This past month I have been very proactive with things concerning Christmas…I wanted it to be a relaxing time of year where we are able to sit back, enjoy this time together and reflect on why we celebrate this special day. For the first time in 10 years, since we have lived in Chicago, we will be staying home for Christmas. That alone makes this year feel so much more special already…the stress of packing and figuring out how to get gifts to where we are staying, along with the traveling piece is enough to create so much anxiety for a Mom (and Dad, too) that I’ve always seemed to lose focus on the importance of the holiday. I am thrilled to be hosting my family this coming weekend and Chris’ family will arrive after Christmas. I have already been meal planning! I’m going to attempt some of my Grandma’s favorite Christmas snacks (both Shike & McKeown)…so we will see if I’m able to carry on the traditions!
The day after Thanksgiving Parker started asking “When’s Christmas?”. I realized it was time for an advent calendar so he could have a visual of the count down and could stop asking every day if tomorrow was Christmas. In years past I’ve heard all these great ideas other Mom’s do to involve their kids in Christmas activities daily, but I never felt I could keep up with it so why put in the effort. Plus in the past we’ve always left home for Christmas so I thought to myself, why start something I can’t finish. Just an excuse, I guess, to not want to try something new and fail. Silly, really! So, this year I took a completely different approach. My Mom found me the perfect advent calendar…it has small pockets I can put a note in if I’d like, otherwise we just move a heart from one day to the next. Quite simple, which is EXACTLY what I needed. Prior to Dec 1st, I came up with 25 different things we could do each day until Christmas. Well, by the 3rd, I’d already missed a day and quickly decided to give myself some grace and do what I could! Good thing I did considering I had to take 3 days off to potty train my daughter. Hadn’t planned on that one, but what a wonderful Christmas wish to Chris and I…only one in diapers for Christmas? Yes, please! The things we have done together have been great and the conversations around what Christmas is all about have humbled me and made me laugh! I’m just grateful for the quality time I’ve had with all my children during these activities!
An excellent site I have borrowed a few ideas from is Lil Light O’ Mine. This site provides numerous ways to involve kids in lighting up the lives of others!