Is it ok to admit that I’m a little bit relieved now that Christmas is over? This year in particular just felt a bit “off”- kind of crazy– and I’m not sad that it’s over. I like the peace of the New Year’s season, when life feels less hurried and more focused, a little bit simpler and more relaxed. Perhaps that’s the introverted part of me- the part of me that likes to bundle up under a blanket with a good book and enjoy the quiet passage of time. I like parties and flashing lights in small doses, but if Christmas was all year I think I’d go insane!
I do love how happy the kids are about Christmas, and the little bit of magic the holiday season inspires in the childhood imagination. I have to tell you, we’ve never played up or encouraged the Santa story with our kids, but when Seth came to wake me up at 4:30 yesterday morning and whispered, “Santa came!”- well, the wonder in his tone was sweetly enchanting. I don’t know that I’d ever describe anything else he’s ever said in nearly seven years of life that way, so it felt special. I welcomed him under the blanket with me and watched him drift back to sleep, and the smile on his face was priceless.
Here’s some snapshots from our Christmas festivities:
Friday evening, my family came to our house for dinner and we did our first gift exchange. My parents brought boxes full of books for the kids, so we have lots of reading material to keep us through the winter! My sister and brother-in-law gifted the kids a couple of RC helicopters, though, and those were hands-down probably the best gifts of the weekend. We’ve already had hours of fun with those (noisy) things! The dog needs some Valium now, though, bless him…
Saturday, we went to church for the annual Christmas candle-lighting service. Our home church always does an amazing job bringing the right balance of fun and reverence to the celebration, and we enjoyed it very much. Afterwards, we took the kids to visit Eric’s mom and they were allowed to open one present. They both fell asleep on the way home so that Eric and I could turn into Mr. and Mrs. Claus and watch It’s A Wonderful Life while we assembled bikes and a toys late into the night!
It was really important to me this year that we not give the kids 1,000 titchy little toys that they wouldn’t appreciate a month from now. They each got a new bicycle, and one nice toy and a book each from us. Of course, after we went back to eat Christmas dinner Eric’s mom, she undid all that simplicity as grandparents are often wont to do. Not too badly, though… I think I might be able to find places to store each of their new things, but that’s a topic for another post. 😉
We played outside in the warm Alabama sun all afternoon and into the evening. There’s no such thing as a white Christmas around here (Though it did happen once that I remember! We got a little dusting of snow on Seth’s first Christmas, and that was truly magical!)- we were in short sleeves all day and it was almost even hot. Seth and Hawk rode their new bikes back and forth, up and down the road until the sun went down, and then we all came home and tucked in early.
Today, I am headed out early with the kids to brave the after-Christmas clearance sales. We have one item to return, a little bit of cash, and a plan to find some new shoes and winter coats for the boys. Even though it was warm yesterday, it’s not likely to remain that way and the cold weather will settle in to stay before long! It’s officially winter, and that means it’s time to set goals for the year to come, cuddle in next to the heater with a good book, and please- for the love of all that is good in the world- let’s go back to normal now!