Thursday, December 22, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

We are enjoying remarkably relaxing days around the house here as Christmas approaches--as relaxing as a household with two preschoolers can be, at least!  Even though we've gotten a tree, decorated the house, bought and wrapped presents, done baking, played outside, had playdates, done crafts, and painted the dining room (!), things aren't feeling hectic or rushed, and I'm grateful to enjoy the feeling.

Here's a little peek into our household as we enjoy the holiday season:

We went one evening to enjoy the lights at Longwood Garden...we don't take the girls out after dark too often, so I think it's still pretty exciting for them.
We searched Linvilla Orchards for the perfect Christmas tree...
I was kind of "taken" with this little Charlie Brown Christmas tree that wasn't much bigger than Katy...
...but we opted for a more traditionally-sized six footer!
As one of our Advent activities, the girls tried warm apple cider for the first time.  It was a hit, and we've had it a few times since.  I've discovered the joy of Trader Joe's Spiced Cider laced with a little rum...for the grown-ups only!
Katy had her first preschool Christmas show.  Don't let that tinsel halo fool you!  She started the show by pulling her dress over her head, and ended it by crying out for someone to fix her fallen tinsel when she was supposed to be reciting John 3:16 with the rest of the group!  Her shenanigans were priceless though, and seemed perfectly appropriate for funny tales of a 4-year-old's Christmas program.
For one of the girls' Advent activities, all four of use went for a winter walk to enjoy the natural wonders God has given us to enjoy.  The girls collected leaves, acorns, and tiny pine cones in their bags, then brought them home to sort through out on the patio.  When we got inside, we said a prayer where we each thanked God for what we most enjoyed on our walk.
I'm not nearly so nervous about the potential mess in pulling out all the paints for the girls to play around with, and they love experimenting with the colors.  Look at those serious faces!
And I did a little serious painting of my own!  Michael and I finally painted our dining room yesterday after seven years of procrastination.  The end-result is not nearly as "baby blue" as it looks in the photo.  It finally looks like a dignified dining room; maybe we'll be more inclined to use it for its intended purpose, instead of just the kitty litter/recycling bin/storage space it has been.

Maybe it's because we started earlier on our decorating and shopping, or maybe it's because we've made a real effort to help the girls understand the true spirit of the season while starting the kinds of traditions that we'll stick with for years to come, or maybe it's because we're staying home this Christmas, so I don't have to think about packing everyone up for holiday travel (though I will miss being with my mom, dad, and sister)...It's a winning combination of factors to make this a very Merry Christmas season for our little family.

I hope that you also will be able to relax and enjoy the love and light and blessings of the season!


Anne said...

Fabulous! All those potentially stressful activities and all four of you are still smiling! Loved Bayla and her cup of cider. Merry Christmas.

lee said...

isnt it great to feel relaxed, and not stressed and be able to enjoy the whole christmas experience. I strive for that every year, sometimes I make it sometimes not. This year I made it, merry christmas

Kym said...

Wowsers, I cannot believe how much you got done. That is absolutely amazing. Your family is lovely. Thank you for sharing such wonderful photos. I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying this special time.

scrapwordsmom said...

Awww, your post brought a few tears to my eyes...we used to go get our tree every kids are older now and the Christmas tree farm is gone. I miss those days.

Andrea...I enjoy your blog so much!!

Merry Christmas!!!