Friday, December 28, 2012

Break Over

My dear readers,

We have had a wonderful Christmas, but I realized it is time to get back to the grind, so to speak.  My volunteer church position requires a lot of attention just before the beginning of the new year, though I have kept up on house work fairly well, it is time to buckle down with our Architect to get our house planned, Isaac's ballet competition in San Francisco needs planning, there are some fabulous newly released movies that must be watched (if it doesn't get on my list, it doesn't get done!), we must figure out a way to fit another child into our Little House in the Big Woods, and so on and so forth.

Before I do begin checking boxes . . .

What I Did on Christmas Vacation
by The MotherShip

As a stay at home mother whose children do not leave daily to attend school somewhere else, Christmas Break can look like any other time of the year.  I have to make a concerted effort to add in the traditions and celebrations that set the time apart.  I didn't always succeed, but it was still a memorable season.

I sent out Christmas cards, a tradition I skipped last year because I didn't know how to write out the super difficult facts of the year.  It was nice for me to look back on this year and recognize that it has been a blessed one for us.

We participated in our nightly advent tradition.  When my children were all small, I sat down and studied out a succinct way to teach the Christmas Story.  It has been a lovely tradition and simple way to keep the focus of the season on our Savior.  This year, however, I noticed my older children spitting out answers in a rote sort of way.  While I'm glad that they understand the facts, I came away realizing that I'll need to up the ante next year.

One of my favorite family traditions that I began with my new family (because it would have been a torturous activity for my own mother) is the making of Christmas treats.  I have a whole list of mega-favorites and decided on a handful.  We made sugar cookies.  That's it.  I felt like an utter failure each time I looked at the pile of ingredients on my kitchen counter, but I never acted on it.  My husband has been trying to watch his sugar intake as well and I didn't want to taunt him with piles of desirable cookies and treats.  If I look at from that perspective, I don't feel so guilty.

Speaking of guilt, this is the first year ever that I purchased pajamas for the Christmas Eve gift.  I have never spent so much on pajamas in my life and I couldn't shake the nagging thought of how much I could have saved it I'd pulled out the sewing machine.

Please ignore our casual theater attire.  We'd made it into town just in time!
One thing I didn't mind spending money on, however, was tickets to The Nutcracker.  We didn't take the girls last year because it would have meant taking the big car on the long trip, as well as the expense of the ticket purchase.  The entire ballet I felt bad, knowing the girls would have loved it.  This year, we took them all and got to watch the magical production together.  Isaac's many outstanding roles made it even more exciting!  What a joy to get to watch him dance!

Our oldest daughter had her piano recital.  Her teacher gives a wonderful service to a local nursing home each year and has the recitals during their dinner hour.  Most of the sick and elderly love and appreciate the music and the presence of the children.  Our daughter did a wonderful job on her piece and was even asked to accompany us all for some caroling.  This is the best time of year to have a piano student in your home!

Mother Nature cooperated in a remarkable way and delivered a glorious white Christmas.  We had over a foot of snow on the ground on the big day (which is a pain for the new bicycle owners).  We feel blessed every day by this perfect world.

And so, I am back.  I will continue to write and you can continue to read, if you so desire.

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful essay! We missed out on making sugar cookies this year, but we made a few other treats- maybe next year I'll trade you. We used your advent this year and I love it! My children are all really young still- only the oldest participated much, but it was a nice addition to our celebrations. Thank you for sharing!