Tag Archives: Christmas

When I worked at Pier 1, Christmas was seriously the best time. Sure, we griped about having to put everything out in October, but to be honest I loved the extra time being surrounded by glitter, warmth, and Christmas songs. We also had a goal, which we reached every year, of selling out all of our UNICEF Christmas cards. I was proud to run out of those, even if slowpoke customers were agitated with me when we didn’t have anymore. Obviously, I am no longer with Pier 1 but I’m proud to be affiliated with Minted, also partnering with UNICEF.The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, they are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes, and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.

The “7 hopeful gifts” featured in this campaign represent the tangible gifts that UNICEF provides, and when delivered to children across the globe, ignite and spread hope. The 7 hopeful gifts are:

1) Gift of Education – Give Education and help build brighter futures for the world’s most vulnerable children.

2) Gift of Nutrition – Give Nutrition and help children grow up healthy and strong.

3) Gift of Health – Give Health and help children around the world survive, thrive and experience happy childhoods.

4) Gift of Water – Give Water and help ensure that all children have access to clean water for drinking and hygiene.

5) Gift of Relief – Give Relief and return children affected by crises to a normal, stable life as quickly as possible.

6) Gift of Joy – Give Joy and give children the chance to enjoy their formative years, with minimal worry and hardship.

7) Gift of Voice – Give Voice and ensure that every child’s interests are represented in the world.

If you don’t have your Christmas cards yet, I would like you to consider purchasing these. Give back while you’re spreading holiday cheer!

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In a country where winter is present almost every day, you would think that Christmas would hold a little less excitement than in some countries. But in fact, Canada does Christmas just like the rest of us, and you’ll be able to celebrate with markets, mulled wine and plenty of festive fun wherever you go.

Canada Christmas Ornament

Québec City

Starting off with one of the most festive places in the country, Old Québec in the winter becomes transformed into a festive village straight out of a Dickensian novel. They hold a German market every year, which allows you to hold a warming mug of mulled wine as you travel from stall to stall- tasting various meats, cheeses and alcohol.

Montreal

Montreal does Christmas very similar to Paris, and focusses on French cuisine and treats. praline-chocolate pinecones are amongst the winter treats you’ll be able to pick at throughout the city. Activities include ice skating in the city center, busy markets, craft fairs and dazzling light displays.

Ottawa

The capital of Canada holds an illumination ceremony every year and sets the tone for the entire country throughout the festive season. During the festivities, you’ll be able to enjoy firework displays and carol singers around the city. The lighting of the Christmas tree is an event in itself, and you will also be able to go ice skating throughout December.

Niagara Falls

Not only is Niagara falls one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world, but it is also a unique place to spend your Christmas. Every year, you will be able to visit the falls and witness a magical fireworks display, and also celebrate the festive of lights. Take a wintery walk along the 8km route of the Niagara Parks and enjoy a taste of nature this festive season.

Toronto

Canada’s largest city, Toronto goes large on its Christmas celebrations too. In Nathan Phillips square, you’ll get your first taste of festivities with the lighting of the enormous tree which rests there. You’ll be able to also enjoy a spot of ice skating in the square with your loved ones. At the Hudson’s Bay store, you will be treated to a wonderful Christmas display- which they put in their windows every single year and has become a tradition in this city. The Toronto Christmas market is arguably the most impressive of them all, and is set in a Victorian district of the city known as the Distillery Historic District. Sip on mulled wine and take a look at unique crafts, gifts and lots of food.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick holds a month-long event during the winter, known as the festival of lights. It runs through December to January. Book a stay at Days Inn and Conference Centre Dalhousie and enjoy the holiday music which plays throughout St Andrews, and enjoy the Firemen’s Candlelight Parade as you listen. The whole area becomes illuminated with beautiful lights which set the tone for a festive Christmas. Enjoy the Christmas markets as you walk through the snowy streets.

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You know how it’s actually fun to receive snail mail that isn’t junk? Well, this may be super lame but it’s been even more fun to get snail mail addressed to Kendall and me as a family. It hasn’t happened much, but we’ve gotten “The Price Family” and “The Future Price Family” a couple of times and it really tickled us. Granted, one was a weird invite to a hearing aid conference but it was still kind of exciting!

There are two prime times for snail mail: 1. your birthday and 2. the holidays. I adore Christmas cards. Growing up (and continuing at the Downing household yearly) my mom always kept a basket of cards we received during the holidays. It was always fun to go through them, and there were some I expected every year: card featuring hand-painted winter scenes from my Great Uncle Baird, recreated classic movie scenes from my mom’s friend Reid, cards with pictures of kids I’ve seen grow up through the years… holiday card memories are just part of my Christmas experience!

I’ll admit, I’m not the best at sending out my own. This Christmas, if I send cards, I’m fully intending on using Minted to help me.

First of all, I HATE addressing envelopes because I have probably the worst handwriting of anyone I know. Minted has an address assistant (annnnd I already have all the addresses I’ve collected for wedding invites- we’re using Minted for our wedding too!) This also makes keeping track of those who you want to send mail to super easy.

Here’s a tip for sending cards that I’ve done for previous years- as soon as I receive a Christmas card from someone, I jot their name and address down from their return address label and put them on my list. My mom just rips off the return address labels and ads them to the basket. With the address manager, you can totally skip those steps and just ad the addresses to a virtual address book. Easy peasy and super organized and no bad handwriting involved!

Second of all, the designs are too cute! Minted sourced each one from an emerging independent artist somewhere in the world. You can find the perfect holiday card format to suit your style by taking a look at their original 5″x7″ Holiday Cards, Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards, Letterpress Holiday Cards and more. I think it’s so cool that you can actually “meet” the artists who design your cards as Minted provides little blurbs about each one. (You can see examples with my picks below!)

I am a big fan of photo cards myself, especially if they have a bit of shine from real foil. In a perfect world, Kendall and I would have had professional pictures taken for our Christmas cards this year, but since we’ve basically run out of time, it’s been too hot to put on scarves and boots and cute wintery stuff for said pictures, and we have our awesome engagement pictures, we don’t really need to do another shoot.

I picked out my top three cards from this years holiday collection from Minted, but there are so many different designs to choose from, plus little ways to personalize. Yes, you can ad your photos and names and such, but with many of the cards you can also edit the color scheme, colors of the fonts, or colors of the foil. My absolute favorite card design is Brushes, but I tend to like abstract and arty designs. There’s really something for every taste, whether you want to go traditional, fun, or glam!

Brushes

by Oscar & Emma of Columbus, OH

Karly Depew is the creative talent behind Oscar & Emma. She has a true obsession for luxurious papers, anything with stripes and modern organic home decor. She resides in Ohio with her husband, daughter and twin sons.


 Singalong

by Carolyn MacLaren of Encinitas, CA

I’m so lucky I get to spend my days filled with my two loves — being a designer and a mom to 2 kids (and 1 dog). I am drawn to simple graphic patterns, unexpected color palettes, and fresh typography. My personal style ranges from simple and modern to warm and whimsical, and am constantly inspired from everyday life.


 

Foliage Joyful

by curiouszhi design of London, GB

I am passionate about beautiful design in every aspect of daily life. My design aesthetic is driven by my love of clean typography and whimsical illustrations. When I’m not designing, I can be found playing the piano or experimenting in the kitchen.


Have you thought about holiday cards yet? If not, it’s probably time to start!

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No TGIF link love this week, you guys.

I just wanted to take a moment to wish all of my readers and their families a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah! (I always love when they fall at the same time!) This year has been full of so many big, sometimes scary, wonderful things: I re-branded my blog, moved out of my first apartment, and fell in love. I’ve made some incredible friends, survived being in 3 weddings in a row, went back stage at Warped Tour for the first time ever, and have never felt more confident and self-assured. While I’m not sure quite where I’m headed career-wise yet, I even feel the most settled and happy at my current job at the firm. I just feel like everything has fallen into place in my little world and the things that haven’t, well, I have the energy and the people behind me that I need so I’m not scared. I got this. We got this.

Wherever you’re going this weekend, get there safely. I can’t wait to spend Christmas with my parents + Kendall and show him what it’s like to have a Downing Christmas. My wish for all of you is that you can be filled with my same warm fuzzy feelings this weekend, into the new year, and foreverz.

One last thing- if you want to celebrate the new year with me, I’ll be at Mason Inn {now under new ownership} enjoying their open bar + some of my favorite people in the universe!

Vest: [last year] Nordstrom||Top: [old] American Eagle||AEO Denim X Cafe Hi-Rise Jegging: American Eagle||Annette Garnet Velvet Ankle Booties: LuLu’s||Necklace: [last year] J. Crew

Recreate my outfit:

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If you want to treat her like royalty this Christmas and show her how much you appreciate everything that she does, then look no further, we may just have the answers right here.

Here are some of the best gift ideas – for her.

image source

Romantic Dinner For Two

When was the last time you took her out to a top restaurant? Women love to eat out. They love having a reason to dress up really fancy! You could even take this idea a step further by going to the shops and choosing her a stunning dress (that she’ll adore), and even a new pair of shoes if you’re feeling extra awesome. Lay them out on the bed, along with a note telling her to put these on and be ready at 8pm. This will fill her up with so much excitement and it’ll be a great start to the evening!

Out To The Theater

If she likes the performing arts, then she’ll love a trip to the theater. Have a look at what plays are on and decide what she’d prefer. This is another good excuse for her to dress up. Go that extra step and get the best seat in the house. When the intervals start, make sure she has all the snacks and beverages she wants.

Relaxing Spa Day

Whether you want to get her a massage, a facial, a manicure or even treat her to one of the many wonderful spa packages, she is bound to feel like a princess. Allow her to bathe in the clearwater spas as she waits for another one of her special treatments. This will make a lovely gift, especially if she is always on the move, and never has time to take out for herself.

Dance The Night Away

Does she love to dance? If she does, then she would love this. Have a look in your area where they have a couples dance night. (Not the clubbing kind of dancing!) Sometimes they hold salsa nights, tango or waltz. This is a fun way for you both to loosen up a little and be silly. You don’t have to be the next John Travolta to do this, so there’s no excuse!

Ride Away To Paradise

If she has a love for animals, then horseback riding is a winner. Can you imagine riding away on your horses in the middle of a flower-filled meadow, or a sandy white beach next to the crystal blue ocean, watching the sunset? You can’t get more romantic than that. You could even take a break and have a picnic prepared with a bottle of something nice and even a few candles to set the scene.

Whatever you end up choosing, just know that it is the thought that counts. As long as she sees the effort that you’ve put in, she will love it. Even if it’s just a simple night in with movies and delicious takeout!

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!