Thursday, December 5, 2013 check in

...and report from the survival mode we seem to be perpetually stuck in

The Christmas season is my favorite time of the year.  I love the sounds, the smells, the pretty things...

Some of the things have been just the same this year as they have always been:

1.  I decided it was decorating day on Sunday this past weekend.  I wanted our home to be festive and pretty for the children.  And hour later it appeared as if an entire Christmas Tree Shop had blown up in my living room.  This always happens.

2.  We listen to Christmas music around here all day every day (because Mark is not here...he would not be able to stand this).  But I do it for the children.  They love it.  I We have stations on Pandora programmed, XM radio, and even the cable channel is set right to the Sounds of the Season music station.  This station is great since it is important to learn important holiday trivia like:

  • In Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) Hermey was a misfit elf who wanted to be a dentist.
  • The 2008 Times Square New Year's Eve Ball was a 12 foot geodesic sphere that weighted 11, 875 pounds.
  • Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas debuted on CBS in 1966.
3.  We have been doing our daily advent activities.  Each morning the children race downstairs to check to see what exciting task we'll be doing as a family that day.  What they don't realize is that I barely placed the said 'awesome' activity inside for that day only moments before they've opened the little door.

The thing I find most sweet is that even though our tasks have been pretty simple and haven't required any prep by me...each morning their responses are priceless.

1.  Let's make some fudge today!  "Yes!  We never did that."
2.  It's a popcorn night!  "Sweet! Mom makes the best popcorn."
3.  Ice-cream sundae night.  You make it on your own.  "Woo Hoo!  Best.  Night.  Ever!"
4.  Write Daddy a letter and make sure to include three things you miss about him.  "Great.  I think he'll like that."
5.  It's family game night.  Two games of Uno and you all are going down!  "Awesome!  You are so gonna lose mom!"

I've learned it not really what fancy thing we do, it is more about the focused time (5-15 minutes) each day that we are all doing something together.

And then...

There are many things that aren't the same.

1.  We do not have a Christmas tree this year.  I miss it terribly.  There is nothing I find more calming at the end of a day during these gloomy cloudy busy days than to sit (near Mark) by the light of a tree.

2.  There are no presents appearing under the tree for the kids (or for Mark) to shake and jiggle.  I miss this building anticipation and giddiness that comes from seeing pretty packages tied up with bows...

3.  And the obvious...although the bulk of my day is spent surrounded by people (mostly little people who intermittently barely ever listen and follow directions), at the end of the day when it is quiet sitting here by the's quite lonely.

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