'Tis the Season.

It Begins...

Well, seeing as how I napped away most of my Fall ~ it really has no choice but to begin.  Post Haste.

But, this is the part of the Pre-Christmas Holiday that I absolutely love.  Crafting and creating little labors of love for the people that are most special to me.

This year involves a bit of wood, some jig-sawing, some cork, some birch bark, some grating, and some royal freezing of my buns off in the cold to do some of my gift prepping and collecting.  That part I don't particularly love so much.  But, the making and the gifting along with the Christmas music and the little hands so eager for helping?  LOVE it.
 Hmmm.  OH what could this be?
I'll never tell...
For you may find it beneath your very own TreeEEeeeee!!!

And this year we are going waaay simple.  Partially out of necessity, but equally out of desire.  Simple in the gift giving and also very simple in the Holiday prep.  I tend to go big or go home...but I'm learning that rather than just "go home" ~ why not keep it simple and at least be able to follow through?

So, for us...at least for this year....instead of doing a grand advent calendar like I had planned in my head, we made this:
It's a paper chain where the kids will take turns ripping off one ring a day to count down to the big day.

Awesome.  But, do you know what?  They love it, and they don't care that it's lame.  And instead of trying to read through three different Advent books at the same time, I've picked just one - (that I made through about three chapters of last year before I petered out, by the way) - and we're sticking with that.  One chapter a day at breakfast.  And each boy, at each of their age levels, will get whatever takeaway they get.

It's called "Jotham's Journey" and it's a beautiful, action packed, chapter story book specifically written to prepare little boy's hearts for Christmas.  And they love it.  AND they reminded me that we started it last year, "but we never finished it, Mama...."  Yup.  Awesome.  So, here goes round two.
 Oooh - la la!  It smells delish?
Oh, what could possibly go in this dish?


So, yes.  Paring down.  Embracing simplicity.  Trying to slow and savor.
And my babies are still at the easiest, sweetest ages where Christmas is just so special and so much fun no matter what we do.  I think we're the ones who put the crazy amounts of pressure on ourselves to make it perfect and over the top awesome each year.  Or maybe that's just me....

But, I am learning.  And I'm definitely learning my weaknesses and my limitations.  I have grand plans and schemes, but if I can't follow through with them, well, it kind of defeats the purpose and it would have been better to just start out simple in the first place.
Here's an example:  I totally almost dropped the ball on Operation Christmas shoe boxes this year.  It's our first time doing it - because I always blow by the time for collection and gathering treasures.  But THIS year, I said was the year.  We pooled our money, the kids donated too, we shopped together, we made up fun little boxes.....and there they sat on my counter for days.  And days.  And days.

Until the day AFTER collection when I went into full blown panic mode and had Kev drive clear across town to literally put them on the back of one of their huge U-Hauls as they were getting ready to pull out of town.  Awesome.
Joy to the world.

So, I'm growing.
I'm learning.
Big baths of grace, baby...

And thanks to my dear friend, Rachael D., and my three future daughters-in-law, ever since MY boys saw that they each have their very own Christmas trees in their very own bedrooms...well, that has become their new favorite tradition.  Here, they can decorate it themselves, wrap their very own Christmas gifts, and plan their very own Christmas parties.  So, we walked out back, we chopped a wee tree, and we stuck it in a bucket.

Easy enough.
Joy to the world.
Here's to embracing it ALL.....


LaurelM said...

jotham's journey sounds awesome... hope i can find it in time. <3

Kevin and Amy said...

whoops. It's actually Bartholomew's Passage. There is one called Jotham's Journey, too. Don't think you could wrong with either, actually. There's another one for girls called Tabitha's somethingrather.... I would eventually like to have all three. They kind of go together...