Monday, November 29, 2010

it's beginning to look a little bit like christmas

I just love this time of year.  I love getting the decorations out and all the memories and traditions that go along with decorating for Christmas.  I remember decorating my parent's house well past my college years and putting decorations out in the exact same place we did as children.  Because, it's tradition baby! 

I love how lights just magically appear in neighbor's yards and on doors and in windows.  There is something so cheerful about a house adorned with lights.  And even the houses with way more lights and decorations than I feel is necessary, still make me smile.  And of course, my kids think more is better!

I love baking cookies with my children and using recipes that my mom and grandmother gave me.  And sometimes, I even like using the pre-made cookie dough that comes in the log from the store.  They don't care where the dough comes from or who made it, as long as they are allowed to decorate the heck out of the cookies they are happy.  And decorate we do, because when else do you get to put 10 pounds of frosting and sprinkles on a cookie and call it art or better yet eat it for breakfast?!?

I love pulling out all the Christmas cds we have and playing them over and over again.  I love playing Christmas music and hearing little voices singing along in the background. 

When Mark and I got married I didn't think too much about the traditions I wanted to carry on or new ones to create.  We sort of just decorated whenever and all was great.  Then the children came.  And I wanted the traditions of my childhood.  I want to intentionally create and pass on traditions that mean something to my children.  So that this incredibly awesome season will be filled with memories of doing things together that mean something.   A friend said to me once that 'Traditions tangibly show your values and pass them down to your kids'.  And I thought, wow that's good.  But really it's true.  We all want to pass on something to our kids that creates a bond, that knits our family just a little bit closer because we did it together.

So we have family Christmas traditions.  Things that we do every year and the kids remember and look forward to doing them.  And then this year because our kids are a little bit older and able to do more and understand more, we have a list of new traditions we would like to start.  Traditions that focus on our family doing things together and our family focusing on others.  I'll be posting more about these as we work out the details and hopefully do the things on our list.  But it includes going to local Christmas displays, making and delivering cookies and taking a set amount of money and buying for those in need (both here and in other countries).  We are starting small and open to being flexible.  Because as everyone with kids knows, sometimes it really is better the way you picture it in your head than in real life!

For now, we are slowly decorating our house.  We usually put our tree up and decorate the outside of our house the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  But this year, Mark is still not feeling 100% since his stomach distress on Thanksgiving.  So we put the tree up but haven't decorated it.  And we only have lights on one tree outside, instead of the trees and bushes.  I've put up some of the inside decorations but am enjoying getting the house dressed for Christmas slowly.  I've been enjoying all my decorations instead of rushing to put things out so the house looks just so.  And this year, my helpers are actually helping me.  Well, most of the time anyway...

We found 3 of Luke's toys in the tree the night we set it up.  Did you see the dinosaur and Spiderman or just the elephant?  And Grace is proving to be more of a problem than the cat we had when we first got married.  She just can't stay away from the lights.  I've already had to change my 'traditional' mantle display because she was pulling on the lights and I didn't want to loose my antique tree collection. 

I love this time of year because it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


Anna said...

I like the idea of creating traditions too and we are trying to do that with our kids. Just put up our tree and decorations yesterday and the advent calendar is ready to go for tomorrow.

I only saw the elephant...and now I can still only find the dinosaur and not spiderman??:)

Connor my youngest was very quiet this afternoon and when I suddenly realised he was missing found him at our tree pulling off lots of the can relate to you with Grace doing the same things.

Take care,

Gardenia said...

traditions began meaning to me when I was single living alone. it was wonderful. and now with a family, the traditions mean even so much more. the decorations are so attractive to my daughter too. she can't keep her hands off of them -- wants to touch and feel and play with each one.

Jeanne said...

Lots of fun! There's a cute Max & Ruby episode where Max puts his toys on the tree.