It’s also true that you’ll be kicked out of Christmas dinner (or at least gain a few dirty looks) if you arrive empty handed. Luckily for us, the perfect holiday gift is here. StoryWorth brings the gift of family to a whole new level.

How It Works

Each week, StoryWorth emails your gift recipient a question about their life. They then write or record their answer (story) which is shared with you upon completion. At the end of the year, all of the stories are bound in a keepsake book.

There are a range of questions that prompt recipients to share childhood memories or ask them about life’s moments that brought great emotion. Some questions allow the recipient to share their experiences during historical events, or even provide an opportunity to express their values and beliefs. Questions are sent to you ahead of time for vetting, and you are always given the option to select another question or even write your own.

Why It’s the Perfect Holiday Gift

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, my father-in-law is the most kind and thoughtful man. Buying gifts for him is nearly impossible, as we feel that, for all he does for us, he deserves a 6-month trip to Europe. It’s safe to say that gift ain’t coming from us anytime soon, so last Father’s Day, it was a Godsend when I stumbled upon StoryWorth.

StoryWorth has taught us so much about this incredible man. We learned that his childhood in Chicago epitomized the Baby Boomer generation (there were 40 kids on his block alone). We learned that his grandfather worked his way up from office boy to Vice President of a railroad. Who doesn’t love visions of their grandfather as a mischievous boy, sneaking coal into his brother’s Christmas stocking? Most of all, we have amazing stories to share with our daughters about their beloved Papa. Even as old women, my girls will be able to read these stories, written in their dear Papa’s own words, and remember his warm heart and gentle manner. They will also get to recall his favorite joke, which I’m sure thrills him!

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

The one criticism I had about StoryWorth is that, as the weeks went on, I feared I’d bought a completely selfish gift. Remember when Homer Simpson bought Marge a bowling ball that had “Homer” written on it? StoryWorth is like that. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to finding one of my father-in-law’s stories in my in-box. Whether they make me laugh or cry, these stories never fail to warm my heart.

As he does, my father-in-law made me feel much better about this. He reminded me that StoryWorth allows the recipient to reminisce about the good times in their lives, reflect upon the bad, and, most of all, it allows him to share his life with his loved ones. He also loves StoryWorth as it helped him to channel his inner writer. Seriously, here’s an excerpt from his answer to the question: “What is one of the bravest things you’ve ever done and what were the consequences?”

I think people are brave throughout their lives, doing little things and big things they know are right, and doing them fearlessly. Trying new things they know they won’t be good at right away, or things that might make them look funny at first. Getting up every day, going to school, going to work, doing things you like to do and things you don’t like to do, doing what you are supposed to do to support yourself and your family, and make the world a better place. That is brave. I guess brave is an attitude you have to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences.

How lucky are my kids to call this man Papa?!

The Most Meaningful Gift

StoryWorth helped me realize that there is no more perfect holiday gift than telling someone that you love them so much that you want to know them even more. This holiday season, if you are looking for the perfect holiday gift for a loved one, buy a subscription to StoryWorth. It truly is “the most meaningful gift.”

If you use the link below (or any of the StoryWorth links within this post) to order StoryWorth, I will receive a small commission. (I made it clear that, even in gift giving, I’m selfish, right?) Seriously though, please know that this is my first affiliate post. I sought them out because of how much StoryWorth has meant to my family. But if this works out, get ready for me to start schlocking things left and right!

www.storyworth.com/mamatries

StoryWorth: The Perfect Holiday Gift

This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links earn me a small commission.

Raising Your Holiday Game

We are failing our children.  Do you realize that, with Easter’s passing, my children will not receive a bucket of candy until the final day of October?  Worse yet, unless one of them loses a tooth, a mythical creature will not enter my home until the arrival of Mother Goose, our Elf on the Shelf, in late November.  How are my children supposed to have a childhood filled with magic and wonder if they are to go over a month without a holiday that is celebrated with a stranger breaking into our home and leaving them gifts and high fructose corn syrup? Our children deserve better, which is why I have devised this handy schedule of mythical creature visits around holidays that have been deprived of their untapped potential for far too long.  

New Year’s Day

We’ve all watched the ball drop in Times Square, but this New Year’s, a jolly old soul who looks an awful lot like Dick Clark will be heading over to my place after the confetti has cleared in order to leave a package on the foot of my children’s beds. It will be filled with sugary cereals and video games that they can use to feed and entertain themselves while my husband and I nurse our hangovers in bed.  

Valentine’s Day

Valentine cards might be suitable for some parents, but why allow school to have all of the fun? Come February 14th, Cupid will be visiting our home, leaving his mark on all that he touches by  hiding conversation hearts in every corner and turning everything, from our cereal milk to our bath water, his signature red.  Sure, red dye might make your home look like a crime scene, but it’s all in the name of creating lifelong memories for your little ones.  What were you going to do you selfish twit, go out to dinner with your spouse?

Memorial Day

Can someone explain to me how our children are supposed to appreciate the sacrifices men and women have made for our country if no one gives them a gift that rings in the summer? This Memorial Day morning, my children will scurry outside in their pajamas, open up our backyard grill, and discover that a Union soldier has filled it with Freeze Pops, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, new bathing suits and sunscreen!

Flag Day

This year, my children will start their day with a game of capture the flag that will make the Hunger Games look like a Maypole event. The winning team earns a chest full of Bomb Pops – eat them before they melt! The losing team…wins the same. Because what’s better than a participation trophy? A participation gift that causes Type 2 diabetes, hyperactivity, and attention disorders.

Fourth of July

Parents, this is your day to wake up before dawn so that you can arrange for the ghost of Ben Franklin to visit your home before your children rise, leaving them Pop Rocks, sparklers, cherry bombs, and other explosive devices. Because nothing says the holidays like a visit to the ER.

Labor Day

Saying goodbye to summer isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely less painful when visited by Jimmy Hoffa. There’s a reason his body hasn’t been found yet – he’s alive and well and leaving my children a trail of chocolate coins that leads to a glorious discovery. My kids will go crazy for the briefcase full of cash that Jimmy leaves for them to buy their back-to-school wardrobe.  

Election Day

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, or as my kids call her, Bazooka Betty, doesn’t visit your house to supply your children with a canister full of rock hard bubble gum and freshly sharpened number 2 pencils? Oh, sorry, I didn’t know you were raising your kids to have a complete lack of respect for our electoral process.

Thanksgiving

We have allowed this holiday to be a day about gathering with family for the sole purpose of expressing gratitude for far too long. From now on, the Thanksgiving Pilgrim will be leaving a cornucopia of small gifts (like bicycles and iPads) for my children before throwing a turkey in the oven for our family to enjoy come nightfall. And don’t even get me started on Thanksgiving desserts. When a fruit and vegetable are the featured ingredients in your dessert, something is amiss. Move over apple and pumpkin pie, the Thanksgiving Pilgrim will also be bringing tasty treats made exclusively of corn syrup and red dye – all in the shape of feathers!    

Do your children a favor and make their childhood magical by teaching them that a holiday is not a holiday at all unless they are receiving gifts and childhood obesity from someone other than their parents.

You’re welcome.