I finally figured out how I like to do Christmas

It's usually at this time of year that I start to get a little sad.  With my husband away on a multiple night business trip and his schedule about to launch into more than overtime, I might begin to feel a big fat hole open up in our family time.  Every weekend that rolls around that I see other families together, I miss him.  However this year, Christmas feels different in a good way.  I am fully and completely enjoying celebrating the season.  Thanks to the Hectic to Harmonious Challenge, I have been reminded how I want to feel this December, how I want my kids to feel and I have taken a bunch of things off my to do list.  It's made such an impact to simply focus on the fleeting and joyous aspects of this month.  Seven years into this parenting gig and I've finally figured out how I like to do Christmas (the kids and I are leaving town to meet the Grandparents in CA after solstice, that might have a little something to do with my joy too.)  Here are a few of my favorite links and holiday things we've collected and loved over the years.
  1. The absolute #1 thing I love about Christmas are the lights, lights, lights everywhere!  My child-like oohing and aahing is still so giddy when we drive by a house with a huge colorful display.
  2. Last year I knit up a quick and funky Santa hat with chunky yarn that cracks me up every time one of the kids plops it on their heads.
  3. I believe guerilla art installations should be a way to give to the community.  I remember our Santa sticks from last year and would love to bomb a tree with Christmas sweaters, but
    apparently they are so hip you can't find a single one in thrift stores these days.
  4. My Peace letters made from paper doilies have held up for three years 
  5. I made fabric gift bags two years ago and I adore them so much that I have hang them all up on display until we start filling them.
  6. Santa tracks dusted with flour on Christmas morning are Taho's specialty.
  7. We have been ice skating and both kids are so proficient that I find myself gliding around on the ice having fun, not just being support.
  8. I chose our spindly tree as my anchor this season to remind me of the beauty that surrounds our city and to slow our schedule down in order to appreciate all the festivities.
  9. Our up-cycled stockings made of wool blankets are the first holiday decoration I ever bought.  Back then, I was planning and dreaming of our family of four.  I'll never forget how Alita at three years old returned home and put two of the stockings on her feet and said, "Mama, they're too big for me and we don't have enough for everyone!" 
  10. And lastly, our nativity scene complete with a barn cat.  They are hard to come by in Seattle, but I love the symbolism of the little family.  Now that I have krazy-glued Mary's head back on, I feel I can explain the Christian side of this holiday more appropriately.  I told my daughter the version I learned in Catholic school about Joseph walking for miles with Mary (laboring!) on a donkey, then finding a barn in which to stay the night.  She asked is it a true story?  I said, "That's the strange thing, some people believe and some people don't.  People get into huge arguments over this story, there have even been wars fought over it."  She was totally stunned. Now anytime she hears a story she asks if a war has been "made" over it.  
How are you celebrating in your home right now?

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