One of my favorite things about Christmas is that for several days after, the kids are busy, busy, busy with their new toys. They don’t say my name unless they are hungry or thirsty or need help changing costumes (or if they get bitten by their new hamster), and I am left to my own devices around the house.
I spent yesterday afternoon taking down most of our Christmas decorations and thinking about what a wonderful Christmas we had this year. We made some really great memories.
A week after Thanksgiving we went to Bryson City with some friends to ride on The Polar Express. It was a surprise to the kids, and it was nothing short of magical.
This was the perfect way to start out December. We didn’t feel pressured to take the kids to see Santa or anything like that, because how can you top riding the Polar Express to the North Pole? This will be a really special memory for all of us.
Another memory I will always keep close to my heart is that of Maddie helping me decorate the Christmas tree. She is developing such a sweet servant’s spirit, and she put most of the ornaments on our tree this year. She unwrapped every ornament so carefully, then asked me why it was special to me before she hung it on the tree (mostly on the same branch:)). We did end up with a small pile that had to be super-glued, but that is totally worth the image of her working so hard to get our home ready for Christmas.
We got to spend special time with all of our different families (which we have an abnormal amount of, but that’s a different post). I don’t have too many pictures since our camera is still broken (Jason and I are playing a little game where we each carry the camera around in our car for awhile and act like we’re going to take it to get it fixed), but took some pictures with my phone.
Actually, I think that not having a camera helped make this Christmas even better. Without the need to lug that heavy thing everywhere we went then spend all of my time looking through the camera lens, I had time to enjoy everything first-hand.
Some other things I didn’t feel the need to do this year:
-Finish sending Christmas cards. For some reason, I NEVER order enough Christmas cards. Then I end up paying too much money to get more cards and rushing around to get them in the mail. This year, when I ran out of cards I just said, “That’s it.” So if you happen to have a last name that would be at the end of my address book, I’m sorry. I’ll start at the end next year.
-Buy tons of presents. Actually, Jason did most of our shopping this year. He had a great time going to different stores and buying things for the kids, and I think it made Christmas a little more special for him. I know it did for me!
-Have perfect decorations. Our Christmas decorations were very pretty, but “child-friendly”. Our advent tree ornaments were our kitchen table centerpiece, and instead of my Department 56 “Christmas in the City” village we had a huge Lego-house built for Martin, our Elf on the Shelf. And like I said, our Christmas tree may have been a little one-sided.
I did, however, feel the need to finish our Advent Jesse Tree this year. Last year we only made it about halfway through, but we spent time each day on it and learned so much. It was a great experience to learn with the kids and teach them about the prophecies leading up to Jesus’ birth, about sin entering our world and God’s perfect solution for that. We truly celebrated Jesus’ birthday this year, and that is what really made the difference in our Christmas.
So our decorations are (almost all) put away and my vacuum-cleaner bag is full of glitter and pine shavings. We’re enjoying the lull between Christmas and New Years, a few days where things seem to move slowly and we take naps and clean house and spend hours (no joke) playing with Play-Doh.
Gonna try to keep this feeling going into 2016…