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by Pretty Mama
November 1, 2008

She She Me Sponsors: Piperlime and Shopbop

and featuring Lucky me tee

Chic Holiday Style for the Whole Family

How did they sneak up on me again? I’ve barely recovered from the back-to-school rush, we’re all settling into a predictable (if not smooth) routine, and then I walk into Target and BOOM! I’m taken by surprise. The Happy/Merry festivities are fast approaching, and once again I’m behind the shopping eight-ball. Once we get to mid-October, it’s a sprint to the end of the year: Thanksgiving takes three weeks of NATO-level planning sessions, and December is a manic marathon that spits us out, panting and exhausted, into January. So while we have a few more days before Halloween, let’s take a moment to get our jack-‘o-lanterns in a row, shall we? It’ll make everything else a little easier to deal with if some of those check-list items actually have check marks in the boxes.

Halloween Parties: Although the little cherubs may not be allowed to wear their costumes to school on the bus (thereby allowing you the freedom of not needing to create a disguise that fits between high-backed pleather seats), there will surely be a dress-up festivity of some sort during the school day. Make sure their costume is easy for them to put on, fits over their school clothes or can be worn underneath, and doesn’t have complicated make-up. Many schools also restrict pointy accessories like swords, hooks, or claws – something to keep in mind if your little pirate refuses to go anywhere without his rapier.

How about two costumes, if you have the time and the inclination: one easy one for indoor parties where the kids may have to change themselves, and one for the actual trick-or-treating, that allows for warm layers (please don’t make them wear coats over their costumes!) and that can be big and bulky (robot, race car, tree, etc.) without Peruvian Connection LTDbumping into walls.

  • Helpful Mommy Tip: Face it, your kids are going to be eating sweets, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. So let them! Just keep it under control — dole out the goodies in moderation and make sure the little darlings brush up afterward to keep those little teeth in tip top shape. As an added incentive, snap up a couple of these adorable little Flippers toothbrush covers from Cupcake Cuddles — makes brushing fun and stores their toothbrush in a clean and hygienic way. Added bonus: never another lost toothbrush! Also, for She She Girls, get 10% off your order when you enter SHESHEME at checkout. Enter to win a Flipper Toothbrush Holder! Enter code FLIPPER in subject line.

Going to a party yourself? If you can’t come up with a clever couples costume (ham and eggs, peas and carrots, Sonny and Cher), don’t sweat it: be ironic — go in pajamas and carry a tabloid mag and a box of chocolates and be a “Stay-at-Home Mom” (all your friends will get the joke!). Or drag out a suit and heels and be “Me Before Kids”.

Thanksgiving: This is a tough one. If you’ll be staying home for the festivities, you can relax a little with the dress-up clothes for the kids, but if you’re going to another house for dinner you should dress respectfully (read: collared shirts and clean chinos, at least.) I allow jeans for my boy for an at-home Thanksgiving dinner with family, but I require at least a collar no matter what. My little angel, though she is entering the age of dissent (“NO!”), loves girly clothes, thank heaven. She’s going to wear a jumper, tights and a turtleneck while we’re on the home turf, but at Grandma’s she gets to wear the sweetest dress and party shoes. (It always elicits the greatest coos from the grandparents when the kids look nice!)

I, on the other hand, have no idea what to wear yet. I’m toying with the idea of velveteen bootlegs and a cashmere sweater for dinner at home, but for Grandma’s I think I should get a little more dressed up: maybe a knit dress and boots, maybe a great blouse and high-waisted wide-leg trousers. Although I’ll probably wear my favorite new oxford pumps, I’ll take some darling flats so I can be comfortable while I’m helping wash the (endless piles of) dishes. (Side note: my mother is one of those people who gets every dish, pot and utensil in the house dirty while she’s on a cooking tear. MY kitchen isn’t big enough to leave everything to the end!) And definitely plan something comfortable for the next day: I’m thinking of a great big wool cardigan, a soft tunic tee, and wool leggings. (If I must leave the house: shearling boots.)

December: A whirlwind; I’m lucky to get out of the house at all, let alone with everyone dressed well. But with little kids you do get some leeway, I figure: most other families are just as crazed as we are, and glad of a chance to commiserate. So for a neighborhood open house, put the kids in clean and comfortable playwear, don’t make them dress up. (You know all the kids will be romper-rooming in the basement anyway, so who cares what they’re wearing.) Put boys in dark denims and a polo or flannel shirt; girls in layered play dresses and leggings or skirts and knit tops. I’m going to wear my velvet blazer over skinny jeans and jeweled ballet flats, or if it’s really cold a cashmere wrap sweater and sailor pants.

For an evening party (I love the ones where Santa shows up!) let little girls wear a pretty party dress and good shoes, and boys in oxford shirts and chinos or corduroys with a sweater (or a little blue blazer – how cute!). (My son gets pretty ornery when I tell him he has to dress up, but I can usually convince him to put up with it if he knows there will be other kids there in the same predicament.) I have no idea what I’ll wear to the party, but it’s usually my only opportunity to deck myself for the holiday: a gorgeous beaded cashmere sweater (no, NOT with reindeer) with flannels and satin pumps, or maybe an embroidered jacket over a pencil skirt with tights and suede boots.

The holiday gathering itself tends to be a little more relaxed in my family: anyone in residence spends a good deal of the first half of the day in pajamas (so parents, make sure you have some PG-rated versions yourselves!), then we get good clothes on for the big dinner. A great excuse to re-run the Thanksgiving outfit (especially good if you’re celebrating with the other half of the family), or if you’re a die-hard shopper you can pick up new threads at the holiday sales. Try a half-zip sweater and cords for the boys (love these little loafers!), and a pretty velveteen or soft sweater dress for the girls.

Remember not to get so wrapped up in the preparations and errand-running that you forget to have fun. I’m amazed every year at how fast the last quarter disappears. Slow down, spend time with your family, and laugh. No one really cares if you make your own place cards out of fallen oak leaves – they just want to enjoy your company. Make sure to take lots of photos for keepsakes for next year – they grow so fast!

Pretty Mama

 

She She Me Sponsor
Piperlime

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How about a great pair of toasty warm shearling boots for a little après ski action? (Or even just hanging out in front of a roaring fire on a wintry weekend?)

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She She Me Sponsor
Shopbop

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Lucky me tee

Product of the Week:
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