(well, really yesterday...)
So, remember when I got really sick in October and vowed to re-examine my life and my priorities? Surprisingly, I'm sticking with that. My schedule this Advent season is not crammed and cluttered. I have a few select things going on that I am so looking forward to: Elaine's birthday, Lucy's school Christmas program, a Selah concert on the 21st (I'm a little bit giddy about that one!). Other than that...I'm home with my family, decorating, making Christmas treats, listening to Harry Connick, Jr. I've declined Christmas parties without a particle of guilt. The word is serene, my friends, serene.
Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely love traditions. This Saturday we kicked off Advent a tad early with Darren's yearly tradition with the girls of going out to the Christmas tree farm to cut down the tree. There are horse-drawn wagons, Christmas carolers, cider donuts, and Santa Claus (they were too afraid to sit on his lap though).
Here they are, posing with the tree they picked, sporting some of the worst bedhead you've ever seen.
And here they are in the Christmas store with Daddy...
We got the tree up on Saturday night, but we'll be doing the lights and ornaments within the next couple of days. Yesterday after church, the girls were supposed to be having their "quiet rest time" (the interpretation of that varies between them and me). They put on their pajamas and robes, I put their warm rice bags on their feet, and made them each a cup of tea. They sat on my bed and were watching "Beauty and the Beast." Doesn't that sound lovely?
Until we discovered that Elaine had riffled through some dresser drawers and found an extremely old (but still spreadable) tube of Desitin (the white kind of course rather than the clear). For some completely inexplicable reason, they covered themselves from head to toe with it, and their clothes, and our bedspread, and the floor. Oh, and of course smoothed it through their hair. Haven't we been over this with Vaseline, I ask you?
I acted a lot more outraged than I really was. I bathed them and washed their hair and had to go out to the store to buy baby powder to sprinkle in their hair since I had thrown all of ours away after Elaine was potty trained. While I was gone, Elaine had to sit on a chair in the dining room and Lucy had to sit in the boring guest bedroom. As expected, Lucy was totally devastated and Elaine was completely unrepentant. I told them that in addition because of their heinous deeds, we wouldn't put the ornaments on the tree that afternoon (which we couldn't anyway because Darren doesn't have the lights on, but they didn't know that).
And so Advent dawned...to this!
And yesterday at church, a friend gave me one of the coolest gifts ever. Actually, a disclaimer: she's my secret sister. Yes. I know. The whole secret sister thing is completely dorky. But...it's still fun. And whoever it is? somehow hit on my complete love of traditions, because look what I got that she MADE.
Then, for each evening of Advent, there is a reading to do together and Christmas carols to sing (with an accompanying CD she gave me).
And the best part is this...an ornament to go with each day's reading to put on the tree!
Lucy and Elaine were so excited and looked over each one of the ornaments. They can't wait to start tonight before bed. This is exactly the type of thing I love to do with them. I predict many happy memories made, fighting over the ornaments and who gets to put them on the tree, in the years ahead.