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Jillian Harris


Our First Christmas in Our New Home

Ok, raise your hand if you feel EXHAUSTED after the holidays!!! ??This Christmas was a CRAZY one!! I decided to host it at our house this year as it was our very first Christmas in our new home and holy crap it was busy. I mean, aren’t you supposed to feel rested and relaxed and ready to take on a new year after the holidays?? Honestly, I feel like I’ve been put through the ringer!! So many people were sharing their lists and goals and ways they were going to tackle 2018 before NYE and I couldn’t even THINK about it … I feel so behind and like I have so much catching up to do!! Anyway, one thing at a time … here’s a little recap of how our Christmas went and WHY I feel so freakin exhausted!!

So I had an AMAZING Christmas (even though it was a little hectic!), as I mentioned above, it was our very first Christmas hosted in our new family home, it was decorated like I had always imagined it would be, it was filled with Christmas candles and scents and our home was filled with love, laughter, good food and of course, loads of wine!!

Jillian Harris Christmas 2017

A while back, Justin and I came up with a “Christmas Schedule” as most couples do for the holidays, we would alternate between spending time with my family and Justin’s family but this year we had EVERYONE here at our house … 23 people, to be exact!! I was a little bit stressed (ok, A LOT stressed) having everyone together as I know that every family has their own unique traditions on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so I felt like I was trying to make sure everyone was happy and having a good time and trying to manage everyone’s expectations and while everyone was probably really happy with everything it was hard for me not to focus on it and feel nervous about everything and in the end I think I put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself over it!!

So, the tradition that usually happens with my family is that the person who hosts Christmas has people over on Christmas Eve for appetizers and cocktails, this gives everyone a chance to bring all of the gifts over, finish up their wrapping and stuff the stockings. Generally, everyone would then spend the night but as all of our families grow only the kiddos sleepover. This year Tori, Charles, Max, Charlie and Matt (Justin’s brother) stayed the night. Later in the night (after the little ones hit the hay) the girls typically stay up and finish wrapping over some cocktails and the boys, well, the just sip on cocktails … LOL! This year Tori and I were having a LITTLE too much fun and we both indulged in a few too many glasses of wine and didn’t get to bed until around 3:30am which isn’t ideal when your little ones wake up around 5am. Needless to say after working my butt off on the days leading up to Christmas … I was a little sluggish running on two hours of sleep Christmas and a few too many glasses of  wine the night before. LOL.

That morning everyone came back to the house, including my Grandma who had never been to our house before, this was also a bit tricky as she is in a wheelchair and we have a split level house FILLED with stairs so we had to put a ramp at the front entrance to get her into our house. So, 23 people, in my living room, opening gifts on Christmas morning, everyone was tired and exhuasted and while my family typically blows through opening our gifts, the Pasutto’s (bless their hearts lol) like to take their time and really savor the moment so all of a sudden it was NOON and we hadn’t even opened 20% of our gifts yet and I had to get the turkey in!! Yes … you read that right, we had a turkey and a ham on Christmas Day, both of which I bought from little local farms. While I wanted a totally vegan Christmas dinner, my family, already let me do that for Thanksgiving so I kept it more traditional for them on Christmas Day. However, the rest of the meal WAS in fact vegan … I used vegan butter for everything, egg replacer when needed and I even busted out my vegan perogies!! I’ll be sharing that recipe with you in the cookbook … so stay tuned!! Anyway, while we did have meat it was only those two items that weren’t vegan so you don’t have to be all or nothing when it comes to vegan meals, you can still reduce your animal consumption but eliminating it in other areas.

Once all of the gifts have been opened, tradition has it that everyone leaves back to their house to relax for a bit and to get showered up and ready for Christmas dinner while the host cleans up and prepares dinner for everyone … so here I am, running on two hours of sleep, with wrapping paper and ribbons and leftover breakfast everywhere … LOL!! Thank god the Pasutto’s ended up staying behind and help me clean and prep and take Grandma out and around the house to get to the bathroom multiple times! They saved my butt!!!! Once 5:30 hit, everyone came back to the house (plus another additional 8 other family members!) and I still hadn’t slept and Paul, Justin’s dad, was feeding me cocktails … you probably think I have a problem now but drinking with your in-laws doesn’t count … ok?? LOL! Dinner was amazing and we had a ton of laughs and made some amazing memories and by 9pm everyone was out the door only to come back the next day, Boxing Day, for a round of leftovers! Needless to say, the house is still a disaster but thankfully I have someone here to help me clean while I continue to tidy up … and I gotta say, I’m happy Tori’s home is almost complete because she’s hosting next year!!! LOL!!!

Jillian Harris Christmas 2017Jillian Harris Christmas Decor

When it comes to gifts, I actually don’t necessarily like receiving gifts (I prefer GIVING over receiving) and I think it’s because I like to shop for myself and for the fact that I seem to get things sent to me throughout the year so I already feel so spoiled and blessed. The only thing I asked for this year were pots and pans and wine … LOL … so now I have about 4 boxes of pots and pans and two cases of wine and I couldn’t be happier!!! I bought my mom and Melissa (Justin’s mom) each an engraved necklace from Tiffany’s and my dad an engraved dog tag from Minichiello Jewellers and all of the guys in the home each got a Patagonia work jacket!! My mom and dad got Leo the most adorable little sleigh from Home Depot and at first, I didn’t think we would use it much but we have been using it EVERY DAY, we all absolutely love it!! It allows all of us to get outside and enjoy the winter and also gives me some exercise!! Justin’s parents got Leo the cutest little toddler Burton snowboard … I’m sure Justin is really counting down the days until they can both get up on the hill now!!!

Jillian Harris Christmas 2017Jillian Harris Christmas 2017 Jillian Harris Christmas 2017Jillian Harris Christmas 2017 Jillian Harris Christmas 2017Jillian Harris New Years Resolutions 2018

All and all it was a really busy Christmas but it was amazing to be surrounded by both of our families, in our new home, so the chaos and the mess was absolutely worth it and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world!!!

How was your Christmas this year?? Do you feel as exhausted as I do??





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  1. Rob

    January 3rd, 2018 at 10:22 am

    What a fabulous Christmas you, Justin and Leo had. Sleep is so overrated during the Christmas Holidays when you have that many people over. Who would want to miss one second of the madness?

  2. Lorena

    January 3rd, 2018 at 10:42 am

    I wanted so much to see Jillian and Justin’s ep but I’m from Brazil and it’s not available for me, unfortunately! I’m loving the blog and its instagram !!! I really wanted to see photos of your new home ready. I knew your work through “love it or leave it” and I am a super fan of the program! I’m still learning to speak English but I love your videos.

  3. Brittany mitchell

    January 3rd, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Jillian! We have the same snowboard for our son. He’s 20 months and we have gone with him twice!! I would love to share pictures or video with you. He only goes like 15 feet before he rides into moms arms but he loves it and we love teaching him. My husband is a snowboard fanatic and bought him that bored before he could walk haha

  4. Katriin

    January 4th, 2018 at 5:49 am

    oops, typo, i meant family’s

  5. Darla Young

    January 3rd, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    As busy as Xmas is spending time with family and friends is what it’s about. Presents are secondary

  6. Shelby

    January 3rd, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Jill! Well done!! I have always hosted Christmas Eve, and this year we had 43 people. Family, friends and neighbours – it is a great time but I never get to bet until the wee hours because I simply cannot go to bed with a messy house LOL! Then Santa arrives and the day begins again…….every year I say I want to go away to a tropical resort instead but then when that time of year cimes around I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
    Cheers!! All the Best for 2018!

  7. Mary Tucker

    January 3rd, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    What wonderful memories you are creating with your beautiful family.

  8. Andrea

    January 3rd, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    You go girl!!! Everything looked beautiful and I’m sure you did an amazing job…

    Where is your beautiful tan jacket from????

  9. Cheryl

    January 3rd, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Jillian my friend, where did you get that gorgeous lace dress from? Please share.

  10. Therese Semeniuk

    January 3rd, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Beautiful Christmas your home is beautiful should be in Better Homes and Garden magazine. Oh and I love comet also.

  11. Jillian Harris

    January 22nd, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Thank you!!!! XOXO

  12. Lucy

    January 3rd, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Sounds like a beautiful magical Christmas. I was expecting the picture perfect Christmas too. Our daughter decided end of Nov that she wanted to be home for Christmas. She is a missionary in Kona Hawaii, later this year she’ll be elsewhere. So we shared the cost with my mom Oma to bring her home. We had already booked with my son, daughter in law and the 3 grandkids and d-in-law family to spend 3 days at Halycon hot springs leaving Dec 26. Very unexpected we had to call an ambulance at 6am Dec 20 to take my husband to the hospital. It was his first ever at age 54 as a patient in a hospital and he was in extreme pain. The next few days were filled with ivs, tests, surgery and discover of a health risk that would have eventually killed him as it did his uncle 4.5 yesrs ago. After spending numerous hours at tge hospital and little sleep after visiting him on Christmas day to my son’s place l found everyone sick there with nasty colds so l immediately left kniwing my husband had a higher chance of sepsis. So l was home alone on Christmas day eating leftover pizza. The rest of the family went on the trip as l spent each day at the hospital. My husband was finally discharged the night of Dec 27. Although we didnt have the picture perfect Christmas we imagined we feel blessed that through this ordeal we did discover a health risk unrelated to his emergency surgery that we know have to deal with. Probably not the story you were expecting Jillian. So glad you had an amazing Christmas yourself spend with family and friends. We certainly hope next year will be awesome just have no control if our daughter will be here or not. Last year she was in Berlin working with Syrian refugees so this year would have been special . We are grateful to start 2018 on a healthy note and look forward to adventures with our kids and grandkids .

  13. Jillian Harris

    January 22nd, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Sending all of my love your way!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story!! XOXOXO

  14. Colleen

    January 3rd, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    What a great recap of your holiday! I am still exhausted as well and so happy none of you got sick afterwards as happens so often this time of year. We had all four of our adult children home in our 1600 SF 1910 farmhouse in Ferndale, WA. It was a tight squeeze on Christmas Day when both sides of the family were here in our compact living and dining room. About 18 people total. Luckily I had added a seating area in my entry this year which was definitely needed and utilized. By the way your pictures have wonderful clarity. What kind of camera do you use?
    Also this is off subject but where did you get that adorable white two piece bathing suit? I am headed to my happy place next week and would love to get one if possible (Hawaii)! Also great deals to Maui in February from Bellingham! Some flights are $179 each way!

    Happy New Year!

  15. Jillian Harris

    January 22nd, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    I use a Canon camera and my two-piece bathing suit is from Marysia!! XOXO

  16. Nats

    January 3rd, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Leo is the cutest! I am also going to go plant based. Where is you’re beige winter coat from?

  17. 10Minuteideas

    January 4th, 2018 at 1:49 am

    Awesome Christmas you enjoyed guys. It was an amazing experience for us to see that. Can you please share more pictures with us.

  18. Katriin

    January 4th, 2018 at 5:48 am

    Love it! My families Christmas is pretty much the same, 25 people all talking loudly, lots to do and a little bit of chaos. But I love every second of it. Sad that its over. Kisses!

  19. Kelly

    January 4th, 2018 at 8:00 am

    I loved the pictures you posted of Leo in today’s blog. Not only is he adorable but his smile is so big and genuine in all the pictures. It looks like he loved Christmas! My Christmas is quite different because the “kids” in our family are all adults. My husband and I have the youngest child out of all our siblings and she is a teenager. So, I did not have the hectic Christmas you did. We took our daughter to see a movie Christmas Eve, made brunch Christmas morning and scrapbooked and played board games. I think things get a lot more mellow as you get older and your child/children get older! One of my resolutions is to cook at home more and I am looking forward to your cookbook. I wanted to complement you on your thought provoking IG stories and on your followers who all politely express their opinions. My husband and I had a long discussion about the vegan issue last night and there was a lot of good information from you and followers that we are going to pursue. This blog and your IG are so fun to follow, looking forward to what you publish this year!

  20. Brenda Cremer

    January 4th, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Love hearing about your Christmas, it wouldn’t be Christmas if it wasn’t hectic! On the other end of the scale we had a very quiet Christmas, my 82 yr old mother had knee surgery, every one of my siblings had booked vacays away. So my husband and I spent the day with her and cooked up a turkey and the rest was vegetarian as she doesn’t eat any meat either. It was a lovely day and we wouldn’t have missed it for anything. Except my husband drove from Calgary to Vancouver and the roads were not very good. Our trip back was much better. Love following you Jill.

  21. catherine

    January 4th, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Your boy has such blonde hair. Are you or his dad a natural blonde?

  22. Jillian Harris

    January 22nd, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    His grandma is!!! XOXO

  23. Shannon marginet

    January 11th, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Hi there, I was just wondering where did you get your kitchen table from in your new house. I love it. When is your new cookbook coming out?

  24. Jillian Harris

    January 22nd, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    My kitchen table was made for me by Carson from Urban Roots Furniture!! Here’s a link to his site: And the cookbook will be coming out in 2019!!! Stay tuned!! xoxo

  25. Maria Tiberio

    January 13th, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Jillian can I ask where you got the red dress that you wore for the Christmas photo with you’re family by the front door?It looks so pretty on you.

  26. Maria Tiberio

    January 13th, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Yikes I can’t just leave the word that I wanted to correct on my post.

  27. Kate

    January 15th, 2018 at 10:05 am

    I’m a little late reading this post because I spent my Christmas in Botswana Africa on a family safari. Your Christmas sounded so wonderful and I loved seeing all the pictures and hearing about what you gave and received.

    My Christmas was amazing, completely different than the normal Christmas but such an amazing experience and humbling. Seeing lions, elephants, giraffes be in their natural habitat was incredible. You could definitely say after three weeks away, major time change, flight delays, it was tiring to come back to work.

    Cheers to 2018.

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