First came Advent, the first Sunday in Advent to be precise with a good reminder of the importance one should place on Advent and Christmas.
Add in the tree and all of it’s accompanying excitement – walking through the tree farm, picking the “perfect” tree, taking the tree home, putting the tree up, decorating the tree with so many different ornaments. Add in Nana & Buppa and the kids really get in their groove. Finish it all out with chili for lunch and realize you’ve now created a tradition given this is the exact same way you did it last year. Enjoy the wonderful pine smell that then fills the house.
Next comes the Advent Sprial which is becoming a favorite way to bring some light into the darkness reminding us of what the season is all about. Watch as small faces light up as the candles and ornaments take their place. Plan on reading “Watch For the Light” during Advent, but end up letting that one go (again). Maybe next year?
Then celebrate St. Nicholas Day. Lament slightly the fact that you still haven’t found the right book about the historical St. Nicholas even though you’ve checked out a few from the library. Ponder why it’s so hard to find a decent picture book that references the historical figure without also coupling it with the miracles/supernatural bit. Add to that the fact that the baby hasn’t been born yet – what’s she waiting for?
Welcome new baby to the household. Wonder again what the child had been waiting for? Perhaps it was the voluminous amount of snow that fell the day before? Maybe it was the fact that Nana & Buppa were out of town and Nana was sick? Or perhaps the nasty GI bug Hubby came down with after labor quieted down and then started up again without warning? Chuckle at the sense of timing these things take and be very thankful that Hubby’s adrenaline kicked in making him a great deal more awake and able to help than he was earlier in the day.
Bundle up and head out to the local botanical garden’s outdoor holiday lights display. Be sure to buy tickets early as it saves you $1. Dance a little jig after buying the tickets because while you have to pay for J, L is free. Enjoy cookies while watching the indoor train display afterward (and try to figure out which part the kids liked most). Leave Mom and baby at home, though since it’s so cold.
Travel up North with one half of the extended family for Christmas away from home. Question the sanity of said idea after the van is packed leaving very little room for human passengers. Question sanity even further when it takes far longer than it should to leave town making one a bit behind schedule to meet up with family. REALLY question the sanity of it when you stop for lunch and realize L has had a case of explosive diarrhea and both her and the carseat need to be cleaned. Ewwww!
When you arrive break out the colored paper and other assorted raw materials to make simple decorations for the tree you brought with. Watch L realize with glee that the strips being used to make paper chains also function as very fashionable bracelets. Be very thankful that in spite of the hiccups along the way everyone seems to be fairly healthy (finally!).
Marvel in the simple tree. While the trip is less than ideal you can’t help but appreciate the fact that you never know when Hubby will have Christmas off again in his shift rotation or how Dad’s reoccurring Prostate Cancer will turn out.
While on Christmas trip away from home, visit favorite county park at the lakeshore (more pictures here). Miss it because you have to stay in the car with the baby, but enjoy the view from the front seat (could have seen it, but then would have had to so so by myself while everyone waited). Realize that it’s been since before L was born that you were there last.
Upon return home from Christmas trip (very uneventful along the way thankfully) come home and find that the house is 45 degrees F. Wonder when furnace stopped working and head to investigate. Find that Filter cover was loose some how (again) . Be *very* thankful that it wasn’t cold enough for the pipes to freeze!
Come back next week for Part II!