While the holidays can be magically enchanting and fun, they can also be stressful and frantic for many families. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the holiday catalogs, commercials, and sales that are front and center. Keeping up with the Joneses can be stressful and we too often lose meaning of what the holidays are truly about – having time to rejoice and celebrate with loved ones.
Holiday traditions are important to me, much more than the gifts under the tree. My favorite tradition that I hold close to my heart and continue with my boys is receiving a book each Christmas Eve with a handwritten note inside the cover. For example, when I was 12 we went to the Richmond Ballet’s Nutcracker and I received The Nutcracker written by Mary Claire Helldorfer and Susan Jeffers accompanied by a lovely note from mom telling me how much fun it was to see the Nutcracker with me and watch me stare in awe at the ballet dancers before going home to put on my ballet recital gown and practice the moves. I have no idea what I got from Santa that year but I can recall getting dressed up and going downtown with my mom and sister to watch the Nutcracker. I remember feeling so special that we sat up front and it that it was such a big girl event. Each year and each book has a purpose and a memory associated with it. The boys and I get all of the books out at the beginning of December and read them throughout the month. I love taking my time to find the perfect book for each one of my boys to remind me of a special moment from the year.
This year I am excited to tell you about a new tradition – making my own live wreath at Cross Creek Nursery with friends. If you haven’t stopped by Cross Creek Nursery before, it’s a magical place located on Courthouse Road in Chesterfield County! Cross Creek is a local and family owned business that started in 1974 by Gene and Diane McAuliffe. Over the years the company has grown and expanded to include their sons; Jason, Mark, and Andrew who have helped add additional acreage and landscaping to the array of services. You have undoubtedly seen Cross Creek’s fleet of trucks and equipment all over RVA busy making our lawns and businesses flourish. They have been voted Landscaper of the Year by R Home Magazine and a Family Favorite by Style Weekly.
Our Cross Creek wreath maker extraordinaire Kristi had expert tips and her helpful demeanor had the group laughing and creating in no time. There were endless opportunities for our blank wire slate. We had 3 types of branches available to mix and match. Gathering bundles of 8-10 we used a giant stapler (Who knew these even existed!?) built into a table to press the points of the wire frame down onto the branches and secure them.
We repeated the process 12 times around the frame until it was full and complete. Then we began to accessorize the wreath.
There may be a much more official term but its what we did – selecting from natural or snow frosted pine cones and variation of white, green, and red berries – before using glue to adhere on the branches. I opted with the traditional and more natural option and was really pleased with how it turned out. Most importantly, it smells AMAZING!
The entire crafting event lasted an hour and a half and then we browsed the beautifully curated gift shop, where you can find a range of items from serving platters, household decor, and holiday cheer. You will find great inspiration for your home decor!
So, before you empty your pockets this year buying gifts and running around RVA frantically to find gifts to fill the space under the tree that will lose their sparkle and entrancement, think about how you can create memories and traditions. Be mindful and present about what the holiday season is really about. The gifts will fade from memory but the laughter and joy that a friend or loved one will bring when you recall the fun you had will stay far longer. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and most importantly the company of good friends.
Now the fun begins – I am so excited to partner with Cross Creek to offer a 25$ gift certificate to one individual. Contest rules:
– Follow Fit_Family_Life on Instagram
-Like and Comment by sharing your favorite holiday tradition
Head on over to Cross Creek Nursery and Landscaping Facebook page
-Like Cross Creek Nursery’s Page
-Find their post announcing this blog and contest
-Comment by sharing your favorite holiday tradition
We will be verifying – so don’t skip any steps!! Contest ends on 12/9/2017 at 11:59pm. Winner will be announced on Fit_Family_Life instagram page and Cross Creek Nursery and Landscaping page. Keep an eye out and spread t
PS If you are bummed you missed the wreath class sign up for this season — do not despair. On Saturday (12/2/2017) and Sunday (12/3/2017) from 12-3pm head on over for the Christmas Open House to see Santa, bounce in the moon bounce, listen to Christmas carols, make a Christmas craft, and enjoy Hot Cocoa, cider, and marshmallows for roasting for FREE!!! If you head over on Sunday, say hi! I will be there with my family and cant wait to see you all.
Happy Holidays RVA. From my family to yours, we hope your days are filled with hope, joy, and love.