This is our last post until after Christmas so I can spend some much needed relaxation time with my boys.  We’re planning to see lots of “pretty lights”, to bake and eat cookies, and watch Christmas Vacation over and over (although so far it has really only been Mickey Saves Santa over and over…)  But before we take a quick break I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas from my house to yours.

(And to you wonderfully supportive blogs, vendors, sponsors, and friends – I fully intended to send an actual card this year, but too much traveling and sickness in our house prevented that… so this is the personal card we sent to family and friends.  maybe next year!)

{charitable cheer}
There’s still time to spread some charitable holiday cheer, and these are a few of my favorite ways to do it:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:  My own father committed suicide 14 years ago, so mental health and suicide prevention is especially close to my heart.  The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a fantastic charity.  I do their walk each year (except this year because I had pneumonia).  You can learn more and donate here.

Sandy Hook School Support Fund: I know so many of us feel helpless in lieu of the Sandy Hook tragedy, but there are so many things we can do to help at least a little.  Send some support to Sandy Hook here, and see below for how I’m trying to honor the 26 innocent victims of Sandy Hook in a small way.

Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief:  This was a bad year for Sandys, huh?  Not really trying to be funny, but I guess you have to find a little humor in things or they’ll drive you crazy.  There are still lots and lots of people doing without a whole lot due to Hurricane Sandy, so we can’t forget about them!  Donate here.

Supporting Our Troops During the Holidays:  You can send the troops a holiday card, donate toys to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program, or send a Christmas box for the troops.  Or find a family who you know has a loved one overseas for the holidays and offer a meal, babysitting, or a hug.

{acts of kindness}
You also may have seen on my facebook page or on twitter that I’ve pledged to join the 26 Acts Movement to honor each victim of the Sandy Hook tragedy by doing one act of kindness for each, 26 total.  You can read more about it here, follow my progress on instagram, but so far I’ve done 6.  They were:
1. A $10 giftcard for coffee on me for a stranger who looked like they needed it.
2.  Filled the parking meter of someone to avoid a parking ticket.
3. Picked up a bunch of items for an elderly woman who dropped them and then started a little conversation with her.
4. Put a note and a $20 bill in the grocery cart of a fellow shopper when they weren’t looking.  (I watched him notice, read, and react to the gift, and it was priceless!)
5. Another $10 coffee giftcard for the “meat guy” at my grocery store, who I’ve thought might be the nicest person ever for years. He gave me the biggest hug.
6.  A little “cash stash” on the bike of a person who looked like everything he owned was attached to the bike.

I also sent my husband to a movie solo last night because he’s been dying to see a couple and we could’t find a sitter to see it together.  But I probably should be that nice to him anyways, so I didn’t count this one… 🙂

I’m not sharing my 26 Acts to toot my own horn, because really, we should all do these things all the time and there are people out there who do.  I’m just sharing because if I hadn’t seen that someone else was sharing their own, I wouldn’t know about it and would not have been inspired to do my own.  And I’m really glad I did and am.  So, if sharing mine gets one more person to do their own it is well worth the sharing.

{my favorite holiday pins}
last, but not least, are some fun last-minute Christmas pins to inspire a little fun and celebration.  enjoy!
DIY mason jar snow globes (don’t spend $20 on one you can make for practically free!)
skinny cocktails perfect for holiday celebrations, so we can eat our calories instead of drink them 🙂
homemade marshmallow snowflakes for hot cocoa
love this yearly ornament made from the trimmed trunk of your tree
the perfect playlist for your Christmas feté or as the soundtrack for your Christmas morning
DIY pom pom ornaments
love this (and all of the advent calendar ideas from oh happy day!)
a gilded pinecone garland DIY
holiday table decor: stockings for your utensils

so the happiest of holidays to you.  and of course…

xx from oh lovely day and my family – see you in the new year!

PS- if you want to follow my #26Acts progress, follow me on instagram. I’ll also be posting a bit on the facebook page during this break and hope to catch up on some pinning, so follow along!