While I was feeling under the weather, December arrived! I knew it was coming, since we'd been listening to Christmas music on the Music Choice channel on tv since mid-November, but STILL, it's December!
I love Christmas. I love putting up the lights outside (ok, I love for Doug to put up the lights because a) I don't like ladders and b) it's too damn cold for me to deal with), getting out the window clings for the kids to plaster all over the windows and doors, putting up and decorating the tree. I love to look at all the ornaments that are special to me, like my angel-in-an-egg that I made in 2nd grade, or my very special Santa who plays a white flute covered with holly that Auntie Nettie got for me many years ago. I love putting ornaments that Meg and now Drew have made at school, mostly because I remember doing that as a kid and being so proud of seeing my handiwork on our tree. I love the feel of Christmas. There is something quiet and lovely, especially at night with just the tree lights on, that is calming (our tree is not up yet so can you tell I'm yearning for the calm?).
The holiday season also brings our annual trek to see Maine State Ballet's Nutcracker. Doug and I have gone every year since 2000, but this is our last year attending. You see, we've always gone because our niece and nephew have been dancers in the Nutcracker since 2000, but Cindy graduated from high school in June and no longer performs with MSB and Nick is graduating this year, so we're heading Saturday to see his final show. This year we're bringing Drew for the first time (Meg always attends with us). It's quite the end of a era for us all, as we love getting dressed up and enjoying the gorgeous scenery, the beautiful music and of course our wonderful dancers.
And of course the holiday season brings about another change for us~the kids' birthdays. Poor Drew gets the shaft with a birthday 3 days after Christmas. Annie's and Izzie's birthday follows 2 weeks later, and then Meg's birthday is two week after the twins' birthday. I can't believe that by the end of January I'll have a 9 year old, a 5 year old and two 3 year olds. Someone hold me.
This past weekend, before I was felled by this strep throat that has me quite incapacitated, Doug and I went Christmas shopping with my parents. They needed ideas for what to get the younger kids, and we needed to shop, so it worked out quite well and we had lots of fun. We had our Christmas idea sheet (done up in Excel by my totally geeky husband) which made walking the aisles at Toys R Us so much easier. My parents got ideas for the kids, we got what we needed and we picked up gifts for my in-laws to give the kids. Other than a couple of other items, we are done Christmas shopping. It's a strange feeling to be done so early in the holiday season, but I rather enjoy it knowing that I have time to wrap the gifts this year.
I'm hoping that we stay healthy for the rest of this month (you know, after Meg and I get over strep. The kids already had the flu; what else is there? Don't answer that.) and can enjoy cookie making, tree decorating and maybe a visit with Santa just like last year. I want to revel in the fact that my eldest still believes in Santa and try to savor these little bits of childhood that go by so quickly.
Do you like the holiday season or does it stress you out? Do you like to listen to Christmas music ad nauseum like we do or does it make you crazy?