Monday, November 29, 2010

The Holidays... Or the Great Race to the New Year

At our house, once Halloween hits it feels like we are on a great holiday race to the new year. We start with Halloween, then it is Little One's birthday, Thanksgiving, Hockey Boy's birthday, Christmas and finally New Year's Eve which the boys and I celebrate alone because my husband has to work late into the night. You add in all the school events, hockey tournaments, special holiday concerts and Christmas parties and the calendar on my phone is all lit up with color. There are so many fun things and special moments which I love, love, love but for a homebody who likes to stay indoors reading and enjoying quiet afternoons while Little One naps it can be a bit overwhelming with all the busyness.

I normally love all things Christmas and cannot wait to pull out the Christmas decorations and holiday playlists. I am the one cheering when Target brings out the Christmas decor the day after Halloween. But this year, I am not ordering an eggnog latte at Starbucks as often as I normally would. When I turned on the radio and heard the Christmas music start the day after Thanksgiving I turned it off. It felt way too soon. I was still enjoying Thanksgiving. I was still reveling in the fact that Little One is four now. I was, and am not ready, for December.

I love Christmas. But I don't enjoy all the rush. I don't like feeling like I am in a competition for the last Bakugan Dragonoid. I love the cookies and smell of the Christmas tree. But this year I am not willing to traipse all over the tree farm looking for the perfect tree. We just don't have the time anymore. Our schedules are busier each year and more importantly I think, I am figuring out what is really important to my family.

I used to try to create the perfect holiday, straight from the movies. But over the years I am finding that my family likes different traditions. They love watching holiday shows together on the couch in our pjs. Prep and Landing was our favorite last year. They don't enjoy posing for the family Christmas card. And with Facebook it is hard to get motivated to actually take a picture, buy the cards, address them and buy Christmas stamps. I used to love to read everyone's Christmas letters but now I have been updating throughout the year so I am not sure if anyone needs a recap of our 2010.

My boys love driving around and looking at Christmas lights on all the houses. So outside lights and blowups are very important to them. My husband has taken on the task of creating a great outdoor display, making sure to get the lights up early for all the other families out there to enjoy as well as our own. Yesterday as we drove toward our house, Middle Man declared our house "the most beautiful house ever." For my family, the Christmas decor budget is much better spent on the outside. I did buy a Lego Christmas building this year. It will be fun to put together as a family and is more our style than a gingerbread house. Less messy too!

Just writing this, I am getting more in the Christmas spirit. But this year, I am going to focus on what makes Christmas special for our family. I think it is time to start enjoying the eggnog lattes. And cookies. Yummy, yummy cookies. Time to check out every Christmas book at the library to read together. Oh and did I mention the Christmas Mint M&Ms? My absolute favorite. I am hoarding them.

What are your family's favorite Christmas traditions?

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