Oh, I do love this season. So far our tree is up and shimmery. The lights outside pop on at 4:30 (yes, that is dusk in these parts!). Each morning means an advent treat and finding our scout elf, Elfie. Today brings Santa pictures. We could plan a trip to ride the Holiday Carousel and visit the gingerbread houses in downtown Seattle. Holiday song fest and cookie reception, Christmas pageant practice and a big solo to practice for-the list can go on and on.
Meanwhile Santa hasn’t completed essential tasks, which will mean having a sitter next week since the kids are on break starting Friday at 3:30. All of these check lists and must-dos can cause one to be “Christmas frantic”.
Keeping things in perspective, I cherish traditions and look for ways to create memories with my kids.
Things I make time for each year:
- add one new ornament to our tree each year. Some are just pretty, others have stories. This year’s ornament comes all the way from NYC. (That just puts a smile on my face!)
- adding a new page to an album every year with our family’s Christmas card and the boys’ Santa picture. We only have it out this time of year and it is such a treat to look through.
- crab on Christmas Eve. This is a new tradition for me, one that I have borrowed from my husband’s family. It is the BEST dinner to ready for…..the cook does almost nothing. Buy the crab cooked and cleaned and ……Viola! Dinner is served.
- chose one classic holiday movie and watch it with my kids for the first time. This year (although it might be classified as a modern “classic” since it came it out in the 90’s.) it is Home Alone. I love to hear hear the belly laughs from all 3 of my guys!
- lunch date with a friend. A girl has got to eat and why not squeeze in time to lunch with a friend.
- buy new wrapping paper. I choose 3 or 4 designs and find ribbon that compliments them.
- make Santa Cake on Christmas Eve. Every other day of the year it is known to us as Rice Crispy treats. Santa is gluten-free in our house.
Things I have given up on:
- cutting down a tree.
- the perfect photo for the holiday card. If all 4 of us are in it….that is good enough.
- buying for everyone. The kids in our lives still get gifts, but the adults share a good bottle of wine and some merriment instead!
- the mall. I try to do most of my store shopping in local independently owned shops. The rest is done online. Nothing like shopping in your pj’s in front of the fire.
- making it all perfect. It is not attainable, so I try to find humor in all that goes wrong.