Merry Christmas! I've been eating more than just a little fudge, and attending my Jazzercise class, well, just a little. 'Tis the season! I'm not ashamed. And it's not going to end until January at least!
Today I started wrapping gifts and I finally ordered Christmas cards. So, if you're one of the two people who reads this blog, send me your address and I'll send you one. It might be February before you get it, but the minimum order at Costco is 50, so I might send you 25 to make up for my tardiness!
Today I am in awe at how my Mom pulled off Christmas with 9 children and somehow maintained keeping up with friends, sending out cards and family letters, cleaning toilets, making dinner, etc. Yesterday I went through my kids' toy closet and pulled out a big box of stuff to get rid of in anticipation of whatever Santa brings. I'm already having anxiety about the toys I'll be tripping over in a few weeks. I may be somewhat of a scrooge in that respect, but what I love about this season has nothing to do with gifts.
What I love about this season is the music. My Pandora "Jingle Bells" list has been playin' since October! I love the lights, going on drives with hot cocoa, and cinnamon or cider scents in my Scentsy warmer. I love making fudge, press cookies, and toffee. I love eating most of it and drinking milk right out of the jug (that's right Mom!) I love that my little Anna writes letters to Buddy, our family's "Elf on the Shelf." I love that every 30 minutes or so, and/or whenever she sees something Christmassy, Izzy squeaks out in her tiny little voice, "Happy Cwismas Mom!" "Happy Cwismas Dad!" I love remembering times when my little brother Carson and I would go shopping and pick out "the perfect gift" for each family member and buy it together with our paper route money. One year in grade school we bought each of our siblings different colored lucky rabbit's feet. (his gift picking skills have improved, sadly, mine have not!) I love that my kids know why we celebrate Christmas, and that they love to hear about Jesus' birth. I love pulling out my Nativity set each year and knowing that I"ll think of my Mom each time I do and there will be a reverence to it, like when we'd unveil our homemade dough Nativity set as kids. I love that my children have that same light in their eyes about the magic of the season that I had when I was little. Quinn asked today if we should make reindeer treats. Anna prayed tonight that our house elf would find somewhere high to land after going to the North Pole so Max doesn't touch him and cause him to lose his magic. Izzy keeps talking about Santa bringing her "pink stuff." I keep remembering little nostalgic moments of my childhood which endear me to my family. The memories, the beauty of freshly fallen snow, the melody of a song, the smiles and wonder and giddiness all speak of love. What I want is more than just a little of THAT. I want to bottle it. I want to preserve it. I want my children to have memories of times together that bind them. I want new traditions to bring us closer, and I want to continue with old traditions too (that means CHINESE FOOD for Christmas Eve, with or without Caralee!) I want to let go of being stressed about what my house looks like or what I'll be giving as neighbor gifts, and I want to just hold on to the good stuff and focus on how beautiful and sweet and innocent and perfect my kids are. I want to "be calm and carry on." That's what I want for Christmas, more CALM. Now, where do I buy that???
So what are you doing to make this year special? What traditions do you cherish? What makes your heart beat at Christmas time?