How did this happen? I spend most of the year looking forward to the Christmas season, and yet somehow it snuck up on me this year. I usually decorate the day after Thanksgiving, but I waited a bit this year, as pulling out boxes of decorations with Midge running around seems daunting. Then suddenly Tyler asks me how many days until Christmas and I hear myself replying with a number that is slightly over three weeks! December marches in without waiting for me.
Since I was a child, we have always had an Advent Calendar that includes an activity a day; a wonderful surprise rolled up on a little paper and put in a loop on the cross-stitched Advent Calendar. Luckily, the boys forgot completely about it, and although I couldn’t find the Calendar itself in our Christmas boxes, I thought up a (lame) activity for them to do after school today.
December: day one. And I’m pretty much a failure. A happy failure, but a failure nonetheless. For Christmas decorations, a wreath waiting on the front porch to be hung at a later time. Four window wreaths hung inside. And the Little People Nativity set brought out. That’s it. Midge spent the day eating the nativity horse and carrying it with her everywhere. And as it turns out, Jesus is a superhero baby who sometimes gets stranded on top of the manger, as he’s held hostage by a camel, while the wise men climb the palm trees nearby to rescue him, because “Jesus can’t get himself down because he’s just a baby. Maybe he’ll be up there until he’s a man and then he can just climb down because he’s God.” With that kind of excitement going on, how can I be disappointed that the decorations aren’t all up?
As for the activity, it was lunch and playtime at Chick-Fil-A, followed by a “shopping spree” for the boys to spend money on somebody else for Christmas. Mostly because I’d heard that this warehouse sale that we went to would have lots of As Seen On TV stuff, and that’s the theme of this year’s Christmas gift exchanges around here. We scored with a hamburger slider maker, a zebra print Snuggie, those hair bump things that I’m sure are uncomfortable, and a few other things good for generic birthday party gifts. But I have to admit, Advent Calendar activity for day one was pretty weak.
Of course, I could have salvaged it all by remembering to read our Advent verses before dinner. Or remembering to sing a Christmas carol instead of a prayer. Or even remembering to pray at all. Instead, somehow I ended up loading up kids’ plates and doing the dishes I’d forgotten this morning while they ate. Greg was running late and we ate, standing up, around the kitchen island later. I didn’t even manage to put Christmas carols on in the car for the kids today, but resorted to using the DVD player to let them watch 101 Dalmations just because I didn’t want Midge to fall asleep, and we had to deliver dinner to a friend and the movie made for a peaceful drive.
So day one, strike one in the parenting department. Oh well. The kids were happy, I was happy, I made it to Fresh & Easy to shop for Tyler’s school fundraiser, and now the house is quiet. Time to pull out that December Daily scrapbook. Another thing that I should have finished by now, but haven’t. But the weather is turning cool after the heat wave we had earlier this week. I can wear my hats and scarves, and I continue to make Christmas crafts for giving. I planned this week’s menu before shopping tonight, something I’ve dropped the ball on for at least a month, and I have lots of wintery vegetable dishes planned. Yum. I’m happy with the start of December after all.