Wednesday, December 4, 2013

recent chaos called LIFE

I don't know how or when I became such a brainy mess, but I am. I have literally lost my mind. I have always been and now, I am everyfreakinwhere. Work is busy busy and there are days I forget don't have time to eat or take a break if I want to get out on time to pick up my babe. Thanksgiving, birthday parties, family gatherings, holiday gatherings, football games, ahem, war damn, Christmas cards, decking the halls, new family traditions with the kiddos... and somewhere in there I have to shop for gifts? I had a bit of a moment of panic last night when I realized that Christmas is upon us- 3 weeks, actually- and the outside of our house is not even decorated. Not one single bit. My Christmas cards are in, but not addressed... Our tree is up, but not a present is wrapped, if at all bought. Auburn won the Iron Bowl last weekend, to everyone's shock and amazement. It was wonderful and consumed my weekend. Now we go to the SEC Championship game this coming Saturday- an unexpected surprise, but a surprise nonetheless. So much for Christmas shopping. Ri has had a crumby cold since Friday (in which I had to sleep in her crib. I know, it was as awful as one would imagine), and threw up all over Chris and the sofa last night. Well, at least we have gotten over the fear of the first time that would happen. So we can forget shopping this week, as well.
Looks like I might need to take to the internet this week and pray that my goodies arrive my Christmas Day. At this point, maybe even wrapped.

But I look back at this post and see all the things that used to matter so much to me at Christmas and how much they don't anymore. It is now about making memories and doing things together. I care much more about our upcoming trip to the Polar Express, meeting Santa, going to the Church of the Highlands Christmas Service, hosting my first annual Mommy+Mini Holiday playdate, baking, painting and the list goes on. I could without gifts for myself anymore. Watching my little one make holiday memories is gift enough in itself.

So if you are reading this and get a Christmas card from us, with your address scribbled across the front, know it was in the true spirit of Christmas that I decided you would rather see the card than my perfect calligraphic penmanship across the envelope, that will indeed wind up, rather immediately, in the trash.

Slow down from the hustle and bustle and just take in the meaning of it all. 'Tis the Season... May all your days be merry and bright.

25 days of Children's Christmas Books

I never grew up with an advent calendar, though I wouldn't mind starting one maybe next year. This year, I am eager to pull out all of my favorite children's Christmas books that I remember from childhood and start collecting some new ones to read with Ri. Instead of the advent calendar, why not read a different Christmas book each day/night of December? We always ended Christmas Eve as a family reading the Polar Express and then the Christmas Story out of the Bible. Here are my top 25 children's Christmas books this year. Some are definitely for Ri's age group and some we may not make it through 2 pages, but hey, consistency and spirit are what its about.

1. The Polar Express
2. Bear Stays Up for Christmas
3. The Night Before Christmas
4. The Small One
5. Christmas in the Manger
6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
7. Olive, the Other Reindeer
8. A Christmas Carol
9. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
10. God Gave Us Christmas 
11. The Christmas Wish
12. Santa's Favorite Story
13. The Pajama Elves
14. Olivia Helps with Christmas
15. Happy Birthday, Jesus!
16. Dream Snow
17. Madeline's Christmas
18. The Jolly Christmas Postman
19. The Nutcracker
20. The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy
21. The Snowman
22. The Snowy Day
23. A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree
24. Hello Little Snowflake: A Christmas Miracle
25. The Christmas Story