Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Some Christmas Thoughts (not rambling, not. at. all.)

I was reading Mama Loves Coffee yesterday and she was writing about how blogs seem to be very curated lately when I'm pretty sure that's not how they started.  Who else had a live journal back in the 90s?  Just me.  Maybe I've always been an over-sharer on the internet although I feel like I'm usually a private person which you may not agree with if you've been reading this awhile.  Never the less, I've long been a writer, kept a daily diary for 10 years, from the age of 12 until we got married.  Then a few years off and I was back to daily writing about my days.  Will anyone care to read these?  Probably not.  I've come close to getting rid of all my composition book diaries from my teenage years because heaven knows I don't even want to read all my thought from that time period but yet, I still have them, all 20+ volumes.  Numbered and preserved. 

So Christmas season is here, the commercial one at least.  I've been trying to do more in keeping with the real reason for the season and all the last few years.  Because while we are very practicing Catholics, I also admit to loving most of the commercialism of Christmas - the baking, shopping wrapping, decorating parts.  And trying to find the right balance can be tough.  Last year I read The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas, in a few days, instead of the recommended 25 or whatever, due to not getting it until about December 20th from the library (hold wait problems).  It was fantastic on helping my mind focus on the real reason we have this wonderful season.  I should have bought it over the summer when it was on half.com for 75 cents instead of the $12 it is now...because I'm obviously going to buy a book for 75 cents whenever possible.  It would be great to reread each Christmas season.  

There is also the need to make sure Luke understands why we have a Christmas tree and we celebrate this time.  We talk about Baby Jesus a lot and he has his Little People Nativity which I find myself picking up multiple times a day.  And a Playmobil one that is out of reach in his room so at least that one I'm not in danger of stepping on (and he is thankfully past that "put everything in my mouth" stage so no choking concerns, even if he did manage to scale his dresser, which he hasn't, yet).  But he's also very excited about the Christmas tree and Christmas music ("Jingle Bell Rock" is by far his favorite, for reasons totally unknown to us.  Matt doesn't like Christmas music (for reasons totally unknown to me) but I tell him at least Luke picked that song and not one by NSync, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, or the multitude of others I have that he would find much more offensive).  For many weeks all he would say he wanted for Christmas was "a Christmas tree!" but as soon as that was up he was asking where the "prizes" (presents) were.  So that didn't last long.  

We're not "doing" Santa.  It wasn't a real big deal in either of our families and just decided we'd rather skip it.  Definitely not doing any Elf on a Shelf either which I don't really understand.  We debated the Santa thing for awhile and our only real reason to consider it is because that's what most people do and I didn't want Luke to be the one to ruin the secret for all the other kids in kindergarten (when do kids find out these days??) but that wasn't a single good enough reason for it.  So no Santa here.  Luke's kinda picking up on the fact that there is a Santa (mythical person wise) but so far no questions about presents from Santa and all that.  Of course, he's only two so those questions are probably coming.  Haven't entirely figured out what we're going to tell him so he doesn't feel like he's missing out but also so that he doesn't ruin it for other families.  But again, he's two.  I don't think we're in danger of that happening this year.

We did have St. Nick visit which Luke kinda got.  Mostly that there were presents under the tree.  That's a C-3PO ornament we got in a two pack (with R2-D2) on clearance last year with markers I got with a 25% Cartwheel deal.  In his Target shoes I got on super clearance for $6.  And our tree skirt is also from Target ALTHOUGH the tree is not (because Target doesn't sell live Christmas trees, duh) and I'm pretty sure the stand is from Lowes SO not everything we own is from Target, despite how it seems. 

But yes, St. Nick came and Luke was excited.  We read a book about St. Nick the night before and that was educational to all three of us.  The morning after St. Nick's Day Luke took off his shoes (like he always does) and I asked him to put them away (meaning the bottom of the stairs) and he put one there but one back under the tree and put his C-3PO ornament back in it.  He seems to think that's where it goes now.  But it's cute.  

I certainly don't have all my shopping done.  Getting there but slowly.  I feel like we've cut out a lot of gift giving in the last few years, but there is still Luke, each other, our parents, our godchildren, and Luke's godparents.  Then we do an exchange with my sisters and brother-in-laws so Matt & I each have a person for that (although, honestly, I usually do the shopping for both of us) and Luke's in a cousin exchange on Matt's side so we have that to buy.  And stocking stuffers for like 60 people which I want to be something more than candy but it's hard to figure out what's easy and in the budget.  But even without stockings, we're shopping for 16 people which is no small task.  

I have a pile of things we've bought but nothing wrapped or in stockings.  My baking is mostly done, but two harder things left (dipping truffles and baklava).  Decorating is basically done besides some pillow covers I want to sew when I learn how to use my sewing machine and maybe a few things I'm waiting to buy when I use my 20% off store-wide Target coupon this week from spending $75+ on Black Friday.  Although, that coupon excludes Legos which I've learned are pretty hard to get on sale. 

So what is this post about?  I don't really know.  Christmas.  Of sorts. It can be an overwhelming season and there's a lot going on.  How it's easier to prepare your home with the decorating and shopping and baking than it is to prepare your heart. But it's also one of my favorite times of the year and that's coming from someone who hates being cold (and pretty much always is in the fall/winter/early spring).  Trying to find the right balance between religious Christmas and commercial Christmas.  I have no good advice on that one.  But we're trying.  Didn't we all learn that it's the thought that counts??

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