Happily Eva After’s Eva Amurri Martino has the perfect solution if you forgot to go shopping.
Well, crap. You were in the holiday spirit (as far back as August), singing carols, attending parties, when you realized a little something: Your gift shopping isn’t done. But, the plus side to living in 2017? Computers. And printers. And sites where you can purchase brilliant, last-minute gift cards and tickets. It’s something lifestyle blogger (and daughter of Susan Sarandon) Eva Amurri Martino relies on—especially since she’s pretty busy running Happily Eva After and caring for her two small children.
“Something that happens with me is I’ll do all of this planning ahead of time, and then literally on Christmas Eve, I’ll be like, ‘No! I forgot one!’” she tells us when discussing how to survive the holidays as a mom, as well as last-minute gift ideas like tickets from StubHub. “With StubHub, you can go on the site on Christmas Eve, find tickets you want, and literally [print] them out.”
Of course, she uses the site in advance, too, oftentimes putting together little sets for her husband and family. Ahead, see her tips for making this “lazy” gift extra special, her advice for de-stressing during the holidays, and why she only allows her kids to have ONE gift from Santa.
When you gift tickets, do you put together sets?
“These tickets really do spark your creativity. For example, I got my husband [Kyle Martino] Hamilton tickets for Christmas. I wrapped them in this cool, old-fashioned chest, with a leather-bound notebook and a pen that evoked the mood of Hamilton—my favorite nonfiction history book—and a copy of The Hamilton Mixtape. I also grew up going to the Big Apple Circus during the holiday season, so this year I went on StubHub and found tickets to the Big Apple Circus [for Christmas Day]. I wrapped them in a box with ornaments, circus animals, a great circus-themed book, and some clown noses. It’s just a fun way for [the kids] to put together where we’re going, and to be able to tell them, ‘Not only are we going where Mommy used to go during the holidays while growing up, but we’re going today.’ We’re going to gift them and then literally leave for the circus in two hours. Just having the immediacy of that cool surprise experience is just so special.”
How many gifts do you end up giving your kids?
“I think gifts with kids have gotten way out of hand, so my kids are allowed to ask for one thing from Santa—just one. Then they get one present from Kyle and I, one present from each other, and that’s it. Then, whatever presents they get from family and friends, they open in the afternoon, and obviously they get little things in their stockings. I found that when we enforced that last year with [my daughter] Marlowe, she was just so grateful. She asked for a purple kitty cat—that’s what she decided she wanted from Santa. Thank God for Amazon; I found a purple kitty cat, and it was like, $8. I actually felt guilty that it was like, the cheapest gift ever. But she freaked out when she opened it—she couldn’t believe that Santa had gotten her exactly what she wanted. She still has that kitty cat and remembers it as the present she got from Santa when she was two years old. I think that when we’re thoughtful about what we give our loved ones, it ends up making memories that are much more long-standing.”
How do you treat yourself during the holidays?
“I make a point to take a week off. No new posts go up on the blog, my newsletter doesn’t go out—I just take time for me and for my family. Then, I try to make sure that I’m checking in with myself—that I’m giving myself little breaks, that Kyle and I are making time to connect. It’s a learning process. As I spend more years in my marriage, and as I spend more years as a mom, I learn myself a lot better. I learn my limits. I posted this on Instagram the other day too [after seeing the Rockettes with Marlowe]; I messed up. I tried to do too much, and ended up doing opposite of what I wanted, which was to give my daughter the best day possible. I was stressed, she was stressed—it just ended up terribly. After days like that, I have to check in with myself and be like, ‘Why am I trying to do so much?’ Like, I get into New York City and I force us to have fun? Sometimes, it’s better to sit in bed and eat ice cream together than it is to try to do it all.”
Do you ever use “I’m telling Santa” as a parenting tool?
“Oh my god—I fully use it. I’ll use anything I can to threaten my kids to act better, are you kidding? If there was a holiday that was year-round that I could use to threaten my kids... Sometimes, that’s the only thing that she listens to. So I am not above anything.”
Photos: Courtesy of StubHub/Eva Amurri Martino
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