Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Six Days


Clementines (or Cuties as we call them) are a sure sign of Christmas to me.  Growing up our stockings always had an orange or tangerine filling the toe.

It doesn't seem possible that there are only six more days. In trading "to do" lists with Angie this week (which is much more fun than actually tackling the list), we talked about the discrepancy between what we want to do and what we want to have done. I wish I had keen insights I could record here that would help me be more selective next year. But I may be too sleep deprived to think that clearly...

I want to remember:

-the best things happen spontaneously, and often need to be kid-initiated. I was in full baking mode yesterday, for Brian's coworkers and a friend's party, when Aidan came to the kitchen table with scissors and two white pieces of paper, asking to make snowflakes. Somehow it wouldn't have been the same if that had been the note in today's advent stocking and I had made it happen.

As much as I love having our advent calendar hold ideas and activities rather than more candy or "stuff", I want to make it simpler next year. A gum drop would be just as exciting to find on some mornings.

A_winter_favorite_2 -Every few years I go a bit overboard on the baking. Our kitchen currently holds containers of rum balls (yes, I'm channeling 1977 this year), seven-layer bars (there would be riots if my mom didn't make these every year), oatmeal bars, pretzel turtles (easy one the kids can do themselves), gingerbread cookies, and peppermint chocolate wafers (thanks for the recipe, Stephanie!).

I gave away little Chinese take-out boxes filled with these treats, and some of Laura's peanut brittle, to our local friends yesterday. Hopefully the rest will be gone by tomorrow. Next year I'm thinking the kid-oriented ones are enough. We all have enough sugar this time of year. Gingerbread and decorated sugar cookies next year---that's it.

Paper_ornament About 20 minutes before we had to leave for a friend's party last night, I decided to make paper ornaments for the families that would be there. Because it always helps to add a little edge to getting your family out the door, doesn't it? Yes, in case you didn't already know it, Brian is a saint.

Aidan helped make ours a week ago (last night I wasn't in a kid-help mode at all), and they really are the simplest thing---instructions can be found here. Loved putting my patterned paper to use, since I haven't touched it in months.

There are still 2/3 of our Christmas cards to write and address, and while all the packages have been mailed, still lots more wrapping. Aidan's school celebration on Friday, caroling with kid friends on Saturday, a rather-impromptu nativity play for church on Sunday. And then---ready or not, it's Christmas Eve.

But today I just want to breathe, gather our blankets and pillows in the living room and dive into our basket of winter books with the boys.


The Tradition Continues. Left to Right: Brian and his brother Pat, me and my sister Eileen, Aidan and Sean.

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