We did it all. And I am pooped.
I mean, I am ready to tear down the Christmas decorations. Right. Now. I enjoyed wringing every last drop out of Christmas this season with our boys, but this mama is ready to package it up and ship it on out (please, oh please can I take it all down yet?!)
We had many wonderful moments with our boys: watching them LOVE their new drum set (yes- we bought it for them, and yes- we might be crazy), scooter, baking gear and balls that they got for Christmas (thanks grandparents!) We received amazing generosity from unexpected places and were richly blessed by shared meals with our life group, with family, friends, and with co-workers. We loved watching the boys' eyes light up on the Stanley park Christmas train and loved watching them engage in giving, making, and sharing. Candle-light Christmas Eve service, Silas' pre-school performance, snow-fort building with cousins, ginger-bread house decorating....I could go on. But I am D-O-N-E.
The pros of planning advent for the kids: sustained energy, continued anticipation, intentional giving and community activities, advanced planning, and wonderful memories.
The cons: fatigue and the actual somewhat 'burnt out' feeling when Christmas actually arrives.
Here's a collage of some of our best memories:
I don't know that I would change a lot about what we did but next year I want to...
1. Do Christmas photos in the summer
2. Try not to do more than one outing in one weekend (we had 3 Christmas parties in 4 days and also crammed in a late outing to Williams Park and Stanley Park train back to back. Too. Much)
3. Definitely go back to the Stanley Park Train.
4. Have less candy and junk food for the boys (ugh, behaviour suffered from too much sugar).
5. Don't wrap up Christmas books for every day- it just got to be too much.
6. Abide by the: "something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read" Christmas present shopping guide for kids.
7. More rest time, reflection time, time with God.
8. Continue to pick out 1-2 Christmas ornaments during the year that signify something important that happened in our family (so that our tree becomes a memory tree!) This year we pulled out an ornament we bought on our family vacation to Hawaii and I can't wait to see our whole tree fill up from memories we've shared as a family!
And now....onto planning Silas' birthday (will the event planning never end?!) From November through January it is non-stop with every member of our family celebrating birthdays, and Christmas.
Phew. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas full of memories to cherish.
Good-bye Christmas, until next year!