"God hides great things in little things. In every young girl, God hides a great woman; in every young boy, He hides a great man; in a small seed, He hides a big forest! A little is never inadequate if God's hands are its creator!"
This December I decided to scale back. Not to search out a million activities to fill every single waking second of our days. Sometimes December can feel like a lot. A lot of running. A lot of doing. A lot of spending. A lot of stressing. But not a lot of enjoying. We are one week into December and we've already done a lot, but I've approached the activities differently this time around. They aren't items to check off a list, but moments to enjoy with each other.
We started the holiday hubbub with a Live Nativity outside on a dark, chilly Friday night. It's probably one of my most cherished things we do the whole month, and it's very fitting that it's always at the start of the craziness--a nice reminder that the holidays are less about material goodies and all about celebrating. With Ashton perched upon my husband's shoulders and Spencer hugging my leg, the familiar story warmed me on that cold night. We danced and hummed along to the music, and Spencer was a little starstruck with the little girl in the choir. Mommy, she sings so pretty.
We came home that night to find that Santa had visited early again this year, leaving a letter to express the importance of giving rather than receiving. And those silly elves somehow got the wrong size jammies, which Spencer informed Santa the following morning at the fire station. Last year both boys were enamored with the jolly fat man with the white beard. This year Ashton was scared and would only whisper-whine what he wanted for Christmas while firmly planted in my arms.
My husband and I have differing opinions when we should decorate for Christmas, specifically when we should get a tree. I'd deck the halls right after Halloween, but he'd prefer the middle of December. So, instead, we wait until after Thanksgiving. This year we opted to skip the generic parking lot and discovered the quaintest little tree farm. There might not have been miles upon miles of trees to choose from, but we preferred the small field that felt so much more doable with the little legs accompanying us. The boys and I watched as Dave chopped down the tree, and then Spencer and Ashton helped lug it back to the truck. We wouldn't learn until later that our tree estimating skills are lacking. It was several inches too tall for our living room. So some hacking and grooming later, the tree is sitting pretty in front of the window for all to adore.
I'm fairly certain the boys would list the trains as their favorite part of our tree-picking experience. The tree farm had a red caboose warming house with hot apple cider and cookies and a teeny tiny train car that Spencer and Ashton played in for quite some time before we made them leave.
Our house is officially decorated, most of the gifts bought and stashed away, and the calendar blooming with our favorite activities. Yet I still aim to slow down and truly enjoy the moments.