Friday, December 12, 2014

The Countdown to Christmas

I love December.  And I especially love December through the eyes of children.  December means Advent calendars and Christmas trees and snow globes.  It means Jingle Bells and Dominick the Donkey playing on repeat. The Fisher Price Nativity Scene becomes a toy that is played with daily while Santa hats and reindeer antlers joined our dress ups this month.  The cold weather is here to stay, and the little ones are eagerly anticipating the first real snow.  We had a coating the other morning, but just enough to cover the grass and make us wish there were a few more inches for snowmen and snow angels.  Everyone has practiced wearing all their snow gear around the house, so we are ready to go when the real thing arrives.

We cut down our Christmas tree a couple of weeks ago.  This is the third time we've piled into the car and driven up to Easton to the find the tree that is just right for us, and it has quickly become one of my favorite Christmas traditions.  This year, Lilly had opinions regarding which trees we should or shouldn't cut down (imagine that!), Jack loved running between all the Christmas trees, jumping in the puddles of mud and hiding (while tripping over every tree stump in sight), and Hannah was Hannah.  She tried to balance on the tree stumps, she learned to say "tree stump" and she ran around chasing the other two, making sure she was a part of everything they were doing.

We have quickly learned that our new neighborhood loves holidays.  I thought everyone put out a lot of Halloween decorations, but those decorations paled in comparison to Christmas.  Lights on every house, every fence, every tree.  And not just a few lights.  Lights covering every square inch of available foliage.  And these lights were all up when we arrived back in Connecticut the Saturday after Thanksgiving!  Needless to say, Lilly and Jack wanted to know when we were going to decorate our house like "everyone else in the neighborhood."  We had every intention of decorating our house with some lights, but soon learned that we had to buy 10 times the number of lights we originally envisioned.  Jim spent hours one day putting up all the lights and wreaths and pine garland, making us officially ready for Christmas.  Although Jack and Lilly would still like a blow up Santa for the yard.  And all his reindeer.  And maybe a giant snow globe too.  Santa arrives by firetruck in the cul-de-sac tomorrow, followed by a neighborhood party.  Last week, I had my neighborhood ladies gift exchange, with some lovely moms who I know, and plenty that I didn't.  Next week, Jim and I have a neighborhood holiday party with all the couples.  Lots and lots of celebrating going on here at the moment, and we're excited to be a part of it.

It was Lilly's snack week at school this week.  We made a few Christmasy snacks, including a tree out of cheese cubes and grapes.  And then finished off the week with our grand finale: mozzarella snowmen.
I'm teaching a lot at the moment, and while I love teaching these classes, I'm ready for a break.  I'm ready to have my weekends back.  I miss our Saturday mornings full of coffee and music and lounging by the fire (although I still get to do plenty of that when I come home).  I miss starting off my weekend with a spinning class.  But I'm in the home stretch--in fact, this weekend is my last full weekend of teaching until the end of January.  I'll be ready for some time at home.  I will be spending the beginning of 2015 soaking up these three little ones (and Jim, of course) and appreciating how lucky I am to be surrounded by so much love every day.

A family photo after we found our tree

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