Another Christmas has come and gone. So much preparation for one day!
How was your holiday? I have to say, this was by far the most magical, enjoyable, relaxing Christmas ever celebrated in the relatively short history of the Six family. Sure, my organization got me in trouble at one point, but that whole snafu? Totally overblown on my part.
Elena was thrilled on Christmas morning. The biggest squeal came not from a Pillow Pet or a new DS game, but from a big box full of yarn from Aunt Suzy. Every knitter's dream! Speaking of knitting, how cheeky is this little gift she left for Santa on Christmas Eve?
knistletoe, the mistletoe that never dries out.
The theme for Eli this year seemed to be Super Hero Accoutrements. An Iron Man mask, a Storm Trooper mask with special effects, a Spiderman suit (with built-in muscles!) and a complete Colts uniform (hey, Peyton's my super hero, especially after these last 3 games). These gifts are dearly loved and mixed and matched with abandon. My favorite combination so far is Iron Spiderman, the new Colts running back (Lord knows they could use a few backups). The wide receiver who moonlights as a Storm Trooper isn't bad, either.
I'm wide open, Peyton! And there's no way I can get a concussion with this thing on my head.
Here's the thing about our choice to buy less and prepare more this year – I felt like we had so many moments that we enjoyed to the fullest. We did all the same things that we did last year: making gingerbread houses, decorating cookies, looking at the lights, Jolly Days at the Children's Museum and more. This year, more than any other, I felt as if we enjoyed these activities as never before. The kids were out of school the entire week before Christmas, and we were able to do things without the shadow of errands and a to-do list tapping me on the shoulder. I yelled less and smiled more. I let things go that in the past I would have said, "We have to do this, or it just isn't Christmas!" Breakfast with Santa, for one. This particular tradition has gone stale for me: getting up early on a cold Saturday, getting the kids to match in outfits neither wants to wear, "feasting" on sub-par pancakes and OJ from concentrate. I reluctantly passed this year, and Christmas still came! Lest you think my poor children suffered from missing breakfast with the man in red, they never asked about it once.
I'm so thankful that this was the year I figured out the connection between a simpler holiday and more fulfilling memories. Our years where half-eaten cookies on Santa's plate and a box full of yarn thrill Elena are most likely numbered. As Mike and I were preparing everything before we went to bed Christmas Eve, I said, "This is so much fun." My anticipation at seeing the children's faces on Christmas morning is as high as their anticipation of what waits for them under the tree.
The days are long, but the years are short.
I hope next year, when the lure to do more, buy more and be more at Christmas starts to pull on us, I'll look back and remember this Christmas. The one with less gifts, more time, and the fullest heart of all.