Thursday, December 8, 2011

this time of year, my mood is melancholy.
but in a good way.
much like this little nuggets'.
a roll of the eyes, a sigh to the heavens, but a tug upwards of killer Christmas socks,
i jump into it. . .feet first, of course, this often crazy and chaotic season.
(is charlie knock-kneed?  i think he might be.)
it's a time, unlike for many,
where i avoid shopping the best i can.
i lean more towards the scrooge-side of things.
the bah humbuggin' and poo-pooing,
guttural utterings of disdain for the people who are psychotic this time of year. 
but only at the obnoxiousness the holidays can bring out in the best of us.
the set up of Christmas decor at target before our babes have even uttered their first 'trick or treat',
the crazy amounts of money spent on people that have everything,
instead of put towards those who have nothing.
the stampedes at 3am the morning after Thanksgiving, to get a good deal.
that stuff makes me so angry.
makes me clutch my coin purse closer and shuffle alongside,
cursing the crazies.
i strive to spend this time of year being grateful and making it special in other ways.
and GIVING in other, more MEANINGFUL ways.
living out our family traditions and creating new ones,
that will give our kids memories to last a lifetime.
starting with the tree hunt
getting lost in the forest of pines.
this ONE day a year.  standing in stillness, just for a second.
to breathe in the frosty air, breathe out the stale from the year passed.
cherishing THESE moments and traditions of the season.
and SO thankful i'm the one in the family who gives birth instead of having to cut down trees.
i'll keep the birthing responsibility, thank you very much.  
this looks awful.
but a couple curse words and kicking at tree stumps,
a snort and a spit,
(now THAT'S a real man, huh ladies?}
and relishing all the beauty in between,
 little hands wrapped tightly around hot cups of cider,
again, breathing in THIS tradition, 
the sacredness in it, 
and for me, capturing each moment along the way, the best i can,
before literally crossing over the river and through the woods,
in to the next tradition.
using them to ground us in this homestretch that pulls us in to the new year.
a time i like to use for reflection, wrapping up the holiday season with appreciation and excitement, of course, but without getting lost in the stress and chaos and to-do's this season tempts us with.
don't get me wrong.
i love to decorate and spend plenty of time shopping online for the kids.
spending my husbands' hard earned money on seasonal decor.
i DO like to make my office (home) pretty.:)
but keep that side of this season, as simple as possible.
although i am a photographer.
which is a form of art.
which, i guess, makes me an artist,
i'm really not that creative or original.
although i'd like to be,
i haven't done anything that someone else hasn't already.
so i try to do the same.
my creativity is copied.
and i'm perfectly o.k. with that.
my little 'peanut's' Christmas' tree.
(i stuck a branch from our tree in some dirt in a pot.  not my idea.  but adorable, right?)
and inspired by a similar little tree at pottery barn, which, oh, wraps you up in its goodness, especially this time of year, but so ridiculously over-priced, it inspired me to say, 'yeah.  i can do that.'
i hung some snowflake ornaments from fishing line, to make it look like it was snowing.
big deal.
i saw this at our local flower shop.
and had to copy.
(one of gracie's skates that she wore. . .ah. . .once.)
but more than dressing the house, a tradition in and of itself,
is creating new ones, trying new ideas on for size.
a 'make shift' Christmas countdown-calendar.
(it's supposed to be a tree, in case you're wondering.)
but an idea i got from a friend.  each morning of december, the kids open an envelope,
to reveal a special december day activity/project.
a moonlit stroll.
 cookie baking.
(or the kids' favorites. . .'christmas eyes,' that they basically make themselves.  love that.  just plop an m&m in the middle of a dove chocolate or hershey kiss. . .looks like an eye.  i've already polished off 12 writing this blog post.)
or simply watching a Christmas movie or playing a game.
nothing special.
but a new tradition.  one that requires THIS mom,
whose comfort zone is right in the center of laundry, cleaning, organizing, keeping safe and healthy, my children.
NOT in entertaining or crafts or memory or monopoly.
but every once in awhile, i'll stretch.
between hiding elfie (dominic) in our house,
 (who apparently, is a swinger,) every morning before the sun is up,
and keeping the calendar filled with fun,
i've got my work cut out for me.
but it's so worth it, to see the excitement in their faces each morning,
as they bound out of bed, looking for dominic and anxious to see what the days activity will be.
it is a joyful season.  a peace-filled season.
and one that, for me, requires not just reflection, but reigning myself in from getting caught up, as well, in the madness.
it's so easy to do.
but remembering what this time of year, right now, is all about.
and who it's for.
them.  keeping alive the magic.
the sweet little minds where sugar plums still dance, while they sleep.
at least for now.
finding beauty in simplicity
and of course, finding appreciation for where we are,
no matter where that is.


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