Let Loose and Have Yourself a Griswold Christmas

Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year – the decorations, gift giving, family time, Christmas music, baking, and EGGNOG, the list could go on and on. These are all things that bring me great joy, and I cannot wait to start the celebration each year. No worries, I make sure to celebrate Thanksgiving to the fullest and do not start celebrating Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. But when it is over (like once lunch is done), it is on … There are so many things that I love about the holiday season, but I think my favorite by far is the decorations, especially the Christmas tree.

Griswold Christmas Tree

When I started having kids, the Christmas tree came into jeopardy and everything on the tree was off limits to their little hands. At one point, I had someone suggest putting a children’s gate around the tree to keep the kids away from the tree. Wait, what? Is this a thing? This really got me thinking, how can my children share in the joy of the tree and Christmas spirit if I am always yelling “Do not touch that!?” And most importantly, how are they going to help me decorate the tree? So two years ago I did a complete 180 on my approach to decorating. We went full Griswold …

The tree is now covered in big colored lights, felt ornaments & garland, and PLASTIC balls. There is absolutely nothing the kids can do to harm this tree short of trying to climb it, and I think we are past that point. I think … My bebes can help me put the ornaments on the tree and they can frequently be seen walking around with their favorite ornament in their sweet little hands.

Keeping it real

The kids have so much pride in the tree and love to tell our guests about every square inch of it. This has been a huge wake up call for me to take a step back and remember that for every second, this is all for them, not me. Once I stopped stressing about “the tree” and trying to be something I am not, I let loose and had myself a Griswold Christmas. And it was by far the best Christmas we have had, hopefully only to be topped by this year. If you have a storybook tree and young children, more power to you (tell me your secret powers later)! Look, I may not make it onto a magazine cover any time soon, but my kids think we have the coolest tree in the world and their opinion is the only one that matters!

Lauren James
Lauren is a native New Orleanian that was transplanted to Lafayette in 2008 by her husband of 11 years, Daniel. She has a B.S.N. from Louisiana State University – School of Nursing and a M.S.N. from the University of South Alabama. Her “paying gig” is as a Nurse Practitioner with a focus in Quality/Infection Prevention at a local hospital. Her other full-time gig is as keeper of her home and mom to William 7, Mary Kathryn 6, and Benjamine 2. Most of her days at home are spent picking up toys and socks off the floor so the family Bernese Mountain Dog, Tipper, does not demolish them. When she has a spare moment, she enjoys reading crime novels, playing board game with her kids, cooking and baking foods that are not on her diet, and finding any reason to celebrate by drinking her beloved champagne. To burn off a few calories and any leftover energy, the family enjoys walking or riding bikes on the shaded boulevard on which they live. Lauren has fallen in love with the people and city of Lafayette and is very proud to raise her family here and to now call it home.


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