Our tree has been up since the day after Thanksgiving (yes, Joel caved!). It's not even Christmas, and already the lights are dangling, the ribbon is no longer beautifully would around, and the ornaments are scattered around the room. All of this has been destroyed by our cat. There's this beanie baby mouse ornament that he will literally leap at and snatch off the tree with his mouth. Silly cat. And I thought the kids were going to have a hard time not touching it. Almost every night we hear the cat batting the plastic (thank goodness) round Christmas balls around the living room.
I love Christmastime. My favorite part is the tree. I love curling up on the couch with the lights off, just staring at it. It makes me feel so cozy. It has been especially fun seeing the kids eyes light up around it. If Elijah is up and downstairs before me, I always find the tree lights on. Sometimes he turns our living room lights off just to be in the glowing light. It's pretty sweet.
We decided to not give our children gifts this year. Our kids are blessed with generous grandparents and aunts and uncles (and great grandparents, great aunts and uncles and 2nd cousins!!). We don't celebrate Christmas morning in our own home, but at my parents. They are given so many great gifts on Christmas morning, that they just get overwhelmed when we give them gifts too.
Early on in our marriage we talked about teaching our kids that we want to give them gifts all year round, not just on birthdays and Christmas. We want them to know that we do desire to bless them and treat them to fun things, but holidays aren't the time to go crazy. We decided we will do one gift for their birthday and for Christmas. It may change as they get older (and gifts get more expensive!). We will see. We just want them to appreciate what they are given, and enjoy the gifts as well.
This year we are going to make them a kitchen set. Joel will do the handiwork, and I'll do the details. Although we had hoped to give it to them for Christmas, there just wasn't time. So hopefully in the next month or two we will have it made and ready to be played with.
I've been cleaning up a storm today! I love leaving for a vacation with a clean house. It's so nice to not come home to messes. My kids have been napping so peacefully too! What a treat...the day I actually have energy to clean, they take long naps :)
Our friends lent us their mini van for our trip! What a blessing! Theirs was going to be parked at the airport while they were away, so we traded. I've been driving it around this week and I'll admit...it's really convenient. I never thought I'd actually want one.
Along with the mini van came a huge library of kids CD's...another thing I said I'd never have in my car. Ha. Oh, how they do keep my children happy though...
I should probably go. This post is just a bunch of ramblings anyway :) We are having our small group over for dinner tonight. We recently joined a small group that all of our close friends were in. It's been so wonderful to connect with them weekly.
Tonight grandpa is taking Elijah & Ella to look at a Christmas lights display. Although I will miss watching their little eyes light up at the beautiful (and tacky) lights, I get to have a house full of friends and only play "mom" to one babe tonight. I'm making a big pot of creamy chicken tortellini soup. Warms me up just thinking about it!
(Ella's...for her love of ice cream!)
(Jude's...because tomatoes are not his friend this year!)