christmas frantic

Oh, I do love this season.  So far our tree is up and shimmery.   The lights outside pop on at 4:30 (yes, that is dusk in these parts!).  Each morning means an advent treat and finding our scout elf, Elfie.  Today brings Santa pictures.   We could plan a trip to ride the Holiday Carousel and visit the gingerbread houses in downtown Seattle.  Holiday song fest and cookie reception, Christmas pageant practice and a big solo to practice for-the list can go on and on.

Meanwhile Santa hasn't completed essential tasks, which will mean having a sitter next week since the kids are on break starting Friday at 3:30.  All of these check lists and must-dos can cause one to be "Christmas frantic".  

Keeping things in perspective, I cherish traditions and look for ways to create memories with my kids.
Things I make time for each year:
  • add one new ornament to our tree each year.  Some are just pretty, others have stories.  This year's ornament comes all the way from NYC.  (That just puts a smile on my face!)
  • adding a new page to an album every year with our family's Christmas card and the boys' Santa picture.  We only have it out this time of year and it is such a treat to look through.
  • crab on Christmas Eve.  This is a new tradition for me, one that I have borrowed from my husband's family.  It is the BEST dinner to ready for.....the cook does almost nothing.  Buy the crab cooked and cleaned and ......Viola!  Dinner is served.
  • chose one classic holiday movie and watch it with my kids for the first time.  This year (although it might be classified as a modern "classic" since it came it out in the 90's.) it is Home Alone. I love to hear hear the belly laughs from all 3 of my guys!
  • lunch date with a friend.  A girl has got to eat and why not squeeze in time to lunch with a friend.
  • buy new wrapping paper.  I choose 3 or 4 designs and find ribbon that compliments them.   
  • make Santa Cake on Christmas Eve.  Every other day of the year it is known to us as Rice Crispy treats.  Santa is gluten-free in our house. :)
Things I have given up on:
  • cutting down a tree. 
  • the perfect photo for the holiday card.  If all 4 of us are in it....that is good enough.
  • buying for everyone.  The kids in our lives still get gifts, but the adults share a good bottle of wine and some merriment instead!
  • the mall.  I try to do most of my store shopping in local independently owned shops.  The rest is done online.  Nothing like shopping in your pj's in front of the fire. 
  • making it all perfect.  It is not attainable, so I try to find humor in all that goes wrong.

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