Tag Archives: holidays

Our Christmas List is Growing Up

I’ve been working on Christmas since last Christmas. No, I don’t put my tree up the day after Halloween, or even the day after Thanksgiving. I’m working on the gifts.

A couple years ago, we started doing our shopping the day after Christmas. It might make it sound like a drawn-out, stressful thing, but it has a lot of advantages. It lets us peruse through clearance sales, buying nicer items than we might normally be able to afford. If I want to do some handmade items (and I usually do), I actually have the time to enjoy making them. We also get to slow down and pick out gifts that are meaningful, instead of just, “Oh, crap. I don’t know what to get you. Here’s some lotion.”

I sat down this evening to look over our Christmas list and I realized something: My kids are growing up. The careful lists I keep (coded for what has yet to be bought, what has already been bought, and what has been wrapped) used to be full of dolls, blocks, and other random toys. My kids still have some toys on their lists, but they’re swiftly moving away from the primary-colored plastic Mega blocks and toward finely painted Schleich figurines. More and more gifts are electronics, or accessories for them. My oldest daughter (who is nine) has items on her lists like earrings, a knife, and new boots. Yep, she’s a replica of myself at that age, but it’s strange to see it happening to someone else.

I admit that in some ways it makes me yearn for their younger years. You know, when they didn’t talk back, argue about when they take their showers or what they watch on television, or bring home a surprising amount of drama from school. I can’t help but miss their more innocent days.

On the other hand, it is so awesome that they are finally a bit independent! They are absolutely brilliant (my six-year-old has a gargantuan vocabulary!), and I can have meaningful conversations with them. As far as the Christmas gifts go, it’s nice to know that if I buy them a $30 gift, it’s probably going to last them a few years instead of getting shoved under the bed and forgotten in six months. I think it is so awesome that my nine-year-old wants a pocket knife and is interested in going deer hunting.

As I watch my children and their Christmas lists evolve, it’s nice to reminisce about my tiny babies while I share deep thoughts with my about-to-be-big kids. I’ll go buy the boots that are almost big enough to fit me, and the chapter books that nobody wants to have read aloud to them. And I’ll enjoy it just as much as I always have.

My Christmas Wish List on an old typewriter

 

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November 19, 2015 · 9:22 pm

Christmas is not a When

Dedicated to anyone who doesn’t get to spend Christmas with their loved ones on December 25th, but finds another time to be together and make an ordinary day into a holiday.

 

Today is Christmas for you

but it certainly wasn’t for me

I try to think of what it was

and all that it could be

All the things that it is now

and what it once was, then

a who, a how, a which, a why

but certainly not a when

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Peace on Earth…or at Least in my Living Room

It’s evenings like this that it’s really hard for me to stop writing and go to bed.  My office is no more than a section carved out of the living room with my ginormous desk and uber comfy leather chair, but to be honest the laptop and I often park on the couch.  The living room is distracting, though.  The TV is there, and is usually on.  The boyfriend is there, watching the TV.  Before their reasonable bedtimes the kiddos are climbing all over me (but the laptop is afraid and stays on the desk).  In short, it’s impossible to get anything done.

But tonight?  The fireplace is crackling away and the TV is off.  I’m the only one in here.  Other than the cats, who are thoroughly exploring the Christmas tree that was just put up yesterday.  I haven’t pulled out the rest of my décor yet, but even so it is nothing short of a Christmas card picture.  One of the good ones, not those cheap ugly ones.

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Nermal thoroughly getting into the Christmas spirit.

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Exaggerations of Christmas Past

It seems that each Christmas is known for something different. There was the year the presents completely filled the room at my grandma’s house, the year I made every single gift by hand, the year my sister accidentally beaned Mom with the tree pruners. I thought for a moment my kids might remember this holiday as The Year the Christmas Tree Almost Killed Mom.
I lived for a couple years with just my girls. There wasn’t a man around, and I did plenty of I’m-an-independent-woman-and-I-can-do-it-all-myself stuff. I got the Christmas tree in and out of the attic, ripped up and replaced the bathroom floor, and took care of the lawn. I moved furniture and fixed the sink. Some of the things I did were challenging and satisfying. Other things might have been a little stupid.
I guess there is a little bit of that independence still in me, even though I do have a man around the house to open jars and kill spiders. I decided this evening it was time to get the Christmas tree down, and since my boyfriend was asleep, it was a job for one. What you should know about our attic is that the entryway is above the basement stairs. This means that when you are climbing the ladder into the attic, you have nothing but a downward staircase underneath you should you fall. Considering how much I hate ladders, this is nothing short of terrifying.
Getting up into the attic was not so much the challenge as coming back out of it. With the gargantuan Christmas tree box poised above me, I slowly descended the ladder, while visions of injury and concussions danced in my head. I imagined that, as the weight of the tree box hit the ladder, the whole contraption would break. The box would snap my head back as it fell, and I would crumple to the Stairway of Doom below me. My children, hearing the crash, would rush in to find the bloody carcass of their mother on the concrete floor of the basement.
Isn’t that delightful? A beautiful holiday fantasy? Fortunately, the reality is that I got the tree down just fine. I’m sitting right across the room from it, all in one piece.
Now I just have to hope the cats leave the tree in one piece.

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photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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Small Things to be Thankful For

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I am so thankful that my daughter loves me enough to write me this letter, and have it waiting for me when I got home last night.
I am thankful that I could give her a hug and tell her I wouldn’t be working on Thanksgiving.

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Filed under Holidays, Parenting