Dec 24, 2011

Let it go, let it go, let it go

This has been a Christmas season of cutting back and letting go.  I've given myself permission to eliminate many things from our typical holiday celebration pattern and have simplified as much as possible.

For example, this year we added a child to our family, which meant we didn't have enough stockings.  I really wanted to buy monogrammed stockings (we've talked about it for years) that all match, but that was too spendy after a year chock-full of medical bills.  Then I decided to make matching stockings.  I picked out a pattern and everything.  That proved to be a stressful plan, requiring time I don't have, so I bought Kate a stocking at the dollar store and called it good.  Good enough, anyway!  (See hers in the middle?)

I traditionally bake a variety of goodies to give to our neighbors, visiting teaching and home teaching families, etc.  This year we gave wrapping paper.  I cut back on our distribution list, too.  Hopefully our dear ones near and far know we love them anyway.

Usually our family follows three different advent calendars religiously: the magnet nativity, the scripture pockets, and the book of songs and stories.  This year the kids have kept up with the magnet calendar just fine (well, mostly they have messed around with the pieces and I just let them), but we haven't done the scripture advents at all.  I feel good about keeping up with our morning verses from 2 Nephi and talking about the real meaning of Christmas when we can.

I had to miss a couple of very fun holiday parties with friends this year because of scheduling conflicts.  On other years I have made such gatherings real priorities, but this year a simpler way had to be good enough.  I'm glad for the friendships I have and look forward to future opportunities to socialize.  

That's not to say we haven't had some Christmas fun around here.  We are chipping away at our holiday bucket list!  This week we mixed, baked, and decorated sugar cookies....

...and built a gingerbread house (given to us by our sweet neighbor, Mary)...

...and played in the snow with friends...

...and made a few crafts...

...and read lots of books...

...and put all the presents under the tree.  (Except there's no space under the tree.)

The boys went sledding with friends on Tuesday (another big check!), but sadly, my friend that took them crashed during a fast run down the hill and broke her rib.  It was a memorable day for the boys, to say the least!

We attended our ward's Christmas party last week.  I've also had the happy opportunity to be involved in some of the musical numbers at church this season.  I'm most excited about a piano/organ duet on Sunday (I'm playing the piano part) that should be awesome.  Considering I learned most of it one hand at a time, while holding Kate in my free arm, I'm thrilled with the way it is coming together.  Christmas just isn't the same for me without good piano music!

So...although this has, out of necessity, been a season of cutting back and slowing down, I'm pleased with what our little family has accomplished.  We are poised for a very merry, very white Christmas tomorrow!

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