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Simply Picked: Moving from Halloween to Christmas in No Time

Updated: Apr 30

December 4, 2023

Spokane, WA

(Gift Guides Included Below)

Anyone else have a hard time wrapping their head around the fact that it's December? Once Halloween costumes are figured out--it's basically Christmas. Along with waving my holiday wand and making all the seemingly effortless holiday magic happen, this time period is when we clean up the farm for the year and essentially close up shop. Instagram stories and posts slow as my sharing of farm goodness quiets. Some call this a horrible business plan--I call it recharging my batteries.

Once subscriptions are complete, we begin field clean up. My mindset of waiting until the first frost has changed significantly. Why wait for Jack Frost? The temperatures are dropping, the days are getting shorter and I'm ready to wrap it up! Though the field can fool you from a distance as it puts off amazing floral vibes, the flowers are getting tired with a field full of spent blooms, seeds that need to be collected and weeds that have taken over. Rows are mowed down, fabric is lifted, and beds are tilled. Then there are the dahlias--which is a whole other process in itself.

November is a whirlwind of sports, family, Thanksgiving break, etc. If you'd like to learn more about our Thanksgiving traditions, please click here to see our blog post appropriately entitled, "Simply Picked: Thanksgiving".

December kicks off with a bang. My husband's office party and our oldest daughter's birthday typically coincide the first week/weekend. There is a solid attempt to get the McPartland siblings together at some point. Mix in a couple Christmas parties, basketball tournaments (3 this month alone!), Christmas break and some shopping! And geez...time can get away from you.

This year, we sat down as a family and talked about our "must have" Christmas traditions. This was my attempt to "simplify". The kids still have some traditions that rank a little higher on the parental involvement or time required scale like the Coeur d'Alene Cruise to the North Pole and decorating a gingerbread house, but realizing that having Christmas pancakes on the list of traditions was important made my Mom heart happy. You want me to make you a green and red pancake blob I call the grinch, cover it in syrupy goodness like ELF, and serve it up with a smile like Mrs. Clause? Done. Knowing what's important to the kids and being able to prioritize those was really helpful.

What is a little tougher for me is Christmas shopping. With growing kids, you still have a desire to teach them what the magic of Christmas is truly about while also fulfilling at least some of their wishlists. As a small business you have a desire to support local businesses, but as a parent with fleeting time I admittedly focus on efficiency as well. Such is life, constantly seeking the balance.

As far as gift giving in our immediate family, we tend to be pretty functional givers and try to mix in a little fun. Our kids primarily get a gift from Santa that tends to be something they can do or play with throughout the day, one from Mom and Dad, their sibling gift and then whatever else from Grandparents. Among my kids--they draw names. It's fun to see what each child sees as a gift their siblings would love. Though my 6 year old also placed foil wrapped presents (drawings) under the tree for each person in this family once that tree went up. Can we all take a moment and see the genius in foil wrapping paper?! Shiny and works great with minimal tape and/or cutting.

For extended family, the cousin gift exchange is a fun event where names are also drawn. There are 24 kids this year that will pick out something for a cousin. I love that it helps them think of the cousins--maybe it's an older or younger cousin or one they don't see as often as others. There have already been multiple questions flying of, " old is (insert name) now?" Admittedly, with so many cousins we get a little mixed up here and there. The parents focus on just getting together. It's not easy and doesn't always work out for everyone, but as my Dad said this year, "If we don't do it this year, then it will get easier to not do." Thanks Dad for coming in hot as the wise old owl. And also, no pressure .

Someone felt Gaelen, who was still at college, needed to make the photo and grabbed his picture off the wall.
Awkward Family Photo from 2019. Someone thought Gaelen, who was off at college, needed to still make the photo and grabbed his picture off the wall.

How do you find the holiday balance? Manage gift giving for kids and family? Do you have family get togethers?

Whatever you do, I hope this month is full of holiday cheer or at least a few moments where you can either appreciate some holiday memories, enjoy where you are or look forward to what is to come.


For any questions or comments, please feel free to add those below!


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