Tuesday, November 30, 2010

it begins tomorrow.

Scarlet Lily had a lovely post about the holidays this morning. She commented on how they seem to be fleeting. They really can be the most wonderful time of the year, but they can also be really stressful, which just makes it seem that much faster...like you just can't find the time to bake one more batch of cookies or buy stocking stuffers. You know what I'm talking about.

Well, the Christmas (Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Solstice/pick your poison) holidays are big around here. Mostly because my husband has always loved the holidays so much, and I really want to pass that on to our kids. That means making the holidays completely unlike what I grew up with, which was not joyful at all and lacking in any traditions whatsoever. I'm not implying that my holidays were bad because they weren't. We just didn't do anything as a family and there was a lot of stress about holiday shopping and getting from point-A-to-point-B. So, I try to make the holidays calm and peaceful and really about our family.

Now back to Scarlet Lily's post. She talked about using her Advent Calendar for activities, and great minds think alike. We've tried to get S into the Advent Calendar the past couple of years, but we've just put candy inside, and she'd often forget or we'd forget. It was clearly not very meaningful to any of us. This year, we're going the activities route. So, here's the list of things we're planning to do. Maybe between all of us we can share some great ideas and then figure out what will work, what won't work, and what's so stressful you might as well go to the mall.

1. Decorate the small tree in S's room.
2. Watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
3. Go to Christmas in Downtown Dickson.
4. Pick out our family Christmas tree.
5. Decorate our family tree.
6. Make Grandpa's favorite cookies (gumdrop cookies).
7. Make salt dough ornaments.
8. Make a Christmas centerpiece. (This will likely involve cutting magnolia and holly from the yard, and I see stick-painting in our future again!)
9. Build our gingerbread house.
10. Spend the night with T and Grandma.
11. Go to the theater to see Tangled.
12. Decorate Grandpa's tree.
13. Attend the Christmas concert at First Presbyterian.
14. Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
15. Take treats to share at school.
16. Take M out to lunch.
17. Buy food to donate to the local help center.
18. Have Christmas with M's sister and family!!
19. Get new pajamas for Christmas.
20. S gets to go on a date with her Daddy.
21. Watch Charlie Brown Christmas.
22. Have a Christmas play date with our friends.
23. Decorate Butter Cookies.
24. Read Twas the Night Before Christmas.

That's our list. I made it into a calendar (of course) and spread out the holiday baking on it...and added all the holiday movies that M and I watch. I don't want it to be like last year when we realized that it was Christmas Eve and we hadn't watched A Christmas Carol or It's a Wonderful Life. Somehow, we've never forgotten to watch Christmas Vacation.

So, there's our holiday, all mapped out. I'm hoping that keeping it organized will mean less stress, more downtime as a family, lots of family art nights. Just the good stuff.


ashley Sanders said...

What a fabulous idea Sommer!!!! And one I plan to steal for my future blog post:) I hope you are having a great rainy day. Drink some coffee for me.

va said...

Would you adopt me into your family please?

That's all.
And I haven't forgotten about a little hat for a little someone but I'm under the gun at the moment with a chem class and my mom's christmas request (6 new stocking! yoiks!) so she's still on my mind. Fortunately, there is plenty of cold weather after Christmas...right?

Melissa said...

Your blog has inspired me to create my own list, which actually includes many of the same things as yours. And for the first time ever this year, I have actually filled in a calendar with what we want to do, so that nothing gets left out. We found ourselves in the same situation last year - it was xmas eve and we hadn't watched all of the movies that we love. Christmas was magical for me as a child. I don't remember ANY of my parent's holiday stress, as I'm sure my own kids hear about from me. This year, I don't want them to hear about my endless list of things do. I just want us to hang out together, A LOT! After all, that's what Christmas is really about. Thanks for reminding me, as I just returned from the mall!!!!!