We're knee-deep in holiday stuff. I don't feel stressed or rushed about it this year for the first time in a long time. I don't know if it's because we're not traveling until just after Christmas, or if the kids are older and therefore I have more time to "do" Christmas tasks.
I decided to only do the Christmas things I want to do (send Christmas cards, bake, make some gifts and buy some gifts, do some family outings) and travel in a way that felt sane. So far, so good.
This year, money is tight for us in ways that it has not been in a long time, so we're trying to have a good Christmas and not let money worries get in the way. It's not easy. I hope 2006 will bring some changes in Ed's job situation that will stablize our bank account.
It's a blast to have the kids--Molly especially--so "into" the Christmas tree, the new advent mini-books/ornament that my aunt gave us, the idea of Santa, making cards and giving gifts. Of course she is into "getting lots of presents," but we're not putting the stress on that.
This morning she made a list of 4-5 things she wanted from Santa (including a music box, which totally surprised me) and then Ed took the kids to the mall and she gave her list to the Santa guy there. Very cute. I actually haven't bought her "Santa" gifts yet--that's the last thing left to buy this week!
Sean was very easy to buy for--I bought all of his Santa gifts from allaboardtoys.com
. The boy is totally in love--in LOVE--with trains.
This year, we are playing a lot of Christmas music and enjoying that with the kids. I love those kinds of simple pleasures.
On my "wish list," I really couldn't come up with a lot. I always like it when Ed gives me a pair of earrings for Christmas and a book from my Amazon.com
This year I also asked for a warm nightgown and slippers from Lands End
, since we are being misers and keeping our thermostat as low as we can stand it.
My sister offered to help me shop for a new winter coat when we go see my family and she offered to help pay for it as a gift to me, which was incredibly nice. My sister sustains me in so many ways that are more important than money, I am so very, very blessed.
We talk on our cellphones (while she has her long commute) at least 1-2 times per week, sharing about everything from the kids to work to clothes to marriage to friends to family, etc.
I have so many blessings to count this season. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by it all.