It’s beginning to look a lot like…


It's beginning to look a lot like...Starbucks cup with a candy cane straw! I love it!

It's beginning to look a lot like...Taking "stocking" literally.

It's beginning to look a lot like...Before …

It's beginning to look a lot like...And after!

It's beginning to look a lot like...Baby's first Christmas.

I probably shouldn't admit that we put the tree up two weeks ago, huh? Well, we did! I'm one of those annoying people! I don't know, I guess we are feeling extra festive this year. It's probably all the kids we have now! Ha ha! Two! Whole! Kids! SO MANY! Having children has made the holidays (watch out! Imma sound cliched for a minute!), well, magical for me. Seeing our four stockings all hung together on the mantel just fills me with joy. Sydney loved getting all the Christmas decorations out and decorating the tree this year and we loved watching her do it. She oohed and aahed and put all the ornaments she could in a 1 x 1 section of the bottom of the tree. It was wonderful and perfect. I loved it (and yes, I spread things out after she went to bed that night).

We normally wait until the day after Thanksgiving to bust the green and red boxes out of the bowels of the garage. It's been fun to do it differently and stretch out the decorations over the last few weeks. One day we assembled the tree. A few days later we put on the lights and tinsel and ornaments. Day by day I hung up a little more … a wreath, garland on the mantel, stockings, then the Christmas mugs, and today I switched out the regular plates for the Christmas china. There is something so comforting to me about eating Thanksgiving leftovers off of my Christmas plates! (That reminds me! It's not even December 1st yet!)

My daughter's wonder is a marvelous thing. It has undone my need for my house to look perfect for the holidays, for the lights to be "just so" on the tree (and that's a long way for me to come … John and I fought over the lights on the tree almost every year before we had kids!), for everything to be done in a certain time frame. I'm all for stretching my child's wonder out as long as humanly possible these days, and for our family's Christmas to be meaningful rather than "perfect"!

When does your family usually start decorating for Christmas/watching Christmas movies/drinking egg nog? What's your favorite Christmas tradition?


3 thoughts on “It’s beginning to look a lot like…

  1. Arwen says:

    This is something I really struggle with. Catholic Christians keep the season of Advent and we are meant to hold off on celebrating until December 25th, when the Feast of the Nativity really begins. (For us the liturgical season lasts until January 12th, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.) There are no rules about when you can put up your Christmas tree or listen to carols or anything like that, but I’ve found that if I don’t commemorate the penitential season of Advent, I lose a lot of the mystery and joy of Christmas. So we wait until the third Sunday of Advent to put our Christmas tree up and we wait until Christmas to listen to carols (we have a lot of Advent music to listen to). And honestly, it’s hard for me. I have trouble concentrating on quietness and preparation when the rest of the world is deep in the “Christmas season.” I find it difficult to begin celebrating Christmas just when everyone else is finishing, and I have trouble sustaining the joy of the season halfway through December. But I guess I think it’s worth it, or I wouldn’t do it, right?

    Wow, this was probably a way more deep and introspective answer than you really wanted, huh? Sorry about that!

    Oh, we do watch Christmas movies any time of year. I love so many of them. I cannot get enough of Will Ferrell putting syrup on his spaghetti!

    I am loving the joy in your blog posts these days, Manda. It’s obvious you’re so happy with two kids, and I’m happy for you!

  2. Arwen says:

    Um, above, I meant: “I have trouble sustaining the joy of the season halfway through January.”

    Yes. Otherwise that comment doesn’t make any sense.

  3. Twisted Cinderella says:

    I never grew up celebrating Christmas so I try to create as many wonderful Christmas memories with my kids as I can. We start off by watching every Christmas movie on television that we can. Prince Charming insists we wait until December to put up our tree.

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