Well, it’s the first day of Christmas Break around here. Two glorious weeks at home with my people!
I know the blog has been quieter lately, so I thought I’d pop in this morning to just ramble a little about what we’ve been doing and our plans for the holiday etc. Just pretend you’re in my living room drinking (luke warm) coffee, listening to our battery operated Santa sing “Jingle Bells” for the 900th time, and pausing our conversation every 45 seconds to stop Nora from tearing down the Christmas tree or eating legos. Yep, that’s about right. 😉
So this is my fifth Christmas as a mom (crazy), and it’s felt a little different for some reason. Obviously it’s different because we have two kids this year (the best), but there’s also been an unfamiliar calmness about it that I really like. That’s not to say we haven’t been busy – isn’t everyone? – but I have felt a peace in simply doing what feels fun and right this season, and not feeling guilty about the things I’m not doing.
Exhibit A: I’ve been thinking I wanted to try to make gingerbread houses this year with Sam, but when I finally starting looking into all that goes into it – the mess, the sugar, etc. – I decided it would be more stressful than enjoyable, so we’re skipping it. Maybe next year. Maybe not. I skipped out on the daily Advent calendar this year too. I LOVE the idea of doing a fun family activity or act of service for 25 days leading up to Christmas and hope to return to that some day, but for this year, I felt like it would just be “one more thing” on the ole To Do list. I also *let* our babysitter (who, as you know, is amazing) do most of our wrapping, and Jeff has done most of our baking. I’m 100% ok with not being some sort of Christmas super-hero.
Of course, I’m not entirely a Scrooge! I love sending Christmas cards (I’ll share ours later this week), shopping for everyone on our list, decorating the house, reading Christmas books, and planning fun (simple) adventures for the kids.
We’ve visited Santa at the transportation museum, seen Shrek Christmas at the children’s theater, been to our neighborhood Christmas parade, and even taken advantage of this ridiculously warm weather with park play dates, a croquet tournament at my uncle’s, and a lovely (adults only) wine tour. Tonight we are taking the minivan out to see lights, and tomorrow Sam and I are going iceskating downtown.
I know enough to accept that balance is myth; so, instead, I’m embracing the seesaw. Some days are busy and full, and others require pajamas until noon and naps for everyone. There will likely come a time when the kids ask to do certain things and care about gingerbread houses and salt-dough ornaments (and I’ll likely oblige); but for now, I think they appreciate the simplicity too. Sam’s wonder and joy just decorating the tree this year made my heart explode (and totally made it worth the lopsided decorating and broken ornaments). We “won” an LED light-up snow man at the family Dirty Santa game on Saturday, and you would think he’d gotten the best gift EVER. And Nora… She’s into everything. She loves the lights, the bows, the music. She’s taking it all in. Is there anything better than a kid at Christmas?
So… That’s what we’re doing these days.
What about you? What’s on your “to do” or “not do” list? How do you make the most of this season?
We keep things pretty simple too. I love all the ideas at Christmas but sometimes wonder why it has to be so complicated and involved. I love reading Christmas books with my son, but I don’t get the wrapping them up part. I enjoy doing Elf on the Shelf but if I feel like skipping a night or two, we just say Elfie was too busy making toys to get away. If he only comes half of the days in December, who cares? We’ve done two or three acts of service this holiday season and they were wonderful to do together and I felt like my son kind of got it. Why enforce a rule that there has to be one done every day for 25 days? Balance may seem like a myth sometimes, but I don’t believe it has to be.
Amanda K. says
Merry Christmas to your family!!
love the sentiment of not being a super hero. amen.
have a wonderful christmas as a family of 4. if your big kid is anything like mine, christmas morning can’t come fast enough!
I feel the same way this year. I’m loving Christmas with kids, but my oldest is not quite three and she is so easily pleased. I don’t feel like I have to do much to make her happy.
Also, my mother-in-law gave us this plastic gingerbread house (http://www.amazon.com/Candy-Cottage-CC04/dp/B008K6VMRG) last year. I know that eating gingerbread is part of the fun, but I don’t have the motivation to do all that baking. This is an easy solution and you can just use store bought icing and cheap candy. Then scrape it all off and store it for next time you want to use it.
I love the simple too. We decided we were going to try to keep it simple to focus on the family time instead of doing what everyone else is doing. So there wont be any elf on the shelf or gingerbread houses in our house because like you said it seemed like more stress than what was needed. I hate that we are made to feel like we have to be super hero parents and do it all. It kind of takes away the intentionality and the spirit of things for me anyway. Way to enjoy the season!