As the holiday season approaches, I start to focus in more than ever on my family and my friends, the circle of people who bring joy to my life. I’m planning our holiday schedule, shopping for gifts, and looking to balance nights of cuddling with my husband and kids in front of the tree with holiday parties and opportunities to give back to our community. All busy moms know that this is a hard balance to strike, but we are going to pack in as much as we can (including at least a little time to relax), and make a lot of great memories this year.

One thing that my husband and I both enjoy is playing golf. It’s the perfect date outing, combining exercise, drinks, and a lot of laughter. We will try to sneak in a few trips to the golf course before the year ends. He loves golf gear from G/FORE. I plan to get some new golf shoes and polos for him this Christmas so we can spend a lot of time on the green next year, too.

(Photo courtesy of Jessica Hall)

I love spending time with my kids playing without electronic devices, so I always look for toys that can be used for imaginative play or incorporated into family time.

American Girl dolls are a great example that both my daughter and I love. I can clearly remember how excited I was as a kid when the new American Girl catalogue would arrive at my house, and I would sit down to look at every page. That’s the same excitement that I now have when looking through it with my own daughter. The dolls are so special, and we both love all the time that we get to spend together playing. American Girl’s special play sets, like this adorable coffee shop, help kids to bring imagination to everyday things (like going to the coffee shop with friends) as they play at home. She also loves playing with Barbies. The Barbie Dream House has gotten so much fancier than it was when I was a kid – with lots of options to transform the different pieces of furniture and reconfigure the layout of the house. It’s another great foundation for imaginative play. If you want memory-making gifts that have been a great hit with my daughter, these would be great choices.

For my son, nothing could be better than combining his love for cars with his love for dinosaurs. This Hot Wheels Monster Trucks T-Rex Volcano Arena is so much fun. We are racing cars and doing loops every day at our house. And when we aren’t playing with cars, he’s loving the Masters of the Universe action figures which also provide a lot of opportunities for imaginative play.

Something we can all agree on in my house is games. Uno is a classic that just keeps getting better, and it works well when you have kids of different ages playing together. We are going to break out some comfy matching family pjs from and cozy Mommy and Me socks for me and the kids and slipper socks for my husband from Pudus to add a touch of holiday fun to our family game nights this month. And Sophie and I are excited to finish our festive fireplace diamond art project.

(Photo courtesy of Jessica Hall)

Talking about things that are cozy and comfortable, I can’t get enough of Splendid luxury loungewear. I basically need one of everything on their site, and you know that my mom friends and sisters will be finding Splendid luxury items under the tree from me this year. My mom friends also all need one of these great mom hangover sweatshirts from LuluSimonStudio – it’s too perfect.

For other great mom gifts, I’m excited about Women’s Best workout gear. I know I will be making fitness goals in the new year, and all good fitness goals start with great workout clothes. And I love my Paradigm Eyewear shades. They are great for fun days in the sun, and I’m looking forward to lots of those next year, too. Finally, beauty products from Diana Madison are always a great choice. The glow factor face sheet mask is perfect for a spa night at home.

As you plan your holiday schedule and make your gift lists, I hope that you can find some inspiration from some of my favorite things. And most of all, I hope you get to enjoy a lot of quality time with your family and favorite friends. Happy holidays!

Find Jessica Hall on IG  @jessicahall

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