I feel like breaking out into song, "It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year".... We put up our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving and the kids did a great job decorating the tree. I used to be VERY particular about how our tree was decorated, but as the kids got older and voiced their desire to "help" decorate I came to the realization that this was THEIR tree too. Ever since Carston was about 8 years old the kids have decorated our tree. My job is to throw a few ribbons in the "blank" spots on the branches after they decorate and then I drape the garland, (oh by the way, I've learned over the years that it's easier to put the garland on first, then decorate with the ornaments), but that's my only part. I'm usually busy sorting through all the Christmas bins reminiscing over each little heirloom/keepsake ornament and trying to remember where it came from. I love looking through all the "stuff" we've collected over the years. Some of it's pretty hideous and I can't believe I ever decorated with it. This year however, we tried out a new theme; silver and crystal. Not our traditional decorations, but I was inspired while shopping one day back in July, when they first started setting out Christmas decorations. hehehe just kidding it was really October, but I swear they set them out earlier every year. Anyways my eyes were drawn to these pretty little crystal prisms, with pearls and silver, and they were $2.00 each. So began my hunt/collection of silver and crystal ornaments. After visits to several different stores, our ornament collection was complete. Silver ribbon, crystal garland, stars, springs, glittery shatter resistant finial ornaments, we even found a charming little lighted star tree topper and sparkly tree skirt and finally my favorite are these very simple looking but fragile blown crystal orbs. I insisted on placing those orbs on the branches because I'm not sure how I would replace them if they broke, because the store I bought them from (Interior Elements) just went out of business. (drat). We had fun, jamming out to Christmas tunes while we decked our halls.
We're almost finished with our Christmas shopping, just a couple more things to pick up. I've made 2 batches of yummy caramels(my fave) and this week I will be making english toffee yum. Next week will be sugar cookies (Shaun's favorite, but I can't make them as good as his Mom) and then I think I might get to relax for the holidays, yah whatever!! I'm so stinkin excited for Christmas. I can hardly stand it! I'm 40 1/2 years old and I love it just as much today as I did clear back when I was a little girl, if not more!! We've been watching Christmas movies every night and I love when everyone is home together. The spirit and magic that's in the air makes my heart skip. Too bad everyone can't be this nice all year long. (I was kind of gushy there for a minute, but that's what this time of year does to you)!!
The anticipation and excitement CONSUMES me. Christmas Eve is the hardest and funnest!! We got a brilliant idea from my friend Kathy who does a Christmas Eve box for her family. We let the kids open it after their beds are made and the house is tidied and clean for Santa and other visitors. We fill it with a new game, a new movie, snacks, drinks (this year we bought pomegranite 7-up to try and peppermint filled Oreo's), some years we put new pj's in there for them to unwrap, (this year they do get new pj's because I was able to grab those $3.99 pj's at Wal*Mart on Black Friday. *SCORE*!! Then I wrap all of it, even the bag of dorito's, licorice, pistachios etc.... then we open it and it helps curve some of the anxiety and energy the kids exhibit. Oh who am I trying to kid, I'm just as anxious as they are. :D We try to have a nice dinner, nothing too fancy since we've gorged ourselves on snacks all day and sometimes we set up a table and eat in the front room with all the lights out except for the tree. It's harder now because there's so many of us, we squish around our fold out table. But we'll give it a try again this year since this will be our last Christmas with Carston for 2 years, and he has fond memories of doing that. After clean up we try not to have any plans set in stone, it's fun to just let the night carry itself out.
Then we have prayers and tuck-ins. Unlike my kids who usually fall right to sleep, (HOW do they do it???) I lay awake all night long and every hour on the hour I ask Shaun if we can wake up yet. I can't contain my excitement!! He's very tolerant of me. Today there is only 15 more days of Christmas!! WOO-HOO!! Best wishes to you all, we love you!! Feel free to post your memories or traditions.