I thought I'd use my quick takes this week to post what our family did during the holiday season this year. Christmas in review...
1. We always kick off the Christmas season by going by the open house of a family who belongs to the church Doug attended when he was growing up. She blogs at Christmas Notebook and has awesome pictures posted here from this year's open house. The kids love going to see all the beautiful Christmas trees and eat all the yummy treats. Doug and I love seeing all our old aquaintances from his hometown in one place. I always consider it a major accomplishment if we manage to get out of there without breaking anything (or spillling punch on something/someone)!
2. We normally put up our Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, but since we were out of town that did not happen. The following weekend we did yard work due to the unseasonably warm weather. Right after that I was in bed with a fever so Firstborn decided to put the tree up solo this year. He did a really good job with it, when I got up he was busy untangling Christmas lights. I finished up the house decorating the weekend the boys went camping.
3. One of the more frustrating things, for me, about this Christmas was the aforementioned tree. Today it is looking pretty bare because Toddler Boy could not keep his hands off the thing! It was not unusual to see him walking around with a glittery object in his little hands. I'm glad I went out and got some cheap dollar store ornaments to put on the tree this year (I must have had a premonition or some Holy Spirit inspired warning). I think I redecorated that thing a million times over the last few weeks before I conceded the battle. Toddler Boy - 1, Mom - Zip.
4. One thing I think we did right this year is hit the after Thanksgiving sale at Wal-mart. We actually went out Thanksgiving night (I know, I know...you all think we're terrible for shopping on the holiday and we should have just boycotted the whole thing on principle alone). This is the first year we've done anything like this, we normally just stay home on "Black Friday" because I hate fighting the crowds. However, we pretty much got all of our Christmas shopping done in that one night (read...wee hours of the morning). We finished getting the kids' gifts on our anniversary / shopping night out. It was nice to have it done early and not have to worry about buying any more gifts. The Black Friday shopping trip was kind of a spur of the moment thing and we probably spent too much money, next year we'll plan a bit better.
5. Normally I would include some holiday pictures but believe it or not, I actually do not have any. Why? Well, my darling children
6. SNOW!! We now have a gorgeous 1" blanket on the ground outside my window as I type. We were supposed to get 6 to 8 inches of the stuff Christmas night, but lo and behold, the huge blizzard stayed south and missed us by about 40 miles (curse you, weatherman)!! The boys were very disappointed in the non-white Christmas. However, it DID start snowing yesterday evening so they were happily sledding this morning. All is now right in their world...maybe I'll add some sledding pictures to this post as soon as I get those batteries.
7. Last but not least, we went to the Christmas Eve service at our Protestant church this year. It was very nice, the church has grown so big we actually had to have tickets to the service. There were three services and this year we went to the earliest one. I understand the logic behind it, there are only so many people that can fit into the building. It did seem odd to have to reserve a seat at our home church (the tickets were free, in case you were wondering). I am ashamed to admit I did not make it to either the Christmas Eve or Christmas Day Mass at the Catholic church. This is probably me just making excuses, but I had alot going on over those three days...
a. My grandmother ended up having emergency surgery the night before Christmas Eve (she pulled through fine and spent the holidays in the ICU)
b. I stayed up really, really late that night wrapping the kids' Christmas gifts, making cheeseballs for Doug's office party the next morning, and praying for Grandma (of course)
c. We had to get the kids up ungodly early the next morning to attend Doug's family office party (which they always have Christmas Eve morning before the business opens).
d. Did alot of baking that afternoon to get ready for Christmas dinner the next day.
e. We had ALL of the kids stay with us during the church service. They did great, but Doug & I did have to juggle a little bit to keep them happy. Whoever at the church had the idea to put small coloring books and crayons in the back of the seats...lifesaver!
I was so exhausted that evening there was NO WAY I was going the the midnight (10:00pm) Mass. Our kids opened their gifts Christmas morning and then we were heading out of town for dinner with my folks so I couldn't make the morning Masses either. I probably could have made the 8:00am Mass, if I would have set my alarm (which I didn't). Like I said, it's all just excuses on my part. The complications of living in a religiously mixed marriage! I pray Jesus is happy that I made it to the Protestant service and leave it at that.
That's it for the holiday wrap up, head over to Jen for more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.