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The holiday are in full swing and Christmas is just days away. This time of year can be filled with joy and excitement (biggest congratulations to our newly engaged gals) and it can also be bursting with activities, events and a seemingly never-ending to-do list. Whether you’re all-the-hearts over your new diamond or trying to knock out wedding to-dos in-between wrapping presents and sealing envelopes, it’s easy to get caught up in the busy and forget to carve out time to focus on what matters most. So let’s all agree to put down the to-do lists, throw those last presents in gift bags and take some time to embrace the holidays.

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Justin Demutiis for all these festive photos!

Here are a few personally tested ways to embrace the holidays and add a little extra festive love into your most important relationships:

1. Two words: Hot chocolate. Whether you’re a devout coffee drinker or an extra whip cream kind of gal (yes, please), the thought of taking time to actually sit and enjoy a hot holiday beverage for even a few minute without trying to cross off another to-do sounds dreamy. This doesn’t have to be an all day affair. Sneak away from your family for a half hour and drive to Starbucks or duck out after dinner one night or for any early-morning breakfast date. The important thing is not when but making an effort to carve out some intention time to be still.

2. Take advantage of any planned travel to enjoy a little extra holiday-inspired quality time. The SW gals are all professional road trippers: check out our expert tips. For travel over the holidays, take things up a notch and pack some gingerbread cookies, make a holiday playlist or prep holiday-themed “20-questions” (think: favorite childhood toy, best memory, worst holiday outfit, etc.).

3. Recreate a childhood holiday tradition. For me, it’s new pajamas on Christmas Eve and watching the Santa Clause (my most favorite holiday movie). Doing this with KPW puts me in the holiday spirit and force me to reset, so we’ve been known to do this on nights other than Christmas Eve utilizing last year’s festive jams.

4. Take listening to holiday music to a new level with your own version of Christmas Karaoke. While I’m a strict ‘no-holiday music’ until after I’ve eaten Thanksgiving dinner gal, all bets are off once the turkey leftovers are put away until the confetti falls on NYE. Pull out your parent’s old holiday records or blast the (retro?) N’Sync Christmas album. Don’t just play the music in the background–channel your inner Mariah Carey and belt out the songs! Dancing along is recommended and participation by all parties is highly encouraged. Let your hair down and turn the music up.

5. Go hunt holiday lights! Wedding bouquets are to weddings as Christmas lights are to Christmas. Twinkly lights might be around more than just during December, but there’s something extra special about the holiday lights when you add candles in the windows and wreaths on the doors (bonus points for holiday inflatables). Put on your cozy clothes and pile into the car or throw on your tennis shoes and a scarf (assuming you don’t live in FL) and go on a search for Christmas lights around your neighborhood or city (hand holding encouraged). I’m betting just getting away for a few minutes will clear your head and have you humming a Christmas song in no time.

It’s amazing what a little intentional holiday reset will do for my spirits and how (with just a little effort) it will refocus me on what ultimately matters. Remember, there’s nothing magical about December 25, so bring on the Christmas pajamas and hot chocolate as long at the tree’s still up and you’re still humming a little “12 Days of Christmas”. Merry Christmas, y’all!

PS: I’m sure y’all are bursting with other great ways to embrace the holidays. Share them below!! xo.

kristin Written with love by Kristin
1 Comment
  1. avatar Kelly reply

    Oh I love these posts! Wonderful ideas to reset, be still, and enjoy these last few days before Christmas. :)

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Growing up in the South, one thing I learned early was the importance of big Southern hair. My mama loves to use the Steel Magnolias quote “just tease it and make it look like a brown football helmet” anytime she has her hair professionally done, and I’m with her — there’s just something fabulous about voluminous hair that gives me a little pep in my step! Today, I’m delighted to share the teasing tips and tricks I’ve learned over many years of practice, so if you’re curious about how to tease your hair, this one’s for you! :)

Big thanks to my friend Brooke of Colorbox Photographers for these fun photos!

The right products can make or break your hairdo, and these three are my go-to for big hair! After washing my hair, I apply a bit of this mousse to my roots only before blowing dry my hair. Then I spray a liberal amount of this amazing anti-humidly spray ALL over my hair. It’s pricy, but worth it with our Southern humidity!

After applying the spray, I like to start with velcro rollers. I love these and have two sets, so I can add extra volume since my hair is currently pretty long. I use the larger ones in the front and on the side I part my hair on since the hair is heavier there. I always roll backwards on the top and down on the sides to give it some shape.

I secure the rollers with large bobby pins and then blast my whole head with warm air from the blowdryer to help ‘set’ the volume. Then, of course, I spray it with hairspray. I’m currently loving this one because it holds but is still pretty flexible!

I like to leave the rollers in while I do my makeup or go about my business of getting ready to be sure I give them an ample amount of time to work. After removing the rollers, it’s time to start teasing! I like to go back and forth between a teasing brush and a comb, so this combo pack is perfect for me, but you can use any standard fine-toothed comb.

Starting on the crown of my head, I scoop up my hair (about a temple’s width) and start teasing from the back. Placing the comb about three or four inches from my head, I gently pull down toward my head. I like to do this a few times to really build in the tease.

Then, I re-section the same piece, remove what I’ve already teased, and tease again. I do this until I reach the last piece, right in front of my face. I only tease that a little, as that will be the last layer that covers the rather fuzzy looking part. Flop the hair back over the pile of teased hair, and slowly and carefully smooth out the top layer. The key is finding the right balance between combing out all the teasing you’ve done, and creating a smooth top layer. Once I have done this down the center of my hair, I go back and do the same steps on the sides, just a bit less aggressively.

After I’m happy with the volume I’ve created, I fluff it with my fingers and cover any parts where the teasing is showing. This is where the brush comes in handy, too — it’s great for carefully smoothing over any rugged areas. Then the last step: a heap of hair spray!

And that’s it, friends! I’d love to hear if there are any tutorials you’d like to see in the future!

Photos by Brooke Glassford of Colorbox Photographers. Shot at Kim Box Studios.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Natalie reply

    I love this! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try! You are the cutest! :)

  2. avatar Janna reply

    Oh my stars! This is the best! Perfect for some New Years Eve hair!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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Every year, we do our best to fill our annual print edition with advice and tips that will help you not only plan your wedding, but also (more importantly), help you and your fiancé prepare for marriage. We ask every couple we feature how they go about preparing for life after the big day, and were so happy to include many of their answers in V8. Please enjoy their words of wisdom every Sunday here on Southern Weddings!

Grain & Compass

“Craig has an amazing friend and pastor from college who really walked us through the goal and meaning of marriage leading up to our wedding. We were challenged to identify how our parents influenced us, as well as our own experiences, habits, and expectations. The greatest thing we focused on was preparing to become a unified team founded on love and respect–when a wife is loved, she feels respected, and when a husband is respected, he feels loved.”
Elisa + Craig

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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