Monday, December 26, 2011

Ah, the Christmas joy....

Waking up the morning after Christmas is always a little strange.  There's the initial let-down from the lack of anticipation, but also great relief at having made it through another Christmas season. And made it we did!  I thought I'd use this post to share some of the joy and fun we had over the last month.  Christmas itself will just have to be another post!

Like last year, we used our Advent Calendar.  And I have to be honest - there were plenty of days we forgot to check the envelope until just before bed, leaving it impossible to enjoy the experience inside.  Often we shifted, moved things around, and doubled up.  But it still helped us to be mindful of the season and do the things that were most important to us.

One of the usual hits was our annual visit to Santa.  Usually it is accompanied by an hour-long line and lots of hard work to keep spirits up.  This year we walked in...and no one was there. The boys went right in and sat next to Santa, and to be honest, I think we were all a little surprised and unprepared!  The boys did remember to ask for the top gift on their list.  Max asked for the Lego Harbor set and Luke asked for a cloth baby doll with legs (his favorite baby is in a bunting and therefore has no legs). Santa was kind and the boys enjoyed their visit, and Dan and I were thrilled with the speed of the whole thing.

Another favorite is the annual trip to Zoolights.  After a week of beautiful, sunny weather, our night to go was the first rainy day.  It absolutely worked in our favor - it was so quiet!  We walked right in, didn't have to wait for the train, and even had dinner there without a wait.  The boys loved the lights, and we reveled in how much easier this holiday event is now that the boys are a little older.And the rain?  Barely a mist.

A new addition to out advent calendar was family game night in front of the fire. Dan started a big fire, each boy chose a game, and we sat down to play.  Max chose Sequence and Luke chose Candyland. The boys worked hard on their sportsmanship, and I got stomped in Candyland!  Game playing is something they are both really enjoying right now, and it's fun to have some that we can all play successfully together.

 We had get-togethers with several friends over the month.  From new friends from the boys' school to our dear playgroup to old college friends and their kiddos, it was a month of laughing and sharing.  We feel so lucky to have these great friends in our lives, and taking the time to get together is always worth it.
We also had the opportunity to go to a winter family celebration at Max's school.  They sang a few songs, did an adorable partner dance, and then had time for playing some games. We got to meet some of his new friends and their families.

 This year the boys wrote their own letters to Santa.  Watching Luke work so hard to write "baby" was awesome - he's really been working on developing  those finger muscles, and was so very proud of himself!

Once again, I had the opportunity to participate in a gift swap with some lovely ladies from an online group I belong to - I received the most amazing, useful, beautiful gifts.  These are the felted bowls I knitted and some little rice handwarmers that I sent to them.

 We've been showered in love and kind wishes from friends and family near and far.  Each day has been a joy to go to the mailbox, and I'm not sure I'm ever taking all these lovely cards down!

There's been lots of enjoying time by the fire, too!  It's where we've read stories, played games, and cuddled on the couch. 

As you can tell, December has been a joyful time in our household.  We didn't get to everything we hoped, but feel very satisfied with the things we did do.  The opportunity to be thoughtful about enjoying the season is just what I love about Advent.  It makes me wonder about a regular (but not daily) set of envelopes with everyday kinds of fun.  Hmmmmm...I may have to get on that...

I hope that your holiday season has been wonderful in the ways that work best for you!

1 comment:

  1. Your holiday season looks perfectly LOVELY! :) Ours was a bit frenzied this year and I learned some big lessons because of it (lessons I thought I already knew, ha! Guess I needed some remedial lessons!) We adored your card - it got one of the coveted spots on the stairs in the living room. Thanks for sharing your holiday with us!