Christmas Cheer

The tree is trim, the halls are decked and the lights are strung.  Now if only I wasn't wearing flip flops earlier today, we'd really be in the holiday spirit.

I am feeling ahead of the game this December.  Our Christmas cards have been sent, most of the shopping is complete and my to-do list seems pretty manageable.  I am looking forward to Christmas parties and open houses and the like but most of all this December, I am looking forward to relishing in Logan's Christmas joy.

At 27 months, I think she is at the age where she really "gets it".  She is loving her daily treat from her Advent Calendar (thanks JoJo) and every night when the lights on the tree turn on she whispers, "wow mom!"  She even asks for Christmas songs in the car (although unless it's 'Here Comes Santa Claus' she insists that it's not Christmas music).

The holidays are a time where I especially love being a parent.  I love creating new traditions, sharing old ones and getting to set the tone when it comes to our holiday season.  While I admit to anticipating the sheer joy of opening gifts on Christmas morning, I am also trying to make the most of teaching LMK the reason for the season.  I am trying to teach her about the birth of Jesus at a 2-year old level, so for now that means she knows that it's His birthday month and that's why we celebrate Christmas and get presents (which is actually not entirely true if you read up on the history of Christmas - Christ's Mass -, St. Nicholos Day, Kris Kringle and how they were all melded into one holiday.  But no need to get technical, right?)  Simple and easy but it's a start.

I am also working on the giving back part, so I've decided to take Logan along with me when I volunteer at Florence Crittenton later this month wrapping gifts and handing them out to families (and kids) in need.  I am looking forward to her having a whole night of giving rather than receiving anything.  I know that it may be wishful thinking, but I want her to appreciate what she has and what she gets.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when kids don't say "thank you" when they receive something, so I am going to give it my all in making that simple gesture second nature to Logan.

Side note: One of my favorite stories to share is of my nephew on Christmas morning when he was three years old.  While we all waited for him to enter the living room early in the morning to start tearing open all the presents he received from Santa (not to mention the train on the track circling the Christmas Tree), we were shocked with wonder when instead he entered the room a little bit dazed at all of the presents and chaos and solemnly asked, "Where is Mama's present?"  "Where is the one I got for Mama?"  He started rummaging through all of the boxes until he found the small gift he "purchased" for my sister and didn't even notice all of his gifts until she opened hers.  True story and one that always melts my heart...  

We will also be going through our current toys to donate some to charity as a way to a) give and b) to keep me sane in terms of stuff piling up around the house when new toys arrive ;)

And to keep with tradition, I plan to make The Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls later this month and send them out to friends and family (and obviously keep some for ourselves).  It's little things like this that I want her to remember - and selfishly, like doing for myself as well.

What are things you like to do during the season?

Cheers from our family to yours this holiday!  

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