I am so excited for Christmas this year. My kids are old enough to be excited and help out. The older ones, although likely know the "whole truth" behind Santa, are smart enough to keep the magic alive for the little ones. We decorated with the kids this past weekend, despite having a stomach bug lurking around. Luckily we are on the mend and looking forward to a few traditions. Every year we pick a theme for our tree--be it a color scheme, kid themed, paper or whatever. This year our tree pays homage to our second religion, football. I'll post a pic as soon as I figure out where I put the camera. When I was a kid, we'd decorate together, then my mom would move things around to "balance out the tree." It must be a parent thing cuz I did that too. I know they won't notice.
Anyway tonight we are going shopping for a local charity. The kids each drew names of kids in need and we are getting their gifts along with gifts for them to exchange with their siblings on Christmas Eve, another tradition. It's my goal for them to get past the getting and focus on the giving. I have high hopes......
Another tradition that we love is getting cocoa and doughnuts and driving around neighborhoods and looking at lights. It is my FAVORITE thing to do. Again, good memories from my childhood come flooding back when we do this.
We've also chosen a country to study their holiday traditions. We are doing China this year. China has Christmas? Why yes they do, although not as popular as Chinese New Year. The majority of people are not Christian, but there are those who celebrate. The reason we picked this country is because J-Dog is in a Chinese Immersion program at school. He learns half day in Chinese, the other in English. He's learned a lot, even though we can't understand everything he says. I've learned a lot too. Like after 30 it's a lot harder to remember new stuff and though you may be able to "teach an old dog new tricks," she likely won't remember them unless it's written down. That being said, it should be a fun year and open the kids' minds up to the fact that different can be good.
18 days and counting....we're making candies and other goodies for friends and families. This year has been more fun for me than most, maybe that's because 2 of the last 4 years I've been very prego at this time. Maybe it's because the kids still see the magic this time of year has to offer. Whatever the reason it's going to be a year not to get caught up in the trimmings and a year to remember the JOY of the season.