To My Faithful Blog Readers (All 4 of you):
Thank you for your polite, little nudges reminding me to get this blog a-rollin' for the holidays... to trim my cyber tree, if you will. The kick in the patootey was just what I needed to drag myself away from my mile-long to-do list and give a little shout out to Christmas.
I LOVE Christmas... Very few things get me as excited as pulling out my Christmas decorations and getting things decked for the holidays. But each year, things seem to be getting crazier and CRAZIER and CRAZIER! I think my problem is that I want to do it ALL! The baking, the homemade gifts, the fun family traditions, the caroling, the decorating... I could go on forever baby (name that Christmas movie). A few days ago, only mere hours into December, I was already on the verge of a nervous breakdown. There are simply not enough hours in December to do it all, and I need to come to grips with that if I'm going to enjoy my Christmas and make it meaningful for my family. So I am *trying* to remember to slow down amidst all the things I want to do. I am *trying* to pace myself and just take time to sit on the couch with the ones I love, looking at our tree and drinking cocoa!
It's not easy to say no to some things that I really want to do, but I'm *trying.* (somehow, putting asterisks on the word *trying* softens the meaning of the word and gives me a little more grace in the event that I fail horribly.)
But seriously, this year my goal is to remember God's Son and His birth each time I do something Christmasy... to do things that point to Jesus and bring joy to my family, myself and others instead of just doing task after task out of obligation.
I know, I know... who ever thought Casey Crocker had all these deep thoughts just swimming around in that bleached-blonde head of hers. Not me... that's for sure!
That being said, here are a few things I am really looking forward to this month:
- Taking Bennett on the Santa Claus Train at Irvine Park. This is a fun tradition, and I love seeing my son's face light up with joy when he sees the train all decorated and lit up for Christmas.
- Baking Cookies with my Mom. Every year we have "Cookie Day" where we bake, bake bake until we just can't bake no more!
- Making a Gingerbread House with Bennett. He was too young for this last year, so I'm excited to start this tradition this year.
- Watching some of my favorite Christmas Movies... It's a Wonderful Life, The Grinch, Home Alone 1 and 2, The Santa Clause Movies... I pack them away all year, and they are ONLY to be watched in the month of December. Those are the rules of Christmas Movies and they are unflinchingly rigid.
- Making and baking some cute, homemade gifts. Sorry I can't divulge my secrets yet, as a few of my blog readers will be the recipients of said gifts.
- Making some fun crafts with Bennett. I know a few of you have asked me about our school-time theme this month. December (like November) is proving to be a difficult month to pick a theme because anything I pick ends up being limiting. There are just so many Christmas symbols to choose from. So I'm just going to title it "Christmas Month" and call it a day. Don't worry... we will be resuming more specificly-themed months come January. Snowflake month, anyone?
- Taking the kids to go see Christmas lights. I LOVE bundling everyone up in the car and taking along some thermos' of hot chocolate and coffee. Last year we found an online list of the best local light displays. They were amazing!
- The food, food, food! You can expect to find some festive recipes on my blog in the coming weeks. Christmas cooking (and eating) is the BEST!
- The music! I LOVE Christmas music and only listen to it in the month of December (*see Christmas Movie Rules, above). Here is our precious man singing "Good Christian Men, Rejoice." And yes, I bribed him with a candy cane so I could catch it on film. Don't judge me. I'm only human.
And with that precious display of holiday spirit, I will bring this holiday shout out to a close.