Ultimate Guide to the Holiday Season

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Ultimate Guide to the Holiday Season

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

We love the holiday season! The cheerfulness, gift giving, sense of community, and time with friends and family- it is all so specila! That’s why we are bringing you our Ultimate Guide to the Holiday Season in Central Florida! Filled with things to do, make and enjoy throughout the City Beautiful and surrounding areas!

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hey mama,

Orlando Mom Collective is thrilled to bring you our Ultimate Holiday Season Guide in Central Florida. The goal of this guide is to be a one-stop resource for local moms who are ready for all the fun the holiday season brings! This guide offers tons of resources for the holidays in the Central Florida area.

The holiday season is always filled with lots of joy, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful!

It is our hope that this guide helps provide moms in Central Florida with lots of information, access to resources and assurance that you aren’t going to miss out on any part of the holiday season!

To our readers, we sincerely hope you will find this guide to be helpful during this wonderful time of year. Whether you are a new mom or veteran mom, we want you to know that you have a community with Orlando Mom.

Mom Approved Holiday Gift Guide

12 Days of Giveaways

Enter to Win Daily

The 12 Days of Giveaways is on both Facebook and Instagram. The more you participate on each platform, the more chances you have of winning!

Christmas Tree Farms

Tree Lighting Events

Giving Tuesday

Small Business Saturday

Christmas Bucket List

Download your Holiday Bucket List (click the image below!)

A few years ago, a fellow Christmas-loving friend showed me her list of activities for each day of December, leading up to Christmas Day and I was immediately sold on creating one for my family.
I love the idea of having a craft, an event, or a special family tradition — big or small — to enjoy for each day. Here’s our Christmas Bucket List! You can add, delete, or move things around as it works best for your family!

Dear Santa Printable Letter

It is time to blast those Christmas Carols and make hot cocoa bombs in your favorite to go mug! Get those pictures for holiday cards scheduled and watch the kiddos rip through the Target and Amazon wishlist books! Our kids have been drooling over a new {yes NEW, they broke it!} Nintendo Switch, MORE legos, books {YAY}, and Harry Potter EVERYTHING…

…but have they written their letter to Santa? No?

Don’t worry, if you don’t have your letter ready yet either- we’ve got you covered!

Christmas Movie Bucket List

Is it even Christmas if you’re not trying to watch a gazillion Christmas movies each week?

Telling the Truth About Santa

Telling Your Kids the Truth About Santa…while keeping the magic of Christmas Alive

When it’s time, you just know.

Do Your Kids Still Believe in Santa?

On Christmas Eve I asked if they wanted to make cookies for Santa and put out sugar cubes and carrots for the reindeer as we’ve done every year.

They exchanged knowing glances and said “sure” and then added “but please don’t put the photos on Facebook.”

At that moment, I knew that they knew the truth.

But more importantly, I knew that my sweet daughters did not want to ruin the magic of Christmas for me. They already understood the message that the unopened letters in my purse conveyed…

Santa Gifts – To Wrap or Not?

“Different families, different rules,” is my simple explanation when it comes to why our family’s rules are not the same as other families.

A modified version of this saying applies to Christmas, “different families, different traditions.” To wrap or not to wrap Santa’s gifts falls squarely in the “different families, different traditions” category.

Holiday Spirit

My love-hate relationship with the month of December

I absolutely adore the Christmas season and its traditions of faith and family.

The tree glowing in our front room at night, trimmed with ornaments that were handed down through generations and others handmade by my kids in preschool.

The nativity and manger hand-crafted by my late father-in-law. Christmas Eve Mass when Luke 2:1-14 and O Holy Night always make me cry.

But, I hate the self-imposed stress leading up to December 25.

An Introvert’s Guide to the Holidays

Few people are immune from the holiday trinity of overspending, overindulging, and over scheduling. But for introverts who get their energy by spending quiet time alone, the pace of the holiday season can be exceedingly draining.

Introverts are not anti social.

In fact, you would probably be surprised to learn that some of your most outgoing friends are introverts. Like me.

Is this couch taken? Good, where to start… My holiday blues are are at an all-time high, and here’s why….

Please stop.

I know your stress. It’s deep. It’s binding—the chaining of emotions to unattainable perfection.

Grief and the Holidays

How to have a happy holidays without the stress

The arguments will probably have already started about who is bringing what to the holiday feast and where everyone is going to stay, but it’s never too late to take some time and figure out a holiday schedule that works for you and your immediate family.

Indeed, it is possible to have a joyful holiday celebration decluttered of stress and chaos.

Will the Real Christmas Spirit please stand up?

It’s begun. The festive lights, the peppermint mocha obsession, the brain numbing madness of shopping, trimming the tree and all that jazz. The ‘spirit of giving’ is the phrase of the season. The month of  the year when we feel good about being extra generous (the heady smell of holiday cookies and pine trees might have something to do with it), even if our wallets are extra empty after Black Friday.

Top 10 Things to do in December!

  1. Decorate for Christmas while listening to holiday music.
  2. Write Santa a letter
  3. Make and mail a Christmas card to a deployed soldier.
  4. Decorate a gingerbread house.
  5. “Elf” a neighbor (make an adorable arrangement of holiday items for someone in the neighborhood, with the instructions for passing the fun along).
  6. Visit Santa.
  7. Bake Christmas cookies.
  8. Make a homemade ornament to add to the tree.
  9. Take a family drive, admiring Christmas lights.
  10. Enjoy Hot cocoa bombs and hanging of the stockings.

Where to See Holiday Lights

Sending Christmas Cards

Displaying Christmas Photo Cards

Holiday Safety this Season

Holiday Safety Checklist for Parents

Family decorating a Christmas tree. Young man with his daughter on his shoulders helping her decorate the Christmas tree.

The magic of the holidays brings family and friends together in a spirit of celebration. With all the dazzling lights, decorations, special foods and brand-new toys, however, we cannot forget there is always the potential of danger. 

‘Tis the Season…for Accidents

‘Tis the season…for accidents. If your holidays are anything like mine, you’ll agree that this time of year is an accident waiting to happen! Ladders are pulled from storage to hang twinkling lights, tempting breakable ornaments are hung from trees just inches away from our inquisitive toddlers, and a plethora of flickering candles scented of cinnamon apple permeates the air in every. single. room.

When Wanting More Collides with Christmas

It’s Christmas. The Season of Giving. But I’m struggling. Struggling because I want.

I’ve spent the last week driving around new subdivisions. Dreaming. Houses with granite countertops and more than one kitchen drawer. Houses with more than 1000 square feet. I want a new house.

I open my closet door each morning and sigh big. I do. I have the same five pants/skirts I wear every. single. week. I dream of coordinating accessories blended perfectly with anything other than my Birks. I want beautiful clothes.

I open my email or I walk into the mall or worse yet, I stroll through Target, and I see an ocean of items I would love to drop into my shopping basket. Books? I could never have enough. Make-up and jewelry and purses, oh my! I want pretty things.

I want.

I want.

I want.

A REAL Christmas tradition

As the holiday season comes upon us, you aren’t alone if you’re wondering if COVID-19 is going to mess with Christmas. I mean, just the thought that this intrusive virus would come in the way of our Christmas traditions {again!} is a little more than this mama can handle!

New Christmas Traditions To Start With Your Family

My husband and I adore the holiday season. Having a sweet toddler around makes this time of year even more special.  We want to build beautiful memories for our daughter. We would also love for her to carry on some traditions. For help with some creative traditions, I turned to Pinterest. Here are  some unique Christmas traditions that we are going to start this year.

Budgeting this Season

Six Seasonal Tips for Holiday Budgeting

It’s that time of year when we look forward to visiting family and old friends, seeing colorful lights on every corner, and, yes, buying presents. Budgeting for the holidays can be a not-so-merry financial challenge, but following these six rules will save you money and stress in the coming weeks.

Tips for a Credit-Free Christmas

Here are three tips to help avoid overspending over the holidays. While none of these tips are original or earthshaking, they work!

Make Your Christmas Gift List

Buy Gifts Year Round

Systematically Put Aside Cash

The Elf on the Shelf

Love him or hate him, the Elf is here to stay! Some classrooms have one, some families have one….it is a fun tradition kids have grown to love!

Welcoming Back the Elf on the Shelf

If your family has their own elf, or if you have thought about starting the tradition this year, I am sure you have seen the plethora of ideas across social media boards.

Honestly, it can be overwhelming. We like to keep things fun and light-hearted in our house. That’s the bottom line when my hubby & I agreed to start the tradition.

For us, it is more about finding the fun hiding spots each day and not so much that the elf is here watching my son or waiting to catch him misbehaving.

That Darn Elf

Quit Hating on the Elf

5 Fun Ways To Say Goodbye To Your Elf

World Elf Org- Making the Elf Easy For Parents

Holiday Gifts

We love holiday gifting!

Check out our mom approved Holiday Gift Guide!

Holiday Gifts with Simon Malls

The Three-Gift Christmas

Practical Homemade Gift Ideas

10 Gifts for Mamas-To-Be

Holiday Gifts From Baby

Christmas gift idea family cookbook hugoboom feature

The Ultimate DIY Christmas Gift Idea (that will make you famous!)

Simple Holiday Hostess Gift Ideas

7 Printed Tote Bag Gift Ideas

Custom-Printed Holiday Gift Ideas

Off the Beaten (Gift-Giving) Path

Do Not Get These for My Toddler

A Special Gift-Giving Guide for Children with Autism

Budget Friendly Stocking Stuffers for Men

Holiday Decor

Top 10 Christmas Songs to Deck the Halls To

Budget-Friendly Christmas Decor

Crafty Christmas

christmas

24 DIY Advent Calendar Activities

DIY Advent Calendar Activities

Holiday Countdown: Paper Chains

DIY Frugal Christmas Tree Decoration

Three Easy Ornament Crafts: Toddler Approved

5 Easy Holiday Activities for Toddlers

Pictures with Santa

Santa Spottings in Central Florida

Visiting Santa at Epcot: What You Need to Know

Special Needs

Autism Mama to Christmas: Why Can’t You Bring My Boy ONE Day Without Anxiety

My son was diagnosed with Autism almost three years ago and he has never understood the Christmas season because his little body won’t let him. Decor, lights, that obnoxious elf…my child is so overwhelmed that he is melting down every few minutes. And me? It’s causing me to have all the feels. Sad? Mad? Heartbroken? Yes, yes, and yes.

Navigating the Holidays as a Special Needs Family

We all know that the holidays can be a chaotic time for everyone. Add in 20 months of a global pandemic, a slew of new rules which have altered how we travel and being a family who has a loved one with special needs.

Supporting Families with Autism Spectrum Disorder During the Holidays

For families with Autism Spectrum Disorder children, the holidays can be a complicated time. For many, the idea of gathering with friends and family is a welcome one, but they may worry about ensuring gatherings are comfortable for their ASD child.

Holiday Events

We love to attend holiday events as a family! One of our favorite traditions is going to the Giant Gingerbread house in Disney!

Where to buy the best Hot Cocoa Bombs in Central Florida

I have a Christmas baby…. now what?

What do I do with a baby born on Christmas?

How do I make his day special?

How do I keep family from giving him “combined gifts”?

Ugh, this was overwhelmingly stressful!

After many discussions, we decided that Aidan needed to have his own special day just like everyone else. So, here is what we came up with for our Christmas Baby….

6 Tips to Enjoy the Holidays AND Avoid an Overtired Child

The holiday season is full of fun and family. It is a time for memories to be made and to celebrate the holidays with the ones you love. Though, holidays and sleep do not always mix well. Are you ready? Here we go: throw in a little bit of travel, some late nights, a pinch of skipped naps and a dash of well-meaning family. Ta da!

You now have a recipe for an overtired child.

I’m always looking for quick, easy recipes especially during the holidays. I started making this Christmas Chex Mix years ago and it is always highly requested each holiday season. It honestly takes no time and is super simple. But be warned…it is highly addictive!

With Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, I find myself overindulging often this time of year. I always go into the holiday season with the intention of not stuffing  my face with a big holiday dinner, but as they say, best laid plans…

As we head into the final countdown towards Christmas and the kiddos are on winter break, here are some fun ideas you can have with everyone’s favorite drink: hot cocoa!

So, what if you are pregnant during the holidays? Perfect timing and great excuse to eat whatever you want because after all you are eating for two, right? Wrong! That couldn’t be any farther from the truth. “Eating for two” is an antiquated adage that has continued to be perpetuated despite the fact that doing so leads to entirely too much weight gain during pregnancy.

Navigating the Holiday Travel

Yours, Mine and The Holidays

AHHHHH the holidays. My favorite time of year. Great food, warm cozy clothes, Christmas lights, Starbucks seasonal lattes … and I could go on. However, my favorite season has now turned into this stressful, undeniable, unavoidable debate of “Do we visit your family or mine?”

Kidmoto- making traveling with kids easier

Kidmoto, making traveling with young kids easier

Traveling with young children can be a hassle, especially when it comes to flying. Between our luggage, the stroller, our “travel bag” with snacks, lovies, wipes etc., and keeping track of the kids- we all know that lugging around a car seat or two just adds to the frustration.

How to make traveling kid-friendly in 7 easy tips

Toddler Travel Kit: Tips, Tricks, and a DIY

Let's Get Social

…are you following us on social?

Not only will you find relevant resources, local businesses, & can’t-miss happenings, but hopefully we’ll make you smile with our funny MEMES and encouragement so that you know… you’re not alone.

Navigating the Holidays with a Picky Eater

  • Involve them in the prep. Most kids love helping, whether that’s in the kitchen or with the table setting. Even if you know they aren’t going to dig into the spread, give them a special job so that they are contributing and feel part of the day. You never know, maybe they’ll be game to try one of the foods that they help make!
  • Feed your child beforehand. We all know the joy of having a hangry child on our hands. If you know they’ll eat limited foods at the table, consider giving them a pre-meal so they have something in their stomachs at the get-together.
  • It’s OK if your child only eats the bread. The holiday meal is too high stakes for most picky eaters to venture outside of their comfort zone. Let’s stop pretending that it may be the day they decide to eat a carrot or dig into the brussels sprouts. If they only want a roll and a sliver of turkey, then fine (tbh if my boys have any turkey I’ll be celebrating.) Let them enjoy their meal without the pressure of filling their plate to be polite, and then you can enjoy yours.
  • Give small portions. Involve your child in their food selection, and if they’re open to trying something new, give a small portion so as not to overwhelm them. They can always go back for seconds if they like it or recreate that dish again after the holiday.
  • Set boundaries where you need to. Hope fully it doesn’t come to this, but if well-meaning family members comment on your child’s near-empty plate or overtly praises their cousin for being such a “good eater,” you may need to have a quiet word with them. Generally, with kids, especially picky eaters, it’s best to keep conversations around food positive and to a minimum. Often people just want to help, but it can quickly become a lot of pressure for a child to shoulder and the last thing you want is for them to feel ashamed at the table.

The Most Special Christmas Ornaments

7 Ways To Enjoy Your First Sober Holiday Season

Holiday Markets

Mom Friends

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New Year's Eve Events

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Head on over to the shop to snag yours today!

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Community Resources

If you’re new to Orlando, new to being a mom in Orlando, or just new to Orlando Mom Collective, our communities are a great way to meet moms and make new mom friends in the same stage of motherhood.

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It’s been almost nine years since we began connecting moms in the Central Florida Area. We are the local resource for moms and parents in and around Central Florida. Orlando Mom is made up of more than 10 women driving community to encourage, empower, and inspire local moms.

Passionate about parenting and our community, Orlando Mom Collective strives to connect area moms to relevant resources, local businesses, can’t-miss happenings, and most of all — each other!

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