A New Way to Holiday

holidayGrowing up, my family didn’t celebrate Halloween. My birthday is in September, and the next big “holiday” was Thanksgiving! My mom wasn’t very festive as far as decorating, besides the classic knick-knacks and vintage decor, but she went all out cooking for the holidays. Food was at the center, and I looked forward to Thanksgiving, knowing I would get to see all my cousins, and the day after, we’d get to go and pick out our Christmas tree! We only had real trees, and there was never a thought of there being more than one in the house. We would decorate it, and even though half the gifts said “from Santa,” they were already under the tree before he flew on Christmas Eve.

Things were traditional, we kids were always happy, and we made our Christmas wish lists and hoped most of them made it under the tree. Christmas was always perfect at the end of it all, without excessive bells and whistles. But… there’s a new way to holiday! 

In the age of oversharing and endless access to all the ideas and possibilities with no time to waste, waiting doesn’t seem to be an option anymore. As of November 1, the pumpkins are out the door and Christmas is already underway. I’m naturally a lover of decor and going all out and doing all the things festive and themed, as it’s an outlet for my creative expression. I’m excited to have a tree up before Thanksgiving, adopting a new tradition for the second year in a row — multiple trees in the house! I always wanted a flocked tree and a white Christmas as a child, and now I live out my dreams with a faux flocked tree, while staying true to my day after-Thanksgiving roots, taking my boys to pick out a real tree. And in an effort to have a home bursting with “joy,” I even want to add more trees around the house. Maybe the kids’ room, and what about the loft?

As a content creator, I’m tasked with being a part of the group that gives out the ideas before the stores are stripped of all their goods, which seems to be earlier and earlier each year. Everything is sold out if you wait too late to shop. Too late used to be right on time. Right on time now, was once too soon, and the stores weren’t even stocked. Yep, according to the world’s obsession with doing the most and sometimes outshining the next, there’s certainly a new way to holiday.

I know for many the task of celebrating has become daunting, and the overwhelming sense of it all just makes some want to rush past the season. No matter if you’re a lover of the holiday spirit and want to decorate every inch of your house, or if you’re just a mom who’s trying to spread a little cheer with limited resources, there’s truly no wrong way to celebrate. Don’t be intimidated or discouraged by what you see behind a screen; there’s joy to be had in even the smallest of things. Time together, special treats, thoughtful gifts (big or small)… those memories all mean more than decorations that are here for just a little while.

Mama, your kids will be happy with you just showing that you care. Whatever that means in your household, whether or not and how you celebrate, you’re doing a great job. One day, they will tell their stories just as I’ve told mine, and to them, it’ll be beautiful. They’ll celebrate with their families, and together, they will remember that mommy did her best to make them smile.

Born and raised along the bayous of Louisiana, Rachel Owens is a lover of Creole Cuisine (Mom’s is always best!), a good crawfish boil with friends and family, the New Orleans Saints, and relaxing to the thunderous sounds of a southern downpour. A few years after receiving her degree in Fashion Merchandising and Business, Rachel married her “college sweetheart” Troy and became a Navy wife. After spending five years in sunny San Diego, their journey led them to Jacksonville, where they are raising their two boys, Troy Keith born in 2015, and Eli Hunter born in 2018, along with a fur baby, Shih Tzu Grover. As a Congenital Heart Defect Warrior and multiple heart surgery survivor, Rachel is passionate about research, activism, and her journey as a heart warrior and heart mom to her CHD Warrior baby boy Eli. As a family, lifestyle and beauty influencer over at @rachelamyowens and rachelamyowens.com, Rachel hopes to inspire her audience to triumph through their trials — and look good while doing it!

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