The December Guide

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The Shortest Tallman’s December Guide. Some helpful tips, some funny stuff, and a tiny bit a waste of your time. I just wanted to make sure I met all of your expectations ???



My little Christmas village! Complete with my mocha latte cup I forgot I set down there lol

1       Aww, it’s December finally! Christmas vacation will be on at 7:05, followed by The Santa Clause at 9:15 on Freeform channel. Yeehaw! You know, I got thinking- this whole month is all in preparation for one day. It is a very worthy day of a month’s+ efforts, but I think this year I’m going to really try to harness the joy of Christmas day into every day of the month. We’ll see how this goes….

2       Between my kids’ individual classrooms and school-wide campaigns, I believe there are at least 3 drives going on for charitable causes. Is there something that you do every year at this time, to give back? Or do you sort of pick and choose what comes your way? I think I’m probably the latter, opportunities come up all the time this time of year to help out our neighbors, so I just jump on the bandwagon.

3       If you live in the Utica, NY area, check out The Mohawk Valley Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Stanley this weekend! Tonight at 7:30pm or tomorrow (12/4) at 2:00pm.

4       Second Sunday of Advent already! Advent is all about anticipating and preparing for the big day when Jesus arrives. What preparations do you have ready so far? Cards? Gifts? Indoor decorations? Outdoor decorations? I’m hoping today will be our tree day.

5       It’s Monday. I suggest we decide who has the best peppermint mocha. Mmmkay? Today I might start with McCafe’s version, which is quite lovely, inexpensive comparatively but certainly convenient! Use the code theshortesttallman. I’M JUST KIDDING! That won’t get you anything, anywhere lol.

6       What kind of Christmas Cookies are your favorite? For me, it’s hard to narrow it down to a favorite. I’ll be trying out this recipe this year http://www.whatscookinitalianstylecuisine.com/2009/06/soft-italian-cookies-with-frosting.html

7       Speaking of cookies, I heart heart heart making spritz cookies. Something about squishing out the dough with my OXO cookie press and the fact that they bake so fast. https://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Cookie-Stainless-Storage/dp/B00ABH0PYI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480361464&sr=8-1&keywords=oxo+cookie+press

8       “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” Elf is on Freeform tonight at 7pm!

9       Friday already! Did you get one of those ornaments with a gift request from your church? Don’t forget to pickup the gift and drop it off this weekend.


I have since put on stickers of their names on each ornament, which you can find at any craft store. Such a cool way to display all of those little momentos.

10     Nothing beats a homemade ornament. Or I suppose a really elaborate expensive ornament haha. But I did make these ornaments for my kids- I bought the large plastic bulb at The Dollar Tree (my favorite store!), placed hospital ID bracelets and the like inside, and then bought letter stickers to put their names on it. These are so meaningful to me, and are unbreakable! Which is good because I have a history of breaking ornaments, for real.

11     Just read in a blog (that I cannot find for the life of me!) that you should be finishing your holiday shopping by 12/18 to get the best prices, so this is your one week mark! According to this blog (that again I cannot properly reference), the stores know they have you after 12/18.

12     About halfway there! My teacher friends have two full weeks left though. I feel like we get shafted when Christmas falls on a Sunday! Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks today??

13     What teacher gifts do you give? Gift certificates are a no-brainer I think, but this year I got these really cool presents at a craft fair that are totally outside-of-the-box but I think are going to go over really well. Wish I could tell you, but I can’t yet 🙂 Here’s some other ideas for teacher (and neighbor) gifts: http://blog.delightfulorder.com/2013/12/teacherneighbor-christmas-gift-ideas.html

Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas Is You (1)

Mariah! By The United States Army Band [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

14     Favorite Christmas Carol? I feel like this has to be broken up into categories: traditional carols, classic songs, Christmas pop, and modern renditions. The queen of all Christmas songs, the platinum, has to be Mariah Carey’s tho! Her whole Christmas album is pretty darn great.

15     Going to any holiday parties this year? Need a hostess gift? How about this cheesecake??? I made it recently for a little dinner I hosted for my sisters-in-law, it was both easy and tasted incredible. http://www.willcookforsmiles.com/2016/01/double-chocolate-ganache-and-raspberry-cheesecake.html Or how about all these nifty ways to package cookies? http://www.bystephanielynn.com/2012/12/50-ways-to-package-holiday-cookies-ideas-inspiration-for-wrapping-cookie-gifts.html Really, my pinterest feed is filled with stuff like this, haha!!

16     I feel like stocking stuffers is a task all its own. Here’s some simple ideas: http://www.thejennyevolution.com/cheap-stocking-stuffers/ . And while we’re at it, how adorbs is this gift idea for a girlfriend??? http://prettyprovidence.com/slippers-gift-idea/ There are so many great ideas that you can find on blogs via Pinterest!!


Like, let’s prevent the Crash of Christmas from happening.

17     Whatever you’ve got left, do it this weekend so you can enjoy the final week! With Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday, Christmas is going to creep up, and there’s nothing worse than stressing on Christmas Eve. Especially if you’re working all week.

18     One week people. One week! There’s a lot of great performances to help you get into the Christmas cheer. Might I suggest the First Presbyterian Church in Utica today at 4pm for their annual Lessons and Carols program?

19     How’s the Peppermint Mocha taste trials coming?? Try one from a local shop today if you haven’t yet. Christmas season is a fast paced time of year- make sure you take out some time to pause and feel the joy of the season! I’m still working on my charge from 12/1! lol

20     Four more days until you say goodbye to your Elf on the Shelf for a whole other year. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

21     Check your pantry, and Hannaford To Go anything else you might need through Tuesday. Do whatever you need to do so you’re done by 12/23!


The Christmas Eve box I reuse every year, with my very loud pajamas for this year 🙂

22     Do you have a Christmas Eve box? Every year, I purchase new Christmas pajamas for everyone in our house and pack it in a festive box with hot cocoa and mugs, marshmallows and popcorn. On Christmas Eve, we’ll go to the 4pm mass, then come home and open up our Christmas Eve box and have a Christmas movie night.

23     Final preparations day! Most important- do you have cookies and milk for Santa???

24     When do you do church? I’ll be singing at 2 masses today/tonight. I love getting all churchy on Christmas Eve. The story of Jesus’ birth is remarkable; I just keep trying to put myself in Mary’s shoes- wow.


26     Will you be buying storage bins this week? Haha I think I buy storage bins the week after Christmas every darn year. Maybe I’ll get out of it this year. Maybe not.

27     Plan adult time for this week- go out with friends or your hubby. There’s so much family (i.e. kids) time, which is AWESOME, but make sure you recharge so you don’t go bonkers.

28     Even if you do “nothing” on New Years’ Eve, plan on some good food in. How about this recipe for Shrimp Scampi Linguine http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/linguine-with-shrimp-scampi-recipe3.html , and maybe some apps like these Everything Wings and a cured meat and cheese board ??? I may just do all 3, hehe.

29     What toys are your kids still playing with? Cuz we all know that some are played with for a day or two and that’s about it.

30     So, resolutions. I don’t usually go to bonkers about making them. But it’s good to self-reflect. I think, for me, I need to think about self-love, mostly in terms of how can I better take care of my health and happiness? Check out this interesting article- http://www.becomingwellthy.com/self-care/ – there’s some great advice in there.

31     When. Harry. Met. Sally. Best. New. Years.’ Eve. Scene. Ever. “When you realize you want to be with someone for the rest of your life, you want the rest of you life to happen as soon as possible.” “It’s about old friends.”

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