Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Better Homes & Gardens at Walmart. All opinions are my own and always will be! Thanks for supporting the content that keeps Jojotastic going.
Part of why I love the holidays is because of the nostalgia plays a big part of the season. I have so many fond memories from growing up and they are all tied up in the whimsy of the season. When Better Homes & Gardens at Walmart asked me to share my favorite holiday memory, I immediately knew what I wanted to share… as well as two really great gift ideas that just might inspire your own holiday gift giving this year! Keep reading, but promise you won’t tell Sean what I’m surprising him with ;)
My Favorite Christmas Eve Tradition & How We’re Celebrating This Year
As a kid, I typically spent Christmas Eve with my dad because my mom worked nights in the ICU as a nurse. It was just me and him, keeping the holiday simple by baking cookies and watching holiday movies. I also happen to be the most impatient person you’ll ever meet. I used to badger him endlessly to let me open presents early. One year, he finally gave into me and let me open one present on Christmas Eve. Honestly, he probably just wanted peace so that he could enjoy some eggnog! We ended up continuing this tradition year after year — and now I do the same with Sean. It doesn’t need to be a big gift… just a little taste so that I can be less annoying. Yes, even now as a 35 year old.
My Christmas Eve Gift for My Husband
Each year on Christmas Eve, Sean and I exchange one gift. Sometimes it’s small, sometimes it’s something one of us just can’t wait to give (often me.. again, very impatient). Because we just bought a new house and totally changed our day-to-day lifestyle, this year’s gifts reflect that. Sean’s favorite part of our new property is his shop building because he finally has room to work on all of his hobbies! So I wanted to give him a thoughtful, functional gift to celebrate that. This electric heater is the perfect gift for him, especially because the shop doesn’t have heat! I love the handsome, almost mid-century modern styling of the heater… plus, it actually puts out some legit warmth. I’m sure he’ll love it.
My Christmas Eve Gift for My Father-in-Law
Many of you already know all about Andy, my father-in-law and truly one of my best friends. He and I are incredibly close, so I always love to treat him to something special — especially at the holidays. This year, Andy will be joining us in the cabin for Christmas, so I can’t wait to share this Christmas Eve tradition with him, as well! Andy is definitely someone who puts the needs of others over himself, so I wanted to pick out a gift that would encourage a bit of self-care. He’s got a gorgeous clawfoot tub, so I decided to treat him to a set of new towels. I picked out bath sheets because he’s tall and who doesn’t love oversized towels?? And then I chose matching hand towels. They are sooo soft and luxurious feeling. Plus, the towels are American-made! I’ll probably order a set for myself next.
My Christmas Eve Gift for Myself
When it comes to these candles, I cannot help myself! I’ve shared them before, but for real: they burn really well, smell amazing, and are so affordable. So naturally while shopping for the two men in my life, I picked up one for myself, too!
How We’re Celebrating the Holidays This Year
Admittedly, this year has been a mess and I think that is putting me even more in the mood to celebrate the holidays. I find so much joy in preparing a meal for loved ones and busting out my favorite recipes for an over-the-top meal. This year I am pretty sure I’m making lamb! Sean’s dad will be joining us and I can’t wait for the three of us to celebrate the holidays in our new cabin. Bring on ALL of the coziness!
You know me, I always love to set a beautiful table, so I wanted to give you a peek of how I am styling mine this year. I’m going FULL HOLIDAY on our table this year with these charming 12 Days of Christmas plates. I love the whimsical artwork and touches of metallic gold. My grandma always used the same dishes for Christmas dinner, so now I feel like I can carry on that tradition with these!
Then I added some preserved boxwood garlands, fairy lights, faux candles, and ceramic candle holders (with a sweet ribbon!) to create a centerpiece. Modern gold utensils finish off the look and juxtapose nicely with the casual, rustic look of the jute placemats. To add a bit more ambiance, I picked up a few more lanterns (I’m really obsessed with them lately!) and filled them with my fave scented candles. I love how it makes our gas stove a little more stylish!
I know that this year’s holiday celebrations will look and feel a little different, but I hope this post inspires you to still put in the effort and set a pretty table for your meal — even if it’s a smaller celebration. We all deserve a bit of festivity this year!
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So tell me: what do you do on Christmas Eve? I’d love to know more about any traditions you and your family celebrate! Leave a comment and let me know.