Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Traditions: Kick-starting the Holiday Season.

Three weeks. We have three weeks to cram every little thing into this holiday season. The task seems near impossible, but I'm definitely up to the challenge because I simply love everything there is about Christmas. The traditions we carried over from our families, the ones we've adopted along the way, new ones that crop up each year. The Christmas lights and decorations. The shopping and gift-giving. The love and merriment. The excited and charged anticipation that hangs in the air. Perhaps my favorite part about the holidays is reliving that unique magic all over again with my children. And not just reliving it, but creating it! We are now responsible for delivering that magical holiday spirit to our children, and it's something I live for.

We kick-started our holiday season last weekend when we went Christmas tree shopping. We got a later start than intended, but the darkness almost added an element of excitement to the experience. If you were at the same tree place as us last Saturday and you happened to hear two desperate parents willing their children in every capacity you can dream of to sit still for a picture, that was us. Hi, we are shameless picture-bribers, and we're only slightly embarrassed about it. And when I say we, I really mean me, because David just plays along in order to hurry the process along. So these pictures cost us two nickels and a whole lot of begging and pleading. Ten cents well invested.

One night after supper we told the boys we were having a party (because everyone knows things are more fun if they're labeled a party) and set forth to decorate the tree. Christmas music played lightly in the background. Reindeer antlers planted atop my head (everyone else declined their antlers and Santa hats). The totes of ornaments and lights camped out on the living room floor. We were ready to do it, but apparently Spencer and Ashton did not receive the memo about parties being fun because they were being little monsters and I was half convinced they were determined to ruin the festivities. After a lot of whining and bickering and a fist full of hair in one chubby hand, we sent them to their bedrooms to regroup. It's Christmas, after all, and we're all going to love every minute of it whether we want to or not dangit! Luckily after the time-outs, they emerged happier and ready to go. There were a few casualties among the ornaments (one circa 1980-something belonging to one sad daddy), but the tree is now unevenly and awkwardly decorated.

Afterwards, we turned the lights off, plugged in some extra Christmas lights and planted the boys in front of the tree whilst I crouched in front of them and snapped about a million pictures. They endured it easy enough because they were distracted by the first gifts of the season. You see, Santa visits our house a handful of times before Christmas morning. I love that they don't question this oddity yet and that we have free reign to amend the traditional story any which way we please. I started these early Santa visits last year when I was trying to incorporate the importance of giving to balance out the overload of receiving the holiday is famous for. Santa wrote Spencer and Ashton a letter urging them to give and then they shall receive. He also dropped off some Christmas movies (the $5 Walmart tag still in tact. Santa sure has a long ways to go in his sneaky ways before these kids get older and wiser!).

Our party ended with the boys' first hot cocoa experience while enjoying one of their new Christmas movies. Not surprisingly, Spencer took one sip of the Luke warm drink and added it to the long list of things he doesn't like; and Ashton savored every last drip in his mug, leaving the evidence on his shirt and face. All in all, the tree decorating party was a success.

This week also started our version of the advent calendar--Fill in Santa's Beard.

And we added yet another set of hand prints onto the tree skirt.

Lastly, what house is complete without a letter to Santa and some homemade decorations. We made an extremely short paper chain for the tree (barely wraps around once) and a snowflake garland. Spencer cut those snowflakes to his heart's content. (You're welcome, Mrs. Sand. You asked for him to practice his scissor skills at home and I have the paper confetti proof all over my house to prove it.)


  1. Love it. You're always doing such fun things with your boys. I think I missed some of your light pictures on ig (I've been trying to spend less time on my phone and it gets me behind on my ig feed!), but they came out great! I love them!

    1. Thanks, Lindsay. I do understand falling behind on your feed. IG can be a full time job!!