Holiday time is one of the most magical times of the year. Sparkly lights, pretty wrapping paper, sequin dresses, good food and good company 鈥 what else could you ask for?! From a young age, I鈥檝e been obsessed with any and every holiday. I used to plan out my outfits for the month so I could make sure I didn鈥檛 overlook a holiday sweater or headband. Nowadays I like to focus more on creating magical holiday memories with my friends. Since all of my friends are from all over, I decided to plan a special getaway trip for us to celebrate the holiday season together.

big_sur_holiday_shoot_245

I used Airbnb to find a magical getaway in Big Sur, where we would spend two nights just doing our favorite things 鈥 cooking, baking,crafting, hiking and, of course, chatting.

big_sur_holiday_shoot_064

When planning a vacation, you, of course, need to bring your suitcases, but when planning a holiday getaway you need to pack presents, food and maybe even a Christmas tree! Don鈥檛 worry, though 鈥 I鈥檝e come up with an efficient master plan to create the most memorable and Instagrammable girls鈥 holiday getaway. Read on for five essentials you need to bring and do on your trip!

Step 1: The Tree

big_sur_holiday_shoot_234

Real talk 鈥 I鈥檓 obsessed with Design Love Fest鈥檚 floral tree. This was my top priority for my girls鈥 holiday getaway. We packed fake flowers, tissue paper flowers, pinecones and Christmas lights to recreate this floral tree.

big_sur_holiday_shoot_260

Our first activity was setting up the tree. (We brought a fake one to make it super easy.) Then we blasted Christmas music that we had pre-downloaded onto our phones and began adorning the tree with flowers, just like we would with ornaments. We played around with bands of flowers versus polka dots of flowers, and decided that a floral wrap of a garland was the way to go. Spots of flowers just made the tree look like a wild bush.

Step 2: The presents

big_sur_holiday_shoot_152

The girls and I decided to do a secret Santa with a $30 limit. That way we didn鈥檛 have to haul tons of gifts! We filled the tree with little gifts for one another that pertained to all of our quirky inside jokes. Finding gifts sometimes isn鈥檛 that easy 鈥 I personally reference Brit +Co gift guides for present inspiration all the time. My secret is to click into the websites where you can buy the products 鈥 there is most likely another color or version of the gift that would suit your BFF perfectly.

big_sur_holiday_shoot_223

We鈥檙e always all about those Instagrammable or Snapchattable memories, so take your gift giving to the next level with cute or thoughtful gift wrapping. Cortney gifted all of her presents out of cute cable knit stockings that we then could keep and hang in our SF apartments.

Step 3: Matching PJs

big_sur_holiday_shoot_219

As the host of the event, I wanted to treat my BFFs to something special. I ordered everyone matching PJs and sweaters from Amazon as a little gift from me to them.

big_sur_holiday_shoot_205

One idea that we didn鈥檛 have a chance to do was to DIY our matching sweaters into amazing holiday sweaters. Pack puff paint, felt, ribbon, sequins and hot glue guns to have a little DIY sesh with your besties.

Step 4: Cookie Decorating

big_sur_holiday_shoot_085

It鈥檚 not a true celebration unless there are cookies and sprinkles. We brought pre-made cookie dough to cut down on the mess and cooking supplies we needed to bring to the cabin. What we didn鈥檛 cut down on was icing or decorating supplies :) #sprinklesarelife

big_sur_holiday_shoot_280

Icing, sprinkles, hot cocoa 鈥 we were in heaven.

Step 5: Fancy Dinner Party

big_sur_holiday_shoot_002

Even though we were at a cabin in the woods, that didn鈥檛 mean we couldn鈥檛 put on a fancy dress ;) The key to our dinner party was easy foods that required small prep work, and wine :)

big_sur_holiday_shoot_008

We picked up a rotisserie chicken and some easy vegetables to roast in the oven. Don鈥檛 forget about dessert 鈥 we had a pre-made pie, and then, of course, our cookies!

big_sur_holiday_shoot_033

I鈥檓 so thankful for all these awesome ladies. We had a blast on our two-day 鈥済lamping鈥 getaway. Now for some more tips and a look into our mini vacation.

big_sur_holiday_shoot_043

When you put five creatives in the woods with iPhones and a bomb Christmas tree, you鈥檙e going to take endless photos. Set up a shared photo album for everyone to add pictures 鈥 this way, no one misses out.

big_sur_holiday_shoot_275

Our beloved Cortney is moving to NYC and will join the B+C gang on the other coast. Big Sur was a check-off item on her list, and it was even more special that we filled the trip with more of her favorite things 鈥 Christmas and flowers!

big_sur_holiday_shoot_273

Happy Holidays, everyone! Be sure to follow us on Pinterest for more creative ways to celebrate this season.

DIY Production and Styling: Kelly Bryden
Photography: Brittany Griffin

Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.