This year I was determined not to get too busy with things that didn't matter (excessive shopping, excessive baking, excessive anything for that matter) and really wanted to pare it down to what mattered. Jesus, love, giving.
Looking back I can see that we did a good job of teaching what Christmas is about to the boys. This was the biggest thing on my heart as we approached Christmas. Each year Jonah and I talk about what we will give and how we will teach the reason of Christmas.
This year we didn't get to send our Christmas cards, or hand out gifts to neighbors. It was on my 'wouldn't it be nice' list in my head, but when it came down to time those just had to come off the list.
However I must say, Jonah went above and beyond a card this year and made a VIDEO of our Christmas. It's amazing. He's picked up this skill all on his own, and has learned a lot about videography. It's time consuming (edit process) but it's pretty amazing when it's done.
I did make two gifts this year though, one for each of the boys. I made Oliver a pizza set made of felt (he's really into play foods and making his own things). And for Aleksandr, ah, I was sentimental about his. You see I was looking on etsy and found an old pattern of a toy I had when I was little. I had forgotten all about it until that moment. It's a fabric toy carrot that holds little bunnies in it. It brought back memories and I called my mom to see what had happened to it and who had made it. As it turns out my grandma made it for me years ago, and it has since been swapped up by one of my sisters (somewhere in a storage box). My grandma was an amazing woman that was skilled in so many domestic areas, I only wish I could now sit down with her and just LEARN from her. She has been with Jesus for several years now though. I searched ebay for the pattern and found it, ordered it and eagerly set out to make this thing.
I'm an amateur at sewing in every aspect. But I really wanted to make this toy. After many ripped out seams, torn out thread, and a little blood (I pricked my finger), sweat and tears (I may have cried a bit when it was finished) I succeeded. I made this carrot toy (complete with zipper, what??!) and was happy with the result and happy that it will be in our family for our own kids to play with.
Here is the pattern that is similar to the one I bought on ebay. My bunnies and leaves were a bit different but still like the one I had when I was little.
It was so much fun making things for the boys. I didn't make a gift for Jonah but still enjoyed picking out his gifts too! It's so much fun to give to others!
It was a lot of fun watching the boys this year too. Oliver had much more excitement about everything as he is older now, and Aleksandr just enjoyed getting excited when his big brother did.
I think in the end Jonah and I again realized we would do just fine to only give the boys one gift, but we know ourselves too well to try and stick to that rule. The boys were SO excited after opening one gift. We could have stopped at that point and they would have been thrilled to play. But maybe we will narrow it down again next year. We are thinking maybe just 3 gifts each (one you want, one you need, one you give away) but we'll see....
We continued our traditions this year: baking cut out cookies and decorating, visiting local Christmas lights, watching a Christmas movie with cocoa with Oliver (polar express, first time!), opening our chocolate advent calendar, having Oliver choose a gift to buy and give to a friend, and having amazing bacon on Christmas morning...along with so many other little things that have become our traditions. It's fun to add things as they boys grow and as we find new things that work with our family. I love this time of year. I kind of wish we could keep it all year round, but then again I guess it would hold as much excitement. I love that we can celebrate because of the most precious gift given, Jesus. I always loved being pregnant during Christmas as it reminded me of how little Jesus was when He came to earth. Perhaps another Christmas I will experience that, but it was sure special celebrating and remembering our Savior. I hope I can keep that part of the season passionately in my heart all year.
|oliver on Christmas eve last year|