Tastefully (not Tacky) Christmas Casual (and Lightening Up on Your Christmas Expectations)

So December is here, and if you’re like me, you are trying to jam pack it with “fun” Christmas activities that your kids are mostly lukewarm about and that make you exhausted and a little sad that they did not go as planned. 

One thing that we can control, though, moms, is our Christmas style. For these said Christmas outings that we are still going to try (because we love our kids, and it’s not about us, right?), we probably want to dress somewhat in the spirit of the season. But where do we draw the line between tastefully festive and tacky?
I should preface this post by telling you that I absolutely love Christmas. I always have. I am a before-Thanksgiving decorator, and once Halloween has passed, the Holly XM station is on my favorites list in my car. I have so many great childhood memories (my dad saying every word to the Grinch cartoon every time we watched it – in the right voice – for one) that I want to impart on my own children. Except none of these said memories need to involve a sweater with shoulder pads. 
I am a teacher, also, and I know teachers like to dress festively this time of the year, too. I appreciate when teachers and moms get into the spirit of the season, but how does that work if you also like to be trendy? I say it can be done. You can be festive and “current” at the same time. No jingle bell earrings, shoulder pad ice skater sweaters (…cough…Mom….In her defense, though, she parted ways with it a while ago and is now super trendy in her sweater tunics and leggings), and stirrup pants to finish out the ensemble. Trust me. 
This past weekend, the kids and I accompanied Jordan (my husband) to the kids’ Christmas party hosted by his employer. We were all psyched that Santa would be making an appearance (Jordan and I: yay! We don’t have to pay $30 for mall Santa photos! Kids: Yay! Santa!!!), so I wanted to make sure the kids were festive, but as their mom, I wanted to show them that I could get in the spirit, too. 
Deer sweater from Forever 21 (bought 3 years ago)
Tank (worn underneath) from Old Navy
Vest from Old Navy – SOOO warm!
Skinny jeans – Daytrip brand from The Buckle
Converse shoes from Kohl’s

I bought this sweater the second Christmas after I became a mom. The first Christmas after I became a mom, I was still holding on to like 30 extra pounds, as I had Jackson in September, so I did not want to buy a ton of new clothes while in weight loss mode. The deer head is as trendy now as it was in 2012 when I bought it at Forever 21. It is pretty short on me, so the camisole underneath was a must. I added the vest so I didn’t have to wear a coat and to also nod to the winter season. The Converse and skinnies help me to ground the outfit in my overall style, as we all know I gravitate toward edgier pieces. Easy Christmas casual! 
What I’m saying here, friends, is that we add one or two winter pieces to our casual basics. 
So back to the party and the Christmas pictures . . . I had this silly idea that I would include the kids in my blog and tell a little bit about how I dressed them for a Christmas casual outing, but. . .
Before the party, when they’re not tired, we’ll get a great picture, I thought…

Jordan’s employer even had a photographer there. Why not use her, I thought?
Verdict: I think my kids have a radar. Oh NO. Mom wants a picture. Better not look at the camera and better look like we are pained. . .
So that blog about how I dress the kids isn’t happening, to say the least. But here are some of the best shots we could get. 

What a fun Santa who took the time to take silly pictures with Jackson!
He even taught him how to throw up the devil horns.
Miss Johanna, intrigued by all things Christmas, especially our elf on a shelf.
Be right back, dying over her in an oversized cardigan. . .

As you might predict based on how the picture taking associated with this blog is going, our Santa picture is not stellar. . .
But I need to lighten up. They’re kids. They had a blast at the party! That’s what matters.
I do not live in a Pottery Barn Kids catalog. I may not have a good Santa picture every year. So what if Jackson ate all three suckers he got at the party in rapid fire fashion on the way home? So what if Johanna was super bashful with Santa? So what if Jackson has told anyone who will listen what he would like for Christmas from Santa, then when the time came, he shoved his fingers in his mouth and stared awkwardly at the ground?
Mom, lighten up. Roll with it. (I’m talking to myself at this point.) But the one thing I can control? My Christmas attire. Don’t avoid seasonal wear. Just proceed with caution (one to two pieces at a time unless you’re attending an ugly sweater party) and keep it grounded with basic pieces that reflect your personal style.
I will be back with more posts on dressing for the season throughout this month! See you again soon!
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