Thursday, December 24, 2009

So behind, but OK with it!

Every year, I resolve to wrap my Christmas presents early. Every year, my husband and I are up until the wee hours doing it. My two older ones no longer believe in Santa Claus, so we don't fret as much about a child sneaking down into the basement office where we're working. Now, it's only a 50% chance that someone who catches us will be a believer. The sleep deprivation is worth the look on their faces Christmas morning. After all, there were no gifts under the tree when they turned into bed!

I dread that part since I can't stay up that late anymore without significant pain, but I've been so calm about Christmas this year! I shopped online early enough that I didn't have to worry about paying through the nose for expedited shipping. I also did a little at a time and stayed focused at the stores. I think I even stayed within my budget for a change!

So, I must go clear off the table for tonight's family dinner. We have adopted a tradition from my husband's family. We give each other ornaments and giftwrap them on Christmas eve. During dinner, we each open our packages and hang them on the tree. We always eat dinner in the dining room too. Right now, said table is full of greeting cards from our friends (that I mostly sorted and displayed!), school papers, bills, Star Wars Legos and the cordless phone amongst other things.

However, tonight there will be candles, scented pinecones, sparkling grape juice (only two of us are old enough to drink wine) and spaghetti. A simple, yet wonderful dinner that makes memories for us every year. Hopefully, I will put up our Nativity Set that belongs on the table next to it. Since I cheated and bought store-bought cookie dough, I might have a shot at putting it up before dinner!

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. Keep Christ in Christmas. For those who celebrate other holidays, I hope you had a beautiful Hannakuh and I would love to hear what other traditions people have for Christmas or other holidays!

God Bless.

Merry Christmas!

Please accept my sincerest holiday wishes! Whatever you celebrate, may you enjoy quality time with your family and friends.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My Favorite Saturday

I think that there is truly something spiritual about a gray day, but especially a Saturday. If there is rain (even just a drizzle) or snow, that's even better. I believe it is something that started in my childhood. The coziness of being hunkered down on a gloomy Saturday with my whole family around just stuck with me all of these years.

I love sunshine as much as the next person but there's just something about it. As a mom, I seem to have added a nesting element to it. My reflections are not as deep right now though as it's noisy around here with the joyful and not so joyful sounds of my children! Curling up with a book is also out of the question.

However, I light scented candles, put on classical music (or Christmas music if it's the season) and peek out the window a lot. I find inspiration this way. These are also the days that I do most of my baking with my kids or crafts with them adding to the whimsy.

Today was one of these wonderful days. There was a light rain falling that is now changing to snow. There are so many Christmas lights and decorations up around town that is making it so much more magical too. The only way it could be more perfect is if my own family had our tree up or a fire going in our fireplace. We always wait until my daughter's birthday is over to do our heavy-duty decorating, but we're behind this year. Our family is also in the process of purging toys to bless others (and make room for Santa's goodies!). So, our fireplace is not accessible right now.

I am looking forward to more of these days this season and beyond. One of the candles I have burning right now is Balsam Fir so I can pretend it's a Christmas tree.

My kids do have a lot of energy and need a ton of exercise, however. They've been known to play outside in the rain, but not when it's this cold. So, after a day or two, it's time for me to say, "Rain, rain go away." Today, though, I had my Saturday.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

We Oughta Be in Pictures!

Hello friends,

As soon as I find the thing-a-ma-doody (I coined the term. In this case, I am referring to a cable.) that connects my camera to my computer, I will post some recent pictures.

In the Christmas Spirit!

I have never paid attention to how many shopping days are left until Christmas (well, maybe when they get into the single digits!). It's 67 degrees where I live (Northeast US). Apparently, the record high for today was 65 degrees set back in the the 1930's! Time for a new statistic!

In spite of the weather, the fact that my son wore only a T-shirt to school this AM (oh, and pants too) and that I'm airing out the house by opening our porch door, I am totally in the Christmas spirit!

I've started my shopping (before the aforementioned last days of the countdown!), decorated a little and there's a local radio station that plays Christmas songs 24/7 that I have on whenever possible. Yup, it's on right now! This is significant because anyone who knows me knows that I work well under pressure (aka I need a deadline coming up fast to accomplish most things). I think I've just burnt myself out with all of the last minute stuff after all of these years I've been on earth. I've just been planning ahead better. Having 4 kids in 4 years has also taught me that waiting until the last minute can be hazardous to our health. No joke! Serious stress!

I feel a void because I did not properly record the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting that was on TV last night. We got fiberoptic TV recently and apparently I'm still on the learning curve of using the equipment. I have succesfully recorded other shows we like so I know I can do it. I'll get over it, even though I have a passionate admiration for New York City and an attachment to Rockefeller Center. I ice skated there with my dad when I was a kid.

OK, I'm mushy. I like (some) cheesy Christmas TV specials and songs. I figure I must not be the only one or they wouldn't be on! My all-time favorite Christmas songs are the ones with Christ in them. "Do you Hear What I Hear", "O Holy Night" and "The Little Drummer Boy" top my list. Here is a list of my other fun favorites with my favorite singers of said songs:

"Sleigh Ride" (Leonard Bernstein and the Boston Pops), "Happy Holidays" (Andy Williams), "Feliz Navidad" (Jose Feliciano), "Baby it's Cold Outside" (Dean Martin and Martina McBride) and "J-I-N-G-L-E Bells" (Frank Sinatra) to name a few.

Also, because they remind me of my three boys: "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)"

And of course, from the awseome 80's: "Last Christmas" (Wham!) and "Wonderful Christmastime" (Sir Paul McCartney).

This one has GOT to go though (all versions, sorry Jackson 5, love you guys, but you should have done another song!): "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus".

Chime in! (pun intended) Which ones do you love and which ones make you wanna lose your lunch?

Merry Christmas! Happy Hannakah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy New Year!