Monday, December 5, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time... of the Year!

I'm just so pumped-up about the Christmas season!! It's been a few years since I'd felt this gleeful about it. I was feeling a bit of distress in past years - with the girls both so young, and our trying to adjust to life with little kids, on top of transitioning into visiting just one side on Christmas Eve, and the other on Christmas Day. While it was a bit of a weight-off ~ to only have one place to go each day ~ it still felt a bit like you were 'missing out' on something. This year, however, the girls are really into it ~ and starting to understand and appreciate the meaning behind it all! The four of us have been an even more tightly-knit family in the past couple of years, and we're beginning to really embrace our own celebratory traditions, in addition to those annual family-gatherings.
We're exposing ourselves to more adventurous outings, and we have to make a point to fit in all of the fun family-moments we have planned for the holiday season! I'm putting more emphasis on that family time again too ~ especially now that the photography season is winding down. (Ah - I love the fact that this slow-down correlates with the holidays. I can't begin to tell you!)
And I really can't begin to express how thrilling it is to soak in the romance of Christmas with little ones in the mix who are equally as excited!

On our list this year (so far): 
~ Decorating the house the weekend of Thanksgiving, by a cozy fire, in tune to the Christmas music. (The girls have their own 5-foot pre-lit trees to decorate, and a grand collection of ornaments that continues to grow! They LOVED it this year!!)
~ Not one, but 2 Advent calendars that they can participate in, to count down the days 'till Christmas, and reiterate the story of Jesus' birth.
~ Visiting Santa at the local mall - where you are allowed to take your own photos! (YES!)
~ A trip to SantaLand on Macy's 8th floor!! 
~ A trip to see a play - Cinderella - coming up soon! [Last year, mommy took Myla to see the Nutcracker - and she loved it!]
~ A trip to walk the good ol' Mall of America ~ and witness it in all of its decorated glory. Not so into the commercialism aspect - but rather - the decor and ambiance, and just window-shopping for fun/ a good walk indoors during the cold months. (Surely this year will require a trip to the rides... as we won't be able to hide it from them any longer! But alas - no strollers either this time. Woot!)
~ An evening drive all around the 'hood to take in the gleaming lights against the snowy surrounds. [The girls love keeping their eyes open for those decorations whenever we are on the go! Soon we'll dedicate a night to checking out the best of the best! I think hot cocoa and cookies, and Christmas music are also in order...]
~ Various projects that mommy has been planning for their week of Christmas break from school!! ;)

TIP: Think like a kid this time of year - it's extra special when you can share that joy with the babes! 
A QUOTE: "Christmas gift suggestions: to your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect." ~Oren Arnold
WHIDFML: Also started what may turn into a new annual tradition with 2 generations of sisters (one day - it may be all 3 generations - with my girlies when they get bigger!) Rather than going out amid the chaos and shopping for the holidays together - this year we are taking a trip to Duluth for a weekend... Soaking in some relaxation, as well as the view of that Great Lake in icy action, the city all in lights, and some quality girl-time! Saweeeet!

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