Monday, December 20, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time...

It is the most WoNdeRFuL time of the year: it's mid day. My kids are running around the house still in pajamas. Each room has marked territory that children actually live in this home. And my meals today have consisted of the treats people drop off. Dark Chocolate Peppermint Moose Munch anyone?

There is no room on my tables to craft today. Last night the Elf (on the kitchen chandelier instead of "the shelf") brought the kids sun catchers to paint. Today, the goal is to put together the gingerbread houses for decorating with the cousins tomorrow. I'm trying hot glue this year because no one ever eats the house and the hardest part of assembling the houses is holding it straight while the frosting dries. So I'm trying something new.

Today I thought I'd share some of my favorite things around the house during this time of year.

*** The first idea is the Santa picture display.

When my oldest was only six months old, we took her for her first experience of sitting on Santa's lap. I was hooked. Look at this picture. I adore this moment and had to make it a tradition.

As I decorate for Christmas, I take down all the family pictures that are framed and around the house and I replace them with the Santa pictures throughout the years. One of my favorite things to do is to stare at the pictures at night, after the munchkins are asleep, and wonder where the time has gone.

And I don't shy away from the crying pictures. In fact, they're my favorite.

I think I jinxed myself this year. My 13 month old daughter is a mommy only kind of girl. During our visit with Santa this year, I held her while the kids where letting Santa know what was on their most wanted list. When it was time for the picture, I told Santa, I don't mind crying pictures. She will probably cry. So don't stress about trying to make her happy. I think the crying pictures are sweet memories. So I placed my baby on his sleigh for the picture. Not only did she not cry, she smiled. I admit. I was a little disappointed. I assume this will be my last opportunity to have one of those moments.

*** My second idea to share is my Christmas Card display.

I have tried many different ways to share the great cards that fill our mailbox this time of year. I've tried attaching them to the garland on the stairs. I've tried attaching them to the garland around the room. I've tried taping them to the back of the door. The problem is, I start with good intentions and then fail at keeping up. So I came up with a different idea.

As the cards arrive, we place them in a Christmas tin on the dining room table. We are able to sort through them and look at all the pictures. At the end of the holiday, I then place them into a book. I buy an art pad at Michaels and cover the front in holiday paper. I make sure the year is on the cover. I always start the year's collection with our own Christmas card. I then glue the cards on the pages. We keep the books sitting on the dining room table. The kids love to look through them and see their friends and family and how they have changed throughout the years.

*** My third idea for the day are our Christmas books.

I shared during Halloween that I like to keep my Halloween stories packed up with my decorations. I do the same thing for my Christmas books. It is one of the boxes that the children are most eager for when we are setting up Christmas (and it usually keeps them entertained so I can focus on decking the halls "my way". ;) So when the books come out, we place them in a large basket by the fireplace in the family room. I keep a CD player there because we have a few stories that are on CD with the book. There are also a couple Santa hats in the back of the basket if one chooses to read with a Santa hat on. And I have a child friendly nativity that I keep in the basket. The kids love to choose Christmas stories to read for bedtime, but I also find them during the day sitting around the fireplace reading the Christmas stories.

Here's to a Wonderful Holiday Season!

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