Holiday Prep

Friday, November 21, 2014
This last week has been full of complete holiday cheer and large amounts of hot chocolate consumption. Seriously, as much as people would like to give each holiday the "proper" amount of recognition, how many of my readers are getting ancy for December to roll around? I'm definitely guilty. It's not even just the spirit of Christmas this year for me. It's the countdown, it's the possibility of snow, and it's the added benefit of being around the people I love most in this world. Nothing gets my spirits or mood higher than the holiday cheer all around me. I can't wait to take my family through the streets of downtown Seattle next month. All the lights, the people, the decorated trees... Ahh! This is what this year represents for me: memories that last a lifetime. I'm also itching to take some lifestyle photos of Justin and Ava bug during their first Seattle trip during December. I can just picture them now.. all bundled up, Ava bug holding daddy's hand. Are you swooning yet? I know I am.

Because of the total "Type A" personality I have, I've found myself making mental checklists of everything I'd like to accomplish in the next few weeks. This week is the last of our grocery haul for Thanksgiving, family pictures, and getting our holiday cards finalized and ready to ship out the following week. I love being able to send out cards the first week of December. Nothing makes me happier knowing that my holiday cheer stricken face will be on the refrigerators of my family and friends. Totally joking, but isn't that what we all do? Next week I'm going to take some photos of families at local tree farms.. I'm a bit nervous for that, but excited that I've been sought out to do something like this. I don't consider my photos "top notch" for anyone but myself, so I'm humbled to be doing this for others.

The following week consists of me cleaning out the closets of all three Howland's and donating them to those in need this holiday season. Even with all the crazy stuff happening in my world right now, I try not to forget those who are indeed in need. There are millions of people who won't have a cheery season this year, and sometimes they just need a helping hand. Whether that be clothes, food, or donating to your local toys for tots, anything big or small helps out more than you know. I plan on taking my entire family to a couple soup kitchens this year. I know it's not much, but I really want to be with those who are hurting this year. I want to pray for them, I want to give them optimism, I want to try and give them hope. I know people don't just plan to be in awful situations, and truth be told that can be anyone of us guys. One day we can have it all, and the next all of our stability can be taken from us. It's important to remember that we can all uplift someone in need. If you need help locating a soup kitchen or food pantry near you, has all the information you need.

What are some of your holiday prep details? What are some of the fun traditions you and your family do around this time of year? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below or by email. I hope all my readers are feeling that holiday cheer I'm talking about after reading this blog.  Not yet? How about now? 

Happy Thursday all! 

♥- Leilani

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