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  • Writer's pictureSophie Schillaci

The Beauty of a "Just Us" Christmas at Home

When I moved across the country from Rochester, New York, to Los Angeles, California, in 2011, I promised myself that I'd never miss anything "important."

I logged countless miles flying back and forth for holidays, special occasions and regular visits. It wasn't cheap or easy, and at some point I suspected that the frequent red-eye flights were beginning to shave years off my life.

In 2015, my then-fiance and I flew to the east coast to spend Christmas with his family in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We were delayed a full 10 hours in the San Francisco airport, lost a day with his family, the airline lost our luggage, and Mike came down with the flu on Christmas Eve. After spending thousands of dollars on flights for this trip, and purchasing new clothes to wear once we got there, we ended up spending the holiday by ourselves watching movies because Mike was too sick to be around his grandparents.

We vowed to never do it again.


By 2016, my parents moved to Palm Springs and we struck up a new tradition of celebrating Christmas with them -- just a two hours drive from our home. That's where we celebrated Everly's very first Christmas, last year.

But this year, with my parents opting to travel east to celebrate with my brother and our extended family, Mike and I made the decision to stay home and do a "Just Us" Christmas for the first time ever.

It was low key and about as relaxing as any day with a toddler can be. There were giggles, there were meltdowns. But all in all, the only "job" I felt compelled to do was rifle through my cookbooks for some special recipes to get us through the day with good eats. (I live by the gospel of Chrissy Teigen's Cravings. On our menu for Christmas: her Blueberry Cream Cheese Pancakes and Broken Skillet Lasagna, among other things.)

We FaceTimed with family, no one got sick from traveling, and Santa was very good to Everly this year. I call it a win!

When I think about the alternative of planning travel for our family, packing, boarding a plane with a crazy toddler and my big belly, plus finding care for two dogs over the holidays... I just can't.

I never would have pictured myself saying any of that a few years ago, but all the cliches are true. Since becoming a mom, literally the only thing that matters to me this season is making sweet memories with my girl. And next year, we are so looking forward to welcoming another little peanut to the party!

I cut together some highlights from the day in the video below. Please watch, like, and, if you haven't already, please subscribe to my channel on YouTube! Your support by subscribing and following the links below help keep Mom Needs Merlot running and growing.

Love you, mean it!

I also linked up Everly's Christmas list here on Amazon, if you're so inclined to shop for your little one!


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