Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Experiencing Christmas

I love Christmas. As I grow older it's beginning to mean something different to me than in years past. See, although my parents always did a great job picking out presents and piling them around the tree looking back there are very few presents I can recall. You know what stands out? The cinnamon-y smell of the decorations coming down from the attic. The shaped mints that our neighbor always brought to Christmas dinner. Twinkling lights. Chaotic school parties. Sights and sounds and glorious smells. Experiences.

So during this time in our lives when we don't have a whole lot of money to spend on presents that will be forgotten in no time anyway, I'm trying to focus on making Christmas magical in other ways. I want to give our children memories. Someday years from now I hope they'll detect the scent of sugar cookies baking and think of me. I hope the words and tunes to Christmas songs are forever embedded in their minds. I hope that  their hearts will always skip a little beat as twinkling lights come into view and that those lights will whisper reminders of the Light of the world to them. I hope that this time of year will forever be marked with comfort and joy instead of stress and covetousness. 

In addition to working our way through Truth in the Tinsel, I've collected some seasonal books and gathered them in my new old egg basket. Each night I'm going to have the kids choose a book (or two or ten) and read a bedtime story together. Some of them are totally just for fun (The Dumb Bunnies' Easter), some are religious (The Story of Christmas), and some are somewhat educational (The Real Santa Claus and the Christmas Dictionary). Here's hoping some of them become favorites!

Later this week Keeleigh will be going to two Christmas parties so I'm glad she'll get to experience the delightful chaos of an all kids party. We're going to make and decorate gingerbread houses. We'll also be headed to Lafreniere Park to check out the Christmas lights and classic Christmas songs will be playing as often as possible at our house! Of course we will be filling in that blank space around our tree with colorfully wrapped presents but I'm not going to stress over spending a million dollars on them. I have a feeling the kids won't mind a bit!

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