Christmas Movie Checklist

Christmas Movie Checklist

One of my favourite things about the Christmas season is all of the amazing holiday films that start playing on TV.  I love how as kids, we used to wait for our favourites to be announced, and all of the memories that go along with watching a classic.  However, since moving to a small town where we don’t have cable TV, and rely solely on Netflix, I’ve had to put together my own list of holiday classics to watch each year.

This year, I decided to do a family poll to make sure we had all of our bases covered!  My family has a group text-chat that we converse on almost daily, so last week I threw out the question, “What is your all-time favourite Christmas movie?”  It was so fun, watching the answers roll in, and seeing how everyone else responded to each-other’s choices.  My mom didn’t chime in for about an hour, and when she opened her phone, she had over 93 missed texts in that chat – so you can tell that we had a pretty in-depth conversation!

I knew my dad would choose The Sound of Music, even though it’s not technically a Christmas movie, and my husband stated right away that my mom would most definitely pick “The Nativity”.  My brother chose Home Alone 2 specifically – and just reading his answer immediately took me back to the countless times, as kids, that we rewound the scene where Marv gets electrocuted (if you’ve seen the movie, you know exactly which scene I’m talking about.  In fact I’m giggling out loud as I type this).  One of my sisters chose One Magic Christmas – a bit of a diamond in the rough as far as classic Christmas movies go, but we grew up on it and all love it; one chose Love Actually, which is fast becoming a classic in its own right.  And my kiddos, finally being old enough to have an opinion, chose Elf –  because it’s funny, and The Polar Express – because it’s pure magic.

There’s just something about a great story that warms your heart, and can magically take you back in time – especially at Christmas, which is why I think so many of the truly great seasonal stories resonate with so many of us, and can be watched again and again and again.

So, without further ado, I present – for your viewing pleasure – our family’s Christmas Movie Checklist!  I know I haven’t included every great holiday movie out there – this is just what my family came up with – and I would love to hear what your favourite Christmas movies are! What would you add to this Christmas Movie Checklist?

 

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What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

A lot of people have been asking me recently how we chose names for our children, and what factors will go into choosing the name for our newest addition, so I thought it might be fun to blog about it!  Truthfully, I have always found the naming process really stressful.  I know it should be fun, but I feel like choosing the right name is so important and so I feel that burden of responsibility.

I’ve never been hung up on selecting names that actually have deep significant meaning, although I do always check what the historic meanings of the names are.  However, I do care about family ties to names, traditions, and also any special meaning I connect to a name personally.

It’s fair to say that I’ve also always been a fan of classic names – I like trendy names, but have never been drawn to them for my own children.  I wanted my children to have names that would stand the test of time.  As teachers, Jeff and I also have the added struggle of associating certain names with certain students… which can be good and bad! So that is something that often plays into how we feel about names.

After we named our first child, it was important to me that our other children had names that had a similar feel.  I know this isn’t important to everyone, but for me, I wanted all of my kids to have names that flowed together.

Additionally, because we have always waited until the delivery to find out the gender of our babies, with each pregnancy we have had to decide on two names – one for a girl, and one for a boy, to ensure our bases are all covered!  However, we have almost never gone back to the names we had selected for previous babies, as we typically find ourselves drawn to something new or different with each pregnancy, although I still think the similar vibe of the names we’ve chosen for each child is evident.

Continue reading if you’re interested in how we named each of our kids and what their names mean to us!


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Isla Deanne –

When I was pregnant with Isla, in 2011, I was really drawn to simple and classic names, like Emma and Ava.  However, I had several friends who had babies around the same time who used these names, so I wanted something that had a similar feel, but was still different.  I first heard the name “Isla” from the movie actress, Isla Fisher.  I remember actually googling how to pronounce the name to make sure I was pronouncing it correctly – thankfully, I loved the pronunciation (Eye-La), and so we decided to go ahead with that for the first name.  “Isla” is traditionally a Scottish name meaning “island”, although this didn’t really play a role in our choosing of the name. When we chose the name, it was still very uncommon, and a lot of people commented on how unique it was – despite the fact that it’s in fact a very old name!  However, within a couple of years of our Isla being born, it became a very popular name, and we now know of several little Isla’s.

The middle name “Deanne” was selected because it is my mom’s middle name, and also my middle name, so I loved the significance of passing my middle name on to my first born daughter, just as my mom passed in on to me – her firstborn daughter.  Deanne is  a variant of the name Diane, and means “divine”.


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Benson Jeffrey

I always struggle with boys names far more than with girls names; I’m not sure why this is, but I do find naming boys so much more difficult.  Because we already had an Isla, I wanted a name that would compliment it, sticking with the “short, simple, and classic” trend we started with our firstborn.  We tossed around a lot of different names,  but couldn’t seem to agree for quite some time.  We finally agreed that we liked the name “Ben”, but we wanted to give him options when he was older by giving him a slightly longer name.  The obvious choice was “Benjamin”, but again, we knew several Benjamin’s, so when we came across the name “Benson”, we knew it was the perfect way for us to have our own little Ben in a slightly less traditional way.  The name “Benson” is actually traditionally a surname, and it’s no surprise that the actual meaning is “Son of Ben”.  However, the name Ben is a family name on my mom’s side of the family, so it held special meaning in that it can be passed on to another generation.

As far as Ben’s middle name, no surprise here either, but he was named after my husband.  We had originally selected a different middle name, but a few days before Ben was born, Jeff asked if we could just his name as the middle name, and of course, I was ok with that.   “Jeffrey” is a German name that means “pledge of peace”, which I actually love for our sweet boy, who has become such a balm for my mamas soul.


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Molly Blythe

Molly’s name makes me smile every time I say it.  It took us awhile to settle on her name, and in fact, we didn’t choose it officially until a few weeks before she was born.  We have both always loved the name Molly, but for some reason, it never made the top of our list with previous children.  When we were first married, we vacationed to Bali and we stayed at a resort where another family from Australia was staying – they had a little one named Molly, and we both loved it when we heard it, and attributed it to this darling little girl we saw playing in the pool everyday.  I think our hesitancy in using the name earlier on had more to do with our belief that the name was too common – however, I have come to realize that while the name Molly is familiar to everyone, it’s actually not that common. “Molly” is actually a Hebrew name, which means “bitter”, and while I wasn’t a huge fan of the meaning of the name itself, for us, it wasn’t enough of an issue not to use the name.

Molly’s middle name, Blythe, is actually inspired by a novel I was reading when I was pregnant with her.  There was a character in the story named “Juniper Blythe”, and I absolutely loved the way the name sounded.  When I tried it out with Molly, it just clicked – to me, Molly Blythe sounds like the name of a storybook character, and as an English teacher, I love the tie of the name to literature.  I also absolutely love the meaning of the name Blyth, which is an English name meaning “happy and carefree”.  This is our little one to a tee – and thankfully it not balances out the meaning of her first name, but also gives us a new family name unique to our little unit.

 


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Baby #4

If you’ve noticed any sort of pattern in our name selections, then you might have some ideas of the types of names that we love and are considering for our newest babe – classic, simple, traditional, short, simple, sweet.  These are all words I would use to describe our name style.

We have a few that we are considering right now for each gender, but with two expectant sisters, and several expectant friends, it remains to be seen what we will end up selecting!  Although I no longer have the same qualms about using names that others have used, I still personally wouldn’t choose the same name that a family member or close personal friend has chosen, simply due to the confusion that can cause when everyone is together!

However, because we still aren’t 100% settled, I would LOVE some baby name suggestions for both a girl and a boy that you think would fit our family trend! What perfect name combo would you add to our mix of little people?!


 

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What’s one more…Baby #4!

What’s one more…Baby #4!

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“How do you know when you’re done?”

I think this is a pretty common question women – and maybe just families in general – wonder about.  When do you know that you’re done having babies, and that your family is complete?  I’m in a ladies group that meets once a month, and at our last outing, we were actually discussing this very topic.  As a group of 12 women, we are across the spectrum when it comes to life experiences, careers, family goals, etc, so it’s always fun to discuss big topics when there are so many perspectives.

Continue reading “What’s one more…Baby #4!”