Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Getting ready

When I was a child, the month of December seemed to crawl by. With each morning’s chocolate square from my advent calendar I would count the days left and wish they would come faster. Now, as a very busy mother of young children, I find that December goes by faster than I would like, and before I’m even ready for it, Christmas explodes into my house with it’s decorations, flowers, cookies, trees and presents.

This year we are celebrating Christmas in the most wonderful way: with a baby in our midst… make that two babies!! How much easier it is to reflect on that Silent Night when you have a newborn in your house. When you yourself are up in the wee hours of the morning you can so easily imagine Mary and Joseph’s sleepless, but wonder-filled nights with their new little blessing.

Most nights I am tired and wishing for sleep when feeding babies in the dark, but in this season of wonder, I am grateful for their innocence and dependence, because they call me out of myself and give me precious time away from the business of the day to reflect on what is really important.

This year, in an effort to deliberately set aside time for our family, my husband and I packed up all 5 children and drove out to the mountains for the weekend to stay in a 2 bedroom chalet. We brought along crayons, one toy for each of the kids, a movie, and a whole bunch of stories, and spent all of our time together, unhurried, and happy. There was an outdoor hot tub that wasn’t too hot (so the kids could play in it), and there was a delightful fireplace that was electric and gave you the beauty of a fire without the dangerous toddler factor. (cheesy yes, but so much fun for the children to have on). The kids piled into a soft double bed in their room, and we enjoyed a king size sleigh bed in ours. What fun it was to hibernate together and enjoy each other without the phone, doorbell, messy house, piles and piles of toys, and chores to do at home. We realized, more than anything, that we can get by without 90% of the things we have at home, because what’s really important is that we have each other.

Other things we have done to get ready for Christmas this year:

The kids made gingerbread houses with their grandma one morning

We put up our Christmas tree and put the lights on it (although they are those newfangled LED ones, and after they lit up the tree, we decided that they look more like the dentist office or a fluorescent glow stick, so we’re going to go back to the old fashioned normal ones if we have time).

We have been lighting the candles on our advent wreath each night, watching each week as the light becomes brighter with the approach of baby Jesus.

We went to E’s Christmas concert at a big concert hall and enjoyed the lovely music from the girls choir. The older girls sing like angels, and the little girls are adorable.

We have been listening to the Cinnamon Bear each night (an old time radio Christmas special from the 30’s or 40’s).

Other things we still want to do this year:

Go sledding (if we ever get any more snow!)
Go for a late-night walk through our neighbourhood to look at everyone’s Christmas lights
Go to the Zoo for their Christmas light display
Do some baking,
Build a snowman
Sing Christmas songs together. Posted by Picasa

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