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12.19.2014

Christmas Movies I Love

I love Christmas movies just as much as I love Christmas music. There's several movies that I just can't make it through December without watching. They make me feel so Christmas-y and nostalgic. No matter how many times I've seen them, I never get tired! Pair any of these with some hot chocolate (with marshmallows and a candy cane) and warm jammies and I am all set.


ONE: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) - "The Griswold family's plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster." I had never seen this until a couple years ago and I laughed so much! Now, every time it's on tv, I'm stuck watching. Watch it on ABC Family tonight (9 p.m.), Dec. 20 (3 p.m.), Dec. 24 (6 p.m.), Dec. 25 (4 p.m.) or buy it on Amazon*

TWO: Home Alone (1990) - "An 8-year-old boy who is accidentally left behind while his family flies to France for Christmas must defend his home against idiotic burglars." Played it since I was born. Classic. "Ya filthy animal!" Watch it on ABC Family tonight (5 p.m.), Dec. 20 (1 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.), Dec. 21 (6:30 p.m.), Dec. 23 (6 p.m.), Dec 24 (4 p.m.) and Dec. 25 (10 a.m. & 8 p.m.) or buy it on Amazon*

THREE: Elf (2003) - "After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity." I didn't see this one until a couple of years ago either. Luckily, I fell in love with it eventually! And why wouldn't I? It has my girl Zooey Deschanel! Watch it on ABC Family tonight (7 p.m.), Dec. 20 (5 p.m.), Dec. 24 (8 p.m.), Dec. 25 (6 p.m.) or buy it on Amazon*

FOUR: The Polar Express (2004) - "On Christmas Eve, a doubting boy boards a magical train that's headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus' home." I remember this being magical when I saw it at 14...which is an age where the magic of Christmas had totally slipped away. Those bells helped bring it back for me. Watch it on ABC Family on Dec. 21 (9 p.m.), Dec. 23 (8 p.m.), Dec. 24 (2 p.m.) or buy it on Amazon*

FIVE: How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) - "A creature is intent on stealing Christmas." That cute little baby grinch gets to me every time. He's really just so ugly, he's adorable! Watch it on ABC Family Dec. 20 (7 p.m.), Dec. 21 (4 p.m.), ABC Dec. 25 (7:30 p.m.) or buy it on Amazon*

SIX: Babes in Toyland (1986) - "Lisa has no time for toys. During a Christmas Eve blizzard, Lisa travels to Toyland and arrives just in time for a wedding. Lisa tries to stop this terrible wedding and asks the Toymaster for help, but he can't help them as long as Lisa doesn't truly believe in toys." I don't even know if a lot of people have seen this, but it is quite the gem. I haven't seen it in a while, but I know it pure 80's cheesy. Watch it on Youtube.

SEVEN: Home Alone 3 (1997) - "Alex Pruitt, a young boy of nine living in Chicago, fend off thieves who seek a top-secret chip in his toy car to support a North Korean terrorist organization's next deed." Totally awkward that this is about North Korean villains, after this week's headlines! I didn't remember that part. I do remember thinking that his toy car and live-feed from that huge cam-corder was so cool! Watch it on ABC Family Dec. 25 (11 p.m.) or buy it on Amazon*

EIGHT: Christmas Every Day (1996) - "Billy Jackson is not having a good Christmas. When he tells his little sister Sarah that there is no Santa, she makes a wish that it would be Christmas every day. He now has to relive Christmas Day over and over again." I love the concept of Groundhogs Day, so this is very similar. Not only is a living Christmas every day...but it's a bad Christmas! Love when he starts "predicting" things each day. Watch it on Youtube. 

NINE: The Santa Clause (1994) - "When a man inadvertently kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place." This movie gave answers to so many questions: How does Santa go through small chimneys? What's the North Pole look like? How does one become Santa. Super informative, y'all. Watch it on ABC Family Dec. 22 (8 p.m.), Dec. 23 (3:30 p.m.) or buy it on Amazon*

TEN: Miracle on 34th Street (1994) - "Six-year-old Susan has doubts about childhood's most enduring miracle - Santa Claus. But after meeting a special department store Santa who's convinced he's the real thing, Susan is given the most precious gift of all - something to believe in." Always wondered if those department store Santas were the real deal. Guess some of them are! Watch it on AMC Dec. 22 (10:15 a.m., 3 p.m., 7:45 p.m.), Dec. 23 (12:30 a.m.) or buy it on Amazon*

In summary, the 90's kicked butt in the Christmas movie-making department. 

What movies do you have to watch every December?


* This post contains affiliate links. You can read more about affiliations on my disclosure page.

Birthday in a Box

For the past 6 years, my girlfriends and I have spent the entire winter celebrating birthday after birthday, along with Christmas. From December 7 to January 3, there are four of my best friend's birthdays. Basically, one every week. Right now, all four of those friends are spread out across the country (Los Angeles, Ft. Lauderdale and New York). I still wanted to be a little part of each of their special days this year, so I've created a "Birthday in a Box" for each of them.


I'm sending some celebratory items that would fit in the medium-sized priority box. All color-coordinated, of course. Here's the items I sent: balloons, candles, bead necklace, birthday hat, a 'rita in a can and a handcut name/pompom banner. 


At the last-minute, I decided to add in a little bit of "birthday cake," to the package, which in reality is just an Oreo dip snack pack. Can cake be sent through the mail? Haven't figured that one out quite yet!


I filled up each box with the items, spreading them out where they may be displayed a little bit when it's opened (although, throughout the shipping process, it's probably going to be tossed around quite a bit. 


To prevent anything getting destroyed, I filled up the rest of the free space with coordinating tissue paper. That also helps make it a little more gift-like too!


After I taped it up, I added a few little slogans that I printed from Word to the outside on the box (since I didn't add in a card). "It's your birthday!" "Birthday in a box!" "Dallas to NYC"


Seriously, the post office workers and I are becoming besties at this point and there is a nice shipping box collection in the corner of my home office. I think I need to work for an airline so I can go visit all of them whenever I want!

Surprise, if you haven't gotten yours yet! Miss you guys!

12.17.2014

Adding Fun to Family Holidays

If you're one of those people that thinks family holiday get-togethers are painfully awkward and terribly boring, you sure haven't been to any of our family holidays! Sometimes conversations and laughs need a little jump-start with good ol' games. Here's some things we use to have fun together during the holidays:


ONE: Heads-Up! | If you've seen Ellen, you've probably seen this game played. Download the app on your phone to get started. A player holds the phone on their head, displaying the name of a person, place or thing. Their team (or the whole family) gives verbal clues to guess the displayed word. Flip the phone up to pass or down to gain a point. This is fun whether you're keeping score, or not.

TWO: Croquet | This gives everyone a chance to get some fresh air in the backyard, instead of being cooped up indoors. As long as one person knows how to play, the others will catch on fast! Place the metal goals in the recommended play course, or get a little crazy with it (like we do) and put the goals ALL over the yard! Buy a croquet set on Amazon*

THREE: Table Topics | We used these for the first time this past Thanksgiving and they definitely kick-start some conversations. One person selects and reads out an open-ended question from a card. Then, we all took turns around the table with our answers. This gets people (who may not even know each other very well) to agree with one another and have a little something in common. Some questions can be super silly or really deep. Very thought-provoking, for sure! Buy some Table Topic cards on Amazon*

FOUR: Guesstures | This game jazzes up charades! Act out 4 cards and make sure your team guess them before the timer runs out. My dad bought ours from a garage sale a long, long time ago and we've used it ever since I can remember. It's even more fun now that me and my sister are married. We always do battle of the sexes or battle of the married couples at my parent's house. Buy Guesstures on Amazon*

FIVE: Catchphrase | Very similar to Heads-Up!, this guessing game is passed around like a hot potato. I love using my words to help someone guess (I'm way better with words than silent motions), so this has always been a favorite of mine. Back in high school, my basketball team and I would play on our way to tournaments to bond, loosen up and get some of us out of our shell! Buy Catchphrase on Amazon*

What games do your families play during get-togethers? 


* This post contains affiliate links. You can read more about affiliations on my disclosure page.

12.16.2014

The Langford Family

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to photograph The Langfords back in my hometown. After getting our schedules finally all together, two of them came down with flu-like symptoms a day before our shoot! They trooped right through it and still got some beautiful portraits. No one would even guess there was flu in the air!

A Boyd Family Christmas

Our family Christmas season officially kicked off this weekend! On Sunday, we had our annual Boyd Christmas in East Texas at my aunt and uncle's beautiful home. This is probably the earliest in December we've ever had it, but that's just the way the dates worked out this year. 


The day began with our yearly photo shoot. It used to be a Thanksgiving tradition, now it's a little bit of whenever we can squeeze it in! I'll be sharing some of the family portraits later this week, but I had to go ahead and add this one with all the grandkids and our Gran. 


It was my sister's husband's (Jon) first year to join us and I bet he was a little surprised by some of our gifts. We never know what we're going to get....but, even if it is dried green beans, beet chips or pickled eggs (seriously, all of those), we have so much fun opening them! 


Please keep your eyes on my Dad's (white sweater) face as the men all try the Pickled Eggs. Let's just say those definitely aren't his new favorite snack! I could watch this 30 times and still laugh!




Little Lucy probably just thinks we're all crazy each year...which is kind of true!

Merry Christmas from the Boyd family. 

 
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