Honestly, I feel out of breath. Christmas is over. This year, I think I squeezed just about all I could out of this season and I can contentedly say, I'm happy to move on.
All my memory making magic is, well, depleted.
Do you feel the pressure each Christmas? To make it "THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER" for your kids? I'll be honest, I do. Part of it's fine. I think it's natural and good. And then of course, part of it is unrealistic and likely due to the million posts on Pinterest that set these crazy expectations as well as the tendancy to compare to all your amazing friends on Facebook. And yes, just being honest, I get caught up in it even when I am trying not to.
But thankfully, it doesn't take much to create "THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER," for my kids. Nope. Why, the moment we put up the tree five weeks ago Grant said, "This is the best Christmas ever!"
But of course, what is Christmas time without traditions? Like, the infamous gingerbread house where it takes every perfectionist bone in my body to not try to reposition every misplaced gumdrop or broken candy cane?
What makes it even more special is having Grandma there to join in. And I realized, if my mom can forego the chaotic gingerbread dweeling, so can I.
Do you know my mom?
A huge Christmas fail for me is always, ALWAYS baking. Folks, I'm not a baker. Never will be. But, nonetheless, I try. So, we tried our hand at making shortbread cookies from scratch. Besides the event taking the whole morning, thus making us late to our Classical Conversations Christmas party, the cookies, well, were three stars shy of those "homemade" cookies in the bakery section at Publix. But, I must say, the kids had a blast.
I still say baking and made from scratch cookies, are well, for the birds.
That's some holiday spirit for you.
I won't even begin to describe my failed hand at peppermint bark that left me at the mercy of Pepperidge Farm's Mint Milano cookies (sprinkled with peppermint for that Christmas spirit) for the cookie swap I attended.
We added some new traditions this year. Like our Christmas chain countdown...that was successful up until about, oh, day, ten. It seems we still have a few chains dangling from the doorway.
Enthusiasm was there.
Another new one, opening a new Christmas book every day until Christmas. Now, this was pretty neat. Yes, I wrapped up 25 Christmas books. Some were old and some I scored for nothing on this site called Listia. So I really didn't pay anything out of pocket for these books. The kids enjoyed opening one each day and we read them during our read aloud time.
Those boxes in the back, another attempt to create memories. Thanks to the Target $1 clearance section, I got these for ten cents each. Inside we put a Scripture verse and an activity for the day.
This is where I realized I couldn't keep up and I think maybe an activity EVERY OTHER DAY would be more doable for our home. I'm not sure that the kids actually realized we didn't do about 1/3 of the activities I said we would.
We attended the Locust Grove Christmas parade, a first for our family. The highlight of the parade, lots of candy.
Even Molly joined in the fun.
I found a few crafts on Pinterest. This one was really cute.
And we made ornaments out of beads. A huge hit for Grant.
Finally Christmas Eve arrived. The kids got a box with pajamas, hot cocoa, and a new game.
We decorated Jesus' birthday cake.
Excuse the Pledge sitting right next to the cake. It seems in our house there is always something to clean up.
And, like most everyone else, Christmas day was spent enjoying the gifts and calling loved ones to thank them.
And as we enjoy these fun times, I try to remind our kids that these gifts are just a taste of the goodness of the Lord that far exceeds any earthly gift we could receive. I pray that in the hustle and bustle of this season we can remember to worship the Giver and not the gifts.
Praise the Lord for coming into a war zone to rescue us. May we all "taste and see that the Lord is good."
Merry Christmas to you all.