I've been waiting until this weekend to launch myself into the Christmas spirit, only halfheartedly listening to Christmas music in the car and while cooking dinner. But for some reason, I always found myself flipping back to Van Morrison Radio or The Lorax Soundtrack, not quite ready to do Christmas yet. It was too early, and in our case, way too HOT. We had to run the air conditioner last night because I was lying on top of the covers, still too hot at three o'clock in the morning. In December. So you can see why I wasn't in the Christmas spirit.
But Friday we went to a Christmas street festival and made cupcakes with the Grinch and then Saturday morning we had breakfast with Santa. Saturday afternoon I turned in a proposal that's been occupying all my free thoughts this past week and then suddenly, it dawned on me that Advent started on Sunday and I was free to enjoy the Christmas season willy nilly. Hooray!
Since we always attend the Hanging of the Greens Sunday night at the beginning of Advent, we planned to do our family celebration on Saturday. I got out the Christmas tablecloth I bought a month ago and stashed in the laundry room then made up some wonderful pasta with tomato-cream sauce (via Pioneer Woman) and topped it with fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese while the kids decorated sugar cookies with Ryan. They assured me they didn't eat any before dinner, but I remain suspicious.
After dinner we ate cookies and drank eggnog and decorated the tree.
The tongue of concentration was out in full force.
James quickly got the hang of it.
We got out all the sweet ornaments my family made at James's baby shower two years ago.
I poured the eggnog
James sneaked the eggnog
Lots of school projects were hung on the tree
The kids were SO INTO IT this year. When Ryan got the tree ready to put up the kids dragged the time-out chairs out of the corner where we always put the tree. When we got the ornaments out they started digging through the box to find their favorite ones. They ate their cookies lying down under the tree looking up at the lights, because that is what they did last year. For an hour, my life was Little House in the Big Woods. Soft lighting, happy, happy family. Kids getting along and helping each other. Everyone reminiscing about Christmases Past (or Last Year, the only one the kids can really remember). It was unsarcastically magical and special. I was so glad we waited for the right moment.
And then it was time to go to bed and everyone had to be bodily dragged up the stairs, manipulated into brushing their teeth, and coerced into their jammies. We came downstairs and Ryan had to work and I had to stare slackjawed at my Kindle until 9:30 when I crashed into bed. Which is all pretty standard around here.
But the next night was Hanging of the Greens.
And I'm not going to lie to you, I was a little verclempt when the trees were decorated and they lowered the lights and then Pastor Tom said Christmas was about God bringing light to the darkness and the trees lit up, so beautiful, and Charlie and Wes both sprang to their feet and said "Ooooooooh!" and then started clapping. It is the most wonderful time of the year.