Christmas! It’s my favorite topic this time of year. And those lovely ladies hosting #AMonthOfFaves – Andi, Tamara, and Tanya – have asked us: What are your favorite holiday festivities? How do you celebrate, decorate, share activities and favorite holiday drinks and eats?
I’ve shared some of my favorite holiday festivities already. We have the Family Advent(ure) Calendar, an idea I shameless stole from Firemom over at Stop, Drop, and Blog. Because the holidays are about being together and the excitement and all the joy of the season, I plan out a month of Christmas-themed activities, write them out on paper, and place them in a tree-shaped cardboard-drawer that counts down to Christmas. The girls – and the Xman on weekends – take turns opening the drawers to unveil our activity. We have a Christmas Candy Taste Test, go on Christmas Light Tours, make ornaments, watch Christmas movies, play story cubes but with a holiday theme for the stories we create, and all manner of things! It’s their favorite thing, really.
Our tree! I like to put it up the day after Thanksgiving, but it really depends on when the girls are around. This year we tried to plan it so we’d have all three kids around, but then we got a last-minute offer from potential renters of Jeff’s old house, and they needed to be moved in right then, and they were awesome people who would really take care of the house. So we changed plans, which meant the kids decorated the tree apart – the Xman got it started, and the girls finished. The result is STUPENDOUS! All those combined ornaments make for a very happy tree! And we decided to donate my tree to the women’s shelter and use Jeff’s tree because it’s pre-lit. SCORE.
Then there’s the visit from Auntie Kim every year! SHE GETS HERE ON MONDAY, YOU GUYS!!! It kind of crept up on us this year, we’ve been so busy! Not that I’ve forgotten – I cleaned Gracie’s room this weekend and emptied the closet and basically made the room not only habitable, but actually enjoyable. (Yes, a whole bunch of scrap stuff is there, but now she’s not crawling over it and isn’t tripping over it like it’s a funhouse maze.) I knew it would have to be straightened before Kim got here and I was running out of weekends. But the girls forgot. And the happiness on their faces when they realized Kim would be home on Monday? Priceless!
Then there’s the Christmas Car Curse. I’ve blogged about it many times (but am too lazy to go find the links) because I’ve carried it forward from when I was little. My mom’s car would break right at Christmas, eating into the Holiday Fund. It happened every year, without fail, to the point that we created the name and laughed about it. Cause what else were you going to do? The Curse followed me to Tejas – I had windows fall into doors, tires blow out, fuel injectors fail… And this past week, Jeff shattered the back window of his SUV while moving the lawn mower to storage. He laughed when I found the upside: “The Christmas Car Curse has struck! You must really be part of the family now if the Curse included you!”
Finally, there’s a new festivity: I heard about a friend’s friend’s Bookish Christmas Tree and decided I NEEDS ONE. So I went out and bought a mini-tree (on sale for $13, holla!) and started decorating it. It’s a bit bare for now, but I have plans, big plans I say! It will be delightful. I’ve already written opening lines from my favorite books onto wooden snowflakes so they can whisper through the tree. Next, I’m planning on crafty Harry Potter ornaments. Because I can. Mwa ha ha.
What are your favorite traditions and moments of joy during the holidays? Please share so I can borrow some of the best!