What’s Your “Holiday Happy”?

Posted on Dec 1 2013 - 2:35pm by Brenda Meehan

3P is all about the joy of simple, inexpensive gift giving, entertaining, events and traditions…appreciating the simple pleasures of life without stress and additional work in our busy lives – taking a minute to stop and smell the roses…or should I say poinsettias.

So to kick off the “first 12 days of December”, all of us here at Practically Perfect Planner will be sharing our personal favorite “Holiday Happy”.


Okay, I’ll go first: Years ago, before my Mom passed, one of my sisters and I took my Mom for tea in a very quaint Canadian town – Niagara on the Lake. Afterwards while strolling through the snow-covered streets, we browsed all the shops having a fun and leisurely afternoon. Mom insisted on treating us both to something and finally decided on a beautiful little light up candle snow globe that also adorns the holidays as a night-light. After Mom hinting, we then bought her the same glistening ornament. She then declared that we would always “plug in” on December 1st each year (since we all lived in different cities) and begin the Christmas season together. We had no idea that would be Mom’s last Christmas.


My December 1st “Holiday Happy” is unwrapping my snow globe and memories while plugging it in it’s special spot in my kitchen and having a cup of tea. This is a special “Merry Christmas to me” moment that kicks off the season in a joyful way.

We encourage all of you to take a few minutes to enjoy the holidays in your own way. Like us on Facebook and leave a comment, and/or subscribe to the blog and leave a comment with your “Holiday Happy” and every time we hear from you, you’ll be entered to win a $100 Macy’s shopping spree! For those of you who already follow us, just pop in with your “Holiday Happy” comment to win. We’ll randomly select a winner on December 14th, just in time for you to win $100 Macy’s holiday bucks for the season.

So now it’s your turn…what’s YOUR “Holiday Happy”?

34 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Tracy Hillier December 1, 2013 at 3:57 pm -

    What an awesome idea to encourage your readers to reflect on happiness particularly since we all have so much to be thankful for. My holiday happy is quite simple but touching none the less. I was only 25 years old and recently separated just beforeChristmas. Since I was alone and my children were with their Dad I spent the holiday with my Mum and Dad. As luck would have it I came down with the flu so I was now feeling really miserable. Mum and Dad cooked the full turkey meal in hopes that they could entice me to eat. No such luck. Mum knew one thing that would get me to eat. Pineapple dreambars. She was right and those bars and my parents company made a very difficult holiday manageable. On Christmas night I fell asleep on the couchwhile watching tv with my folks. Even though they thought I was totally out of it I heard their conversation. Dad covered me up with a blanket and turned on the night light. Since the platter of dreambars were precariously perched on my chest Mom was going to wrap them up and put the cookies in the fridge. Imagine what I heard. Dad said – Ann what happens if she wakes up in the middle of the night and her dreambars are gone. Needless to say Mum put the bars on the coffee table with a drink of water, both kissed me on the forehead and off to bed they went. They never knew that I was awake and I never told them either. They both have passed away and my Christmas happy is knowing the love of your parents even when life has taken a left turn.

    • Jessi Meehan December 2, 2013 at 11:01 am -

      What a lovely story Tracy. Thank you so much for sharing your Holiday Happy memory with us. Now I think I want a dessert bar, like a lemon bar or something… 🙂

  2. Karen Marshall December 2, 2013 at 7:04 pm -

    I have so many favourite Christmas memories. Growing up, anytime that our family was all together made it special. Now that we have teenagers, it is special when we share it with their girlfriends and their families 🙂 Merry Christmas to all of you!

    • Jessi Meehan December 3, 2013 at 10:06 am -

      We absolutely agree! One of the best parts of our holidays is just having everyone together. I can’t wait for when we’re all under one roof! Merry Christmas to you, Karen!

  3. Evan December 2, 2013 at 11:31 pm -

    My holiday happy is filming the reactions of my nephew Brayden opening Christmas presents. His eyes get really big and he is so excited about every gift! It could be a old shoe or something and he would be overjoyed. It brings back to joy of Christmas that had faded through my twenties.

    I can’t wait till next Christmas when my son will be old enough to really enjoy Christmas morning. That’s going to be my next Hartsell Family Holiday Happy 🙂

    • Jessi Meehan December 3, 2013 at 10:05 am -

      Christmas is SO much fun with little ones! Seeing the amazement on their faces is definitely a Holiday Happy. That son of yours is adorable, and I know he’ll love his first (and second..and third…) Christmas! 🙂

  4. Vanessa Hartsell December 2, 2013 at 11:34 pm -

    My holiday happy is Christmas Pajamas! Each year on Christmas Eve my entire family gets a pair of matching PJ’s. Young and old we all put them on and go to sleep – waking to open presents together in our comfy matching clothes!

    • Jessi Meehan December 3, 2013 at 10:04 am -

      That is so funny Vanessa! Every year, my Gramma would always give us our Christmas “jammies” and it became such an awesome tradition…we started calling her our “Jamma Gramma”. My Aunt has taken over since my Gramma passed away, and it’s still a great family Holiday Happy that we all look forward to every year. Thank you for sharing!

    • gavin December 4, 2013 at 3:02 pm -

      Pajamas are definitely key in Christmas time!

  5. Victoria England December 3, 2013 at 12:04 am -

    Thanksgiving Day we do a Homeless Outreach in Las Vegas called Blessfest. I get the privilege to coordinate and oversee a dental office on wheels, we screen 1,000 homeless and get to take many out of pain. They also get turkey dinner, see doctors, lawyers, look up family members and locate them, take all the clothes they’d like to, hair cuts by licensed hairstylists, and manicures, as well as get prayer with a prayer partner. I come away glowing with joy and happiness that I had the privilege of serving my King Jesus!

    • Jessi Meehan December 3, 2013 at 10:02 am -

      What an incredible Holiday Happy! That sounds like a wonderful way to start the Christmas season. 🙂

  6. Kendra Dyson December 3, 2013 at 11:36 am -

    My Holiday Happy is Christmas Breakfast. Years ago my family decided to change Christmas Dinner into a breakfast affair so that families wouldn’t have to choose which set of in-laws to visit. Every member of the family prepares their specialty. It has been filled with wonderful memories and much joy for over 20 years now!

    • Jessi Meehan December 5, 2013 at 8:56 am -

      We LOVE our Christmas “Santa Breakfast” too! There’s something special about all sitting down together before everyone starts opening gifts. That’s a great “Holiday Happy”, Kendra! 🙂

  7. Bev Raftis December 3, 2013 at 11:46 am -

    My so hard to pick just one happy holiday memory!Guess mine is when my dad used to sing

    to me I saw mommy kissing santa claus. My dad has passed on but I think of him everytime I hear that song.

    • Jessi Meehan December 5, 2013 at 8:58 am -

      That’s such a lovely memory, Bev. I have certain songs that will always remind me of my parents at Christmas time too. 🙂

  8. Jamie Padilla December 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm -

    I like it when a snow day happens and you stuck in the house with your family and you have to do all the holiday baking!! The Oven is on making the house warm and you get to taste all the goodies at each stage of the mixing. I still like the butter and Surger cream stage of most receipts. We don’t get many of those snow days here in Vegas, but we still try to have a day home cooking with my girls, making our tradistion family cookies.

    • Jessi Meehan December 5, 2013 at 9:00 am -

      That sounds like such a great time! And now I want to bake cookies because it’s only 28 degrees outside! Haha Maybe we’ll get some snow on Saturday and you’ll get your wish! 🙂

  9. gavin December 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm -

    I’ve had tons of amazing Christmas’s but my favorite or happy is getting the tree. Whether it be going to a lot in Vegas with my family picking one out. Or hiking off into the bush to find the perfect jack pine I just enjoy that tons tons

    • Jessi Meehan December 5, 2013 at 9:01 am -

      Oh, Gavin…you should send us a picture of the perfect pine you manage to pick up this year. We’d love to see what tree to find out there in the bush! 🙂

  10. delinda crampton December 5, 2013 at 9:13 am -

    My holiday happy involves our Elf of the Shelf who our boys have named Pluto. Each morning when our oldest son Chase wakes up, he immediately goes in search of Pluto. And boy is Pluto having a silly elf! This morning, he was drinking maple syrup out of the bottle with a straw. Yesterday, he was hanging from candy canes which were hanging from the chandelier in our entry way. The day before, he was strung up in toilet paper stuck in the decorative metal wall art we have in our half bath with toilet paper strewn everywhere. It’s so fun to see the joy on my sons faces and I think my husband is having as much fun as they are with it!

    • Jessi Meehan December 5, 2013 at 9:42 am -

      Oh my gosh Delinda, that sounds like so much fun! What a great idea to do something so creative like that to make your kids smile every morning. I love the Elf on the Shelf idea, and may have to pick one up to have some fun with my brothers & cousins this Christmas. 🙂

  11. Darcy Dougherty December 5, 2013 at 11:35 am -

    For us it is helping those less fortunate enjoy the holiday season through clothing drives, gifts and giving to various food pantries.

    • Jessi Meehan December 8, 2013 at 10:31 am -

      We love to participate in food drives, and serving Holiday meals to less fortunate too. That’s a wonderful Holiday Happy!

  12. Marissa December 5, 2013 at 7:55 pm -

    I have so many “Holiday Happy” memories it’s hard to choose just one. I would have to agree with my brother, Gavin on the P.J.’s.
    As it was stated above, our Grandma started the tradition where she would give each of us P.J.’s to wear the night before Christmas. Another great Holiday Happy of mine was the Santa Breakfast where Brenda would buy the small boxes of cereal and we got to pick which one we wanted. I always picked the Trix cereal. Gavin always loved the Pops cereal. 🙂

    • Jessi Meehan December 5, 2013 at 8:14 pm -

      And I always took the Apple Jacks or the Cinnamon Toast Crunch! That’s definitely a “Holiday Happy” for me too. 🙂

  13. John December 7, 2013 at 4:55 pm -

    One of my favorite holiday happies would have to be before going to bed, we would put together sticky buns to let it rise overnight. Then in the morning they were so good! I love spending time with my family over the holidays.

    • Jessi Meehan December 8, 2013 at 10:32 am -

      Those sticky buns are super good! 🙂 Sounds like a very nice way to wake up on Christmas morning.

  14. Sherry Austin December 10, 2013 at 11:22 am -

    My Holiday Happy is having a special time that revolves around family, good friends and a time to celebrate my faith. “Happy Birthday Jesus”

  15. Linda December 12, 2013 at 8:22 am -

    My holiday happy is having the grand kids with us and enjoying special time with them.

  16. Jenna Austin December 12, 2013 at 10:51 pm -

    My holiday happy is watching my daughters face opening her stocking on Christmas morning. I also like to make sure the cookies and milk are ready for Santa’s visit.

    • Jessi Meehan December 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm -

      That must be the best feeling, watching your daughter get excited on Christmas morning. Speaking of excitement…I’m excited to see you tomorrow. It’s been way too long. 🙂

  17. Janine Donovan December 16, 2013 at 3:45 pm -

    We like to have takeout pizza on Christmas Eve and invite over friends who are away from their families.

  18. Sheryl Pellegrino December 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm -

    Gosh there are so many but, of this year 2013 my Holiday Happy was unpacking and lighting up my mom’s ceramic Christmas Tree. The holidays were made so special by her from decorating to baking and cooking. But since her passing this tree has helped bring all of the those great memories right back!

  19. Kimberly Eggleston December 19, 2013 at 9:36 am -

    My holiday happy is, as a child my mom would crochet many different “ornaments” of all shapes and sizes. Then she brought them to my class, and all the kids got to decorate their own. There were never two alike, and I hope all the moms saved them as my mom did. This tradition continued through to my moms great grand kids, and has brought us many lasting happy memories.