10 Things I’m Grateful For

Hey everybody!

Surprise– here’s a bonus post for Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the US who celebrate. If you don’t, it’s still always great to take a moment and recognize some of the aspects of life you’re grateful for, especially after a trying year like this one. This year has been so insane that I figured it was even more important than normal to share my gratitude with the world and try to spread some positive energy on this blog. If you’re interested in reading a list of some things I’m currently grateful for, keep on reading!

  1. My family’s health during this time – My family members and I have been very cautious throughout this whole pandemic, and I’m so glad that we’ve managed to make it through it and that for the most part, we haven’t had to make many huge sacrifices to do so (my father is lucky enough to work alone/with only one other person in his office, and my school has been online so far this year).
  2. The (slightly) chilly weather – It never gets that cold where I live in Southern California, but it’s still nice to have a somewhat change of season and get to break out my favorite clothing items again: hoodies and sweatpants.
  3. Fresh flowers – My mom is obsessed with flowers and has taken refuge in working in her garden during this time, so between that and her getting flowers at the supermarket, there’s always some pretty flowers around my household to look at.
  4. Zoom – I know it’s silly and we all are getting sick with Zoom, but think about how wonderful it is– without it, where would we be with distance learning / working? Aside from school, Zoom has also allowed my activities to continue virtually.
  5. The presidential election result – I don’t want to get too into this, but if you guys have read my blog for a while you might now I’m very invested in American politics. I’m thankful to see a shift in our country’s energy and I think this is a step in the right direction.
  6. My teachers – I am so lucky to have such wonderful teachers this year! I wish I could thank them in person with handwritten notes and gifts for the holidays (still working out how to handle this stuff virtually with something more personal than emails…), as they have all been so wonderful and supportive and understanding and everything you always want your teachers to be.
  7. Poetry – This sounds cheesy, but obviously I love poetry and I don’t know what I would do without reading and writing it. Although I know I have a long way to go with my own writing, there is nothing better than discovering new poems, and there will always be endless amounts of writers and pieces to read. Nothing hits the spot like a poem filled with visceral imagery.
  8. Pie – I, a self-proclaimed insanely picky eater, was never open to trying pie until a few years ago. Now I am a full-blown pie lover (although I mainly eat it for the crust) and therefore pie is now my favorite Thanksgiving food! I’m thankful for food in general, and my family’s ability to have a nice Thanksgiving meal together 🙂
  9. Rainbows – I haven’t actually seen a rainbow in a pretty long time since it hasn’t rained where I live in a pretty long time, but I used to be OBSESSED with rainbows and all types of rainbow/brightly-colored clothing and decor. I still love rainbows, and I hope I get to see one soon.
  10. Calendars/planners/etc. – This sounds so nerdy, but I don’t know what I would do without my planner and calendar. I’m grateful for everything related to organization in general, especially with how crazy my schedule has been pretty consistently throughout high school.

I hope this inspires you to write out at least ten things you’re grateful for! Tell your family and friends you’re grateful for them, and have a wonderful holiday (if you’re celebrating) 🙂 Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke

A Day in My Life – Winter Break Edition

Hello everyone!

I realized I’ve written lots of “Days in My Life” posts while I’ve been on trips or at camps and other events, but I’ve never talked about my daily routine on an average day. I’m currently on winter break so it’s a little different than a normal school day or weekend day, but I figured it would still be something you guys might be interested in. If you’re interested in reading a breakdown of a chill day at home during my break, keep on reading!

Between 7:30-8:30am: Wake up! Yes, I wake up pretty early, even on break/weekends. I usually stay in bed for quite a while though, checking up on social media, emails, and YouTube videos. When I’m finally ready to get out of bed, I usually have breakfast right away.

8:30am: Breakfast time. I almost always have scrambled eggs, a bagel, and some sort of fruit (usually blueberries and raspberries). My mom is the best ever and will often bring it to me in bed if she’s not busy.

9:00-9:30am: I get ready around this time, unless I have morning plans. I get out of bed and make my bed immediately, then I do all of my bathroom stuff (brush my hair, brush my teeth, wash my face, etc.). I then get dressed for the day and spritz some perfume.

9:45am: Start to do computer work. On the day I’m writing this, I wrote a few blog posts during this time and let my computer do its software update. I was also inspired to do kind of a clean-out on my phone and laptop since they are both running out of storage, so I deleted a bunch of old music I don’t listen to anymore. I also worked on editing a submission for the literary magazine I’m on staff for.

10:30am: Light cleaning. I usually just tidy up and fold whatever laundry I have, but today I actually did more of a deep clean. I vacuumed my room, dusted all my furniture, and cleaned my mirrors with Windex.

11:00am: Lunchtime. My mom brought home spaghetti from my favorite local restaurant. I sat and chatted with my mom a bit about our plans for the rest of break, and we just had a nice little talk at the table.

12:45pm: Walk to Starbucks. My mom always goes on an afternoon walk and I hadn’t been out of the house yet, so I asked if I could come and we could make a detour at the Starbucks near our house. I got a hot chocolate since it was actually fairly cold, and we walked back home the long way. I like walking around our neighborhood because there’s always a ton of people walking around with their dogs- it’s a pretty active community.

1:45pm: My mom and I returned home and watched TV for a bit before she had to go run errands. It was a nice break before I had to get back to work. She picked the show, so we watched Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

3:00pm: Back upstairs to my room to work. I didn’t get started on my winter break homework yet, but I did more decluttering on my electronics and writing for this blog.

4:30pm: My mom’s finished with making dinner. She usually makes some form of meat- usually chicken or hamburgers with a side. I know we eat really early, but my parents go to bed fairly early and I also have dessert and a snack before bed.

5:30pm: Showertime. The fact that it gets dark so early in the winter makes me feel like it’s nighttime early as well. This leads to me wanting to get into my pajamas and shower much earlier. I take fast showers and then wash my face, do all that normal stuff.

6:00pm: Snacktime and/or dessert. Sometimes I have dessert if there’s sweets in the house, but otherwise I usually have cereal for a snack. I usually have my TV on in the background at this time (Disney+ or Netflix, depending on my mood).

6:30pm: Again depending on my mood, this is when I’ll do self care. I like to light a candle in my room, and use a face mask if I have one. I recently got a charcoal one from the Yes to Tomatoes brand at Target that I really like.

7:00pm: This has been my primetime for getting work done over the break. It can be blog work, writing work, organizing/cleaning, or actual schoolwork- it just depends on what I need to get done before going to bed.

10:00pm-11:30pm: Depending on how tired I am/if I have plans the next morning, this is when I brush my teeth, put my retainer, turn my lights off, and turn my TV timer on. I’ll go on my phone for a little bit and watch whatever show I have on, but eventually fall asleep within this window.

11:30pm: Bedtime. I should be asleep by this time, midnight at the latest.

I hope you enjoyed reading the play-by-play of a typical day in my life. I know it’s not the most exciting, but this is just a standard/chill day- there’s definitely days where I’m super busy. I’ll probably do another one of these once I get back to school, in case you want to hear about a typical day at my public high school.

Happy relaxing!

Brooke

5 Holiday Reminders You May Need Right Now

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays everyone!

First off, if you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family doing something fun. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful day in general. That being said, at the peak of the holiday season, I think there’s a few things we all need to remember. It’s easy to get swept up in the wintery wonder of picture-perfect holiday cards, lavish gifts, and adorable light displays, but it’s important to remember the real meaning of the holidays: spending time with family and friends, giving back, and being thankful for the life and opportunities you have. That being said, here are five things you may want to be conscious of today (and everyday!)/during the holiday season.

  1. You are so lucky to be here in this moment – No matter how hectic your day happens to be and whatever else is going on in your life, take a moment to breathe and appreciate that you have made it through another year and another holiday season. Not everyone is able to say that. Whether it’s a holiday or not, it’s another day that we are blessed enough to experience.
  2. Your holiday doesn’t have to be perfect – The commercialized expectation of Christmas and the holidays can make us think our holidays aren’t grand enough if we don’t have a huge, fancy dinner or get showered in luxurious gifts, but that is far from the truth. If you’re lucky enough to have that experience, that’s great! Just remember that’s not what the holidays are truly about. For others, don’t compare your experience to those around you- it’s all about the spirit you bring to the day.
  3. It’s okay to not want to spend time with some of your family members – I know I’ve put a lot of emphasis on spending time with your loved ones. That being said, I know some people have a lot of struggles in dealing with their family, whether it’s rooted in toxic relationships, abuse, or something else. If this is the case, don’t feel pressured or guilted into spending time with anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable. If anything, seek comfort in those who love and accept you for who you are.
  4. A lot of people (strangers, anyone!) would be so grateful to experience some Christmas cheer and generosity – If you are able to, it would be amazing if you could donate some time or money this holiday season. My family always donates gifts to Toys for Tots and sometimes canned goods to a local food drive. If you’re unable to donate money/items, donate your time and serve holiday meals at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter, or find other opportunities to help out.
  5. Today, like any day, is what you make of it – More than anything, the holidays are just an excuse to celebrate all of the good things you have been given in life (people, etc.). It’s not actually different than any other day, and it’s up to you how you approach it or spend the time. If you’re not a fan of the holidays, you don’t have to spend them watching movies and decorating. Make your own traditions and go on a hike! That’s just one example- you can literally do anything.

I hope this finds the eyes of people who needed to read it. Happy holidays everyone- remember you are loved. I’m here to talk to any of you always, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and/or Hanukkah (if you celebrate!).

Brooke

Fun Holiday Activities For Friends & Family Gatherings

Hello everyone!

Merry Christmas Eve! Christmas is almost here and Hanukkah has begun, so what better time than now to do something fun with the people you love? Whether you’re bored over the break and wanting to make plans or searching for an activity to do with your family at your Christmas Eve/Christmas dinner festivities, you’ve come to the right place. My family likes to keep busy and we’ve implemented many different types of things into our holiday celebrations over the years, so here are a few of my favorites.

  • Ice skating – A winter classic, everyone can enjoy going ice skating at least once during the holiday season. My local rink even decorates for Christmas with a fake snow mound in the center and fake trees for photo-ops, coupled with Christmas music playing and hot cocoa served. If you want to do something more active, this is perfect.
  • Going to the movies – Another somewhat basic activity that most of the family or group will enjoy. I think my family plans on going to the movies Christmas afternoon- we did last year, and it was a pleasant time.
  • Post-Christmas shopping – If you end up getting a lot of gift cards or money, you can go shopping and pick out some nice things for yourself. It’s a good time to shop with all the post-holiday sales; I recall there were a lot of good deals last year.
  • Holiday movie binging or movie binging in general – Sometimes you just don’t want to leave the house, and why would you? Between Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+, the streaming options are endless. I’m personally not that into holiday movies, but curling up on the couch and watching any movie feels festive to me. Bonus points for hot chocolate!
  • Craft night – My family has done this every Christmas Eve since I can remember. My mom gets supplies to make some sort of festive craft (often an ornament or something similar) and everyone can customize it to their liking. It’s perfect because it’s lighthearted and fun- people can get super into it if they want and make it a masterpiece, or they can make it silly and mess around. It also makes a good gift for little kids to give to their parents!
  • Baking something sweet for everyone to enjoy – My mom likes to bake cookies and cakes around the holiday season, and it’s something everyone can benefit from. If you’re the person who likes to bake, make something to bring over to whatever holiday party you may attend. If you’re the person who wants someone else to bake, organize the ingredients and find someone in your family who would like to do most of the work, with you being their trusty assistant.
  • Secret Santa/white elephant exchange – It’s a little late in the game to organize one of these, but I can’t leave it off of this list. I participate in at least one Secret Santa or white elephant gift exchange every year, and it’s such a fun thing to do with friends to get in the holiday spirit. I love seeing people open their gifts and guessing who got it for them.
  • Potluck – Another way to reduce the cost and effort in hosting/organizing a holiday gathering is having everyone bring their favorite recipe or dish. There’s usually more than enough food if everyone follows through, and who doesn’t love a good buffet?
  • Drive to the snow – This is pretty dependent on where you live, but I think it would be really fun to take a mini-trip to the snow. If you live in Southern CA like me, snow is hours away, but if you live in a snowy place already, all you have to do is walk outside! I’ve actually never seen real snow in my life besides the last remnants of snow melting on the ground when I visited Washington D.C. at the beginning of spring in eighth grade, so it would be really fun to go to the snow.

I hope these ideas inspired you to add a little flair to your holiday celebrations and helped you figure out what to do with any company you may be having these next couple of days. Personally, I will be celebrating Christmas Eve at my aunt’s house with most of my mom’s side of the family, and Christmas will be a smaller affair with just me, my mom, my dad, and my brother. Our celebrations have definitely scaled-down as I’ve gotten older, but I’m always excited to see everyone and fulfill our holiday traditions during this time of year.

Happy Holidays!

Brooke

5 Fun and Productive Ways to Spend Winter Break

Welcome back everyone!

Winter break is upon us, and it’s finally a good, long, hard-earned break from the craziness of school. It’s time to indulge in all the things I love about the holiday season- especially hot chocolate and movies. That being said, there’s a lot of other fun ways to spend your break that are also productive! In case you’re searching for another activity to supplement your Netflix-bingeing, keep reading.

  • Volunteer for a good cause – The holidays are a great time to give back to your community since there’s so many people in need. You can serve a holiday dinner at a soup kitchen, help collect donations for a toy drive, work with charities that help veterans and foster kids get presents- the possibilities are endless, and there’s so many worthy causes.
  • Spruce up your room for the new year – This might not be fun depending on who you are, but I plan on doing a deep clean and some reorganizing of my room over the break. If there’s decorations you get as presents or something you’ve been wanting to change in your room, now’s the time to put that all together!
  • Make plans for the summer – You can get a head start on planning summer trips, or applying to summer programs since applications open soon. I’m personally trying to figure out what I’m going to do over the summer, especially since there’s so many options and things I’m interested in doing. This is the perfect time to figure it out and do research if you’re not sure where to start.
  • Exercise and get a head start on your New Year’s resolutions – We all get busy and end up cutting exercise out when we’re short on time, but we also all make “be healthy!” and “exercise more!” our New Year’s resolutions every year. While I have the time, I’ll try and have a more consistent workout routine over these couple weeks. It’s probably a good idea with all the holiday food I’ll be eating anyways, right?
  • Start a passion project – Do whatever that thing is that you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had time to. Read a book series, write something, make art, start a mini-business, start a blog! The hardest and most time-consuming part is getting started, so this is the time to do it so you can keep it up easily once break is over.

I hope this gives you some ideas for how to spend your break. Remember to keep a balance and spend lots of time with family and friends, enjoying the holiday season and celebrating each other’s presence. Personally, I have to study for finals, so I am going to have quite a busy break! Happy holidays 🙂

-Brooke

10 Festive Things That Remind Me of Christmas

Welcome back everyone!

As Christmas quickly approaches, I’ve been trying to get myself more into the holiday spirit. With the last week of school before winter break coming to an end, I can now fully appreciate all the things I love about winter and Christmas. Here in Southern California, it definitely doesn’t get super cold or snowy, so we kind of have to use our imagination and try extra hard to be festive.

  1. Driving around and looking at Christmas lights – My neighborhood has a couple streets that go all out, and it’s so magical to walk by and soak it all in. My family has never been the super festive type that goes all out with decorations, but I love to look at houses that do. My friend’s neighborhood has a bunch of great streets, so I usually drive around there.
  2. Drinking hot chocolate – I LOVE hot chocolate. Honestly, I’ll drink it from winter until summer as long as it’s not too hot. Whether it’s from Starbucks, my favorite local coffee shop, or the kind from a packet in one of my favorite mugs at home, it’s the perfect winter treat- especially with mini marshmallows.
  3. Watching Christmas movies, or any movies – I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas movies, but watching any movie on a cold day with hot chocolate gets me in the Christmas mood. It’s kind of a weird Christmas movie to watch so much, but I watch Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas every year, since it reminds me of my family.
  4. Eating a candy cane – I used to love candy canes even more when I was little, but I still love to eat one. I like swirling it around in my hot chocolate too. Bonus points if you get the end of the candy cane to a sharp point.
  5. Lighting candles – I’ve already mentioned this quite a few times, but I absolutely love lighting candles. It makes the atmosphere so peaceful and your house smell amazing.
  6. Ice skating with friends – I’m definitely not the best at ice skating, but it’s always fun to go to the local rink with friends or family. My local rink decorates for the winter season with fake snow and trees in the center- it almost feels like we live in a place with real winter!
  7. Wearing beanies and gloves – Being cozy is the best thing ever, and cute winter accessories add to the look!
  8. Wearing sweaters and sweatpants – I love being comfy year-round, but in winter it’s actually acceptable to wear sweatpants around. Actually, maybe it’s not- oh well.
  9. Wrapping presents – I’ve really improved my wrapping skills over the past couple years. I love picking out presents as well, so it’s even more fun to put them together and give them to the recipients.
  10. Baking cookies – There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh baked goods. I love making fresh chocolate-chip cookies, or those pre-made ones with the winter pictures on them (you know the ones).

I hope this inspired you to get in the Christmas/holiday spirit and enjoy your winter break. There’s so much to enjoy during this time of year, so let’s soak it up while it lasts.

-Brooke

Christmas From a Non-Religious Family’s Point of View

Welcome back everyone!

As part of my quest to find unique post ideas relating to Christmas and the holidays, today I will be discussing how my Christmas celebration/experience differs since my family is not religious. Christmas is still a tradition in our house because both my parents were raised fairly Christian and celebrated it, but neither of my parents really stuck to a religion when they were older. I’ve never been to church in my life, and I don’t celebrate the religious aspect of Christmas.

In my family, Christmas is mainly about celebrating the spirit of giving and being generous towards others. My dad is in our local Rotary club, and he gets assigned four kids to buy Christmas gifts for every year. I also usually donate to my school’s Toys for Tots drive, and volunteer gift wrapping gifts at Barnes and Noble through my charity group. I put a lot of effort into making/finding the perfect gifts for my friends, teachers, and family, and I get excited to help my mom decorate the house for Christmas.

People always say that Christmas is about celebrating Jesus and not the gifts- I definitely agree that it’s not all about the gifts, but I don’t think you need to be very religious to take part in celebrating Christmas and its other typical traditions. All of the things I love about Christmas don’t really have to do with its religious roots- I think anyone can understand the importance of giving and celebrate.

I hope no one takes offense to this- I would actually like to go to church on Christmas one day and experience that aspect of the holiday as well. I have a few other Christmas post ideas that will be up soon, so keep an eye out!

-Brooke

5 Reasons to Shop Local

Welcome back everyone!

I’ve been posting a lot about gift guides, Christmas, and shopping lately, mainly mentioning things you can buy online or in well-known chain stores. This is mainly for your convenience, since mentioning a local shop in my town doesn’t offer much help for you guys looking for gifts; however, don’t mistake this for me ignoring my local shopping options. Today, I’m going to be giving you five reasons why you should shop locally, and why I try to as much as possible.

  1. You’ll find more unique items – Shopping at the same five stores in the mall as everyone else results in always having the same stuff as everyone else. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes you want to get something special that no one else will have, especially for a gift. Going into little boutiques where the inventory changes often and there’s a wide variety of things for sale increases your chances of finding something unique.
  2. It can be a better deal – Chain stores can completely overcharge for their products because they know people will buy it. At local shops, the prices are often cheaper, but you’re not sacrificing quality for a deal.
  3. You can establish personal relationships with the employees – There’s a boutique in my town that I go to fairly often and the employees are always so kind and try to make shopping a personal experience. They’ll pick out things for you to try on that they think would look good on you, and they’ll let you know what the best deals are.
  4. It’s often more sustainable – Ordering lots of items online results in a lot of plastic wrap and other waste related to packaging being shipped to your door, only to be thrown away right afterwards. If you shop in local stores with possibly handmade products, there’s usually a lot less waste involved.
  5. Chain stores and online marketplaces are killing brick-and-mortar businesses – My mall used to have tons of cute and unique stores- now it’s fairly empty and only has a few huge chains like Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s, PacSun, etc. This goes for restaurants too! It’s important to

I hope this inspired you to do some of your holiday shopping at your local boutiques or even craft/artisan fairs. There’s always some new brand or artist waiting to be discovered, and you could be the one to discover it! Happy shopping 🙂

-Brooke

Why the Holiday Season Isn’t Always So Jolly

Hello everyone!

I know my last two posts have been centered around the holidays and gift-giving, but today I want to discuss the holiday season in a different way. For many people, Christmas/the holidays are actually a very sad and lonely time. My family’s gone through a lot in the past few years, so I’ve seen Christmas from this perspective as well. My grandma who lived ten minutes away from me and was super close to everyone in my family passed away in 2017, and the holidays haven’t been the same since. In addition, we’ve drifted away from cousins on my dad’s side of the family for various reasons, distance being one of them.

I have memories of our house being full, having a huge fake tree, and setting up multiple tables so everyone could fit at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners when I was really little. Once I got a little older, the celebration shrunk, but we still kept a lot of the same traditions; we did a family craft night on Christmas Eve, watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and sipped hot cocoa, and woke up wayyyy too early to open gifts and have pancakes for breakfast.

In the past few years though, the holidays haven’t felt very celebratory at all. I still get excited to decorate the tree, buy gifts for people, and participate in winter activities like ice skating and Secret Santa gift exchanges with friends, but when it comes to the actual holidays itself, things often fall short of how I remember them to be. Last Christmas, I remember opening my gifts and thanking my parents, but going up to my room after to cry. It just felt so lonely, having only my mom, my dad, and my brother there. I don’t feel lonely on any other day with just our small family, but during the holidays when it’s expected to spend time with family and I see my friends with their huge family parties filled with relatives they don’t even know, my celebration seems meek and sad in comparison.

Again, it’s not about the gifts or anything my parents are doing wrong. I am so grateful for all the family members that think to send me gifts and the time my parents spend picking out gifts they think I’ll like; however, this doesn’t replace the gaping hole left behind by my grandma’s absence. My grandma’s not the only person we used to celebrate with that we don’t spend Christmas with anymore, but she’s the person I miss the most.

Regardless, if you feel lonely this Christmas or anytime during the holiday season, just know you’re not alone. This time isn’t the “most wonderful time of the year” for everyone, and that’s okay. Don’t get yourself too down- still try to enjoy the wintry magic the holidays have to offer, but forget about comparing your holiday experience to others, and just remember what this time of year is all about. Spend time with the people you care about that are around, participate in the spirit of giving if you’re able, and be thankful you’re alive to experience another holiday season.

I sincerely apologize if any of this sounded preachy, but I don’t know how else to word my thoughts. For the past couple years, I’ve cried in my room after every major holiday. It just feels weird to grow up and not feel the ~magic~ anymore, in addition to time flying by and it not even feeling like the holidays are actually here. That being said, I hope you all have the best holiday season ever. Remember, you’re never alone.

-Brooke

What I’m Giving For Christmas This Year

Welcome back everyone!

Christmas is less than two weeks away, and I have been busy getting gifts for my family and friends. I figured this would be a cool post idea to give some more gift inspiration while also doing something new. In my friend group, we do a Secret Santa every year, and another club I’m in (shoutout to Youth and Government) is doing a gift exchange as well. If you want to find out what I got for my two Secret Santas, my teachers, and everyone else, keep on reading!

  • To my Youth and Government people: It’s kind of like a White Elephant exchange, so I just got a $20 In N Out gift card. Before you say, “Lame!”, don’t worry: there’s some meaning behind it. After all of our meetings, a good chunk of our members go to In N Out and continue the fun there; hopefully it will be a hit.
  • To one of my best friends/ my friend group’s Secret Santa: My friend is about to turn 16, so I got her a “Minimergency Kit” at Francesca’s that she can keep in her car. I put the kit, as well as a car air freshener, a set of bamboo utensils (she’s very ecofriendly as well) with some mints and snacks to keep in her car.
  • To one of my friends whose birthday is coming up: I got her a birthday candle from birthdatecandles.com, a book about her astrology sign, and a Lidstar eyeshadow from Glossier- she loves astrology and sparkles.
  • To my friend hosting the Secret Santa: I got her a set from Glossier that includes mascara, eyeliner, and makeup remover. I also threw in a festive holiday-scented lotion (apple cinnamon, yum!). I wanted to get her something anyways, so it was a nice thing to do.
  • To my neighbors: My neighbors have the cutest little kids, so my mom and I picked out a couple kids’ books to give to them.
  • To my teachers: I gave five of my teachers little boxes of See’s Candies, and my yearbook teacher a candle and lotion set from Trader Joe’s.
  • To my mom, dad, and brother: I don’t want to spoil it yet, in case they read this 🙂 Most likely something homemade!

Technically, this isn’t everyone I’m giving gifts too. My mom picks out gifts for my grandparents, cousins, and such and puts my name on the card/tag as well. I’m happy I got to pick out some gifts and I hope all of the recipients like them. Even though this time of year can be stressful with the long shopping lists and packed stores, there’s nothing better than searching for the perfect gift and seeing the recipient’s face light up when they open it. Happy gifting!

-Brooke