The holiday season is upon us and in full swing! I’m pretty sure I’ve already watched 3 holiday movies and it is only December 4th. However, I do strongly believe holiday decorating should NOT start until after Thanksgiving… but that’s a topic for another blog 🙂 I checked in with our CEO Bill Carlson to see what life is like in the Carlson household during the holidays!

December is a month for traditions. Do you have any family traditions that happen every year?

We start the holiday season at Thanksgiving with an annual family “spades” card tournament. In the past, it’s been pretty competitive (think a little “trash talk” and potential doors slamming by hormonal teenagers!) with a year’s worth of “bragging rights” and a nice “cash prize” at stake for the winner! This year our 8 yr. played for the 1st time and made it to the final round!! If you want Christmas traditions you need to check in again – my wife and kids are masters of the holidays – we have some GREAT ones….you might want to come join the family!

With 7 kids, I’m sure the gift buying and wrapping is quite a process! Any tips for other parents?

With the nickname “the Ultimate Consumer”, my motto is “I like it, I buy it!”, so finding a GREAT retail store to do “one-stop shopping” is KEY!! The Disney Store used to be the lucky recipient of our Christmas budget, but these days on-line retailers like Amazon are the way we go. My wife LOVES that you can even get the “best deal”, check almost everything of your gift list from the comfort of the couch and BONUS…the UPS guy gets to trudge through the snow to deliver it in two days (another key point since our kid’s “must-have” Santa gift might change 3 days before Christmas!). Wrapping is a whole other story…..ADVICE: There are people out there that LOVE to wrap – FIND THEM! Each kid gets their own kind of wrapping paper. Wrap all their presents at one sitting – saves time and effort switching papers etc. NO bows….. UNLESS it’s midnight on Christmas eve with things to wrap – then JUST a bow does the trick!

Do you have a favorite present ever received?

My wife surprised me with a trip to Las Vegas – NO KIDS!! Wait – that was for a birthday! Doesn’t matter, still the BEST gift EVER!!!!

I’m obsessed with holiday movies and music. What’s your go-to movie or song when you are feeling the holiday spirit?

Every Christmas, we have to watch Elf – it’s our “classic”. And my favorite holiday song is Wonderful Christmas Time by Paul McCartney.

Most importantly, have you been naughty or nice this year?!?! Remember, Santa’s listening!

I’ll let Santa decide…..that is a very subjective question 🙂