Monday, December 8, 2014

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire....

I actually have never had a roasted chestnut, nor could we roast them on our gas fireplace.  But, it is my all time favorite Christmas carol so earned a place as the title.  

So...It is suddenly December and Christmas is right around the corner.  It is cliche, but I really don't know how that happened.  One minute we were giving thanks with family and the next thing you know Christmas exploded all over our house...

There is much goodness in the holiday season and this is what we soak up this time of year around here.  I know it can get crazy and one can easily get caught up in the chaos of it.  Over the past years, I have clung with all my might to keeping with the spirit of the season.  In our house this means spreading Christmas cheer.  You can feel it all around.  From the decorations...all carefully put in place by the girls (and maybe one or two rearranged by me)...to the music (Christmas playlists hit Pandora the day after Thanksgiving)...to the energy.  Little girls excited and trying hard to be patient, but wondering why it is taking so long.  Each day cutting off a portion of the countdowns they made.  Eagerly making homemade presents for everyone they know.  We try hard to instill in them that Christmas is not about the gifts.  Of course gifts are a part of it, but not the part.  I think we are doing a good job as they struggle coming up with ideas to put on their lists rather than filling it with all the millions of things they want.  I read something the other day...teach your kids gratitude by giving them less.  This makes so much sense.  When we fill their lives with things all the time, they will constantly want more.  I find myself having this same problem.  Getting caught up in the wanting stuff...buying new clothes to keep up with a new trend, wanting to update something in our home.  Feeling good when I buy something new, or we remodel a room, but then realizing how quickly that feeling is gone.  As humans, we will always have desire for more stuff...I am no exception.  However, I have been trying to really make conscious decisions when it comes to buying things for myself or gifts for the kids and family.  Making thoughtful purchases that are meaningful and responsible.  Christmas is the perfect time to work on this skill.  It also goes hand in hand with keeping the holidays simple.  Making them about the memories we create and not how many presents are under the tree.  I like to believe in ten years the girls will remember hiking through the snow to chop down our tree and then spilling hot cocoa all over themselves on the ride home, not what was in their stockings that year.  That the cookies they decorate with cousins every year will always have a place in their heart, while the current electronic fad will be long outdated.  And, if it is a gift they remember it because it was so special and well thought out that they still have it.   Yes, the spirit for our family will always be the time together.  

The traditions.

Each year since the girls were little we've gone to the Christmas Stroll in Bozeman.  When they were younger it was a bit of a pain...toting babies bundled up in the cold, pushing strollers through the snowy streets...all to see the lights of downtown go on.  Now I am grateful for this tradition and the ease we have taking them.  

Traditions like going to the Nutcracker, baking with aunts, grandmas and cousins and watching Christmas movies the entire month of December (Polar Express is the all around fav!)  Things like staying in Christmas pj's all day long.  Driving around to see all the holiday lights on peoples homes.  Wrapping presents while watching my own favorite Christmas movies...Sleepless in Seattle being on the top of my list.  These are the things I love.  The things I will continue to treasure and pass on.  It is such a magical time of year.  We will continue to fa la la la la la la la la all the way throughout the month.
Tis' the season after all.  

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