Christmas is in the air and while we don't make a big deal of gifts, we will be exchanging a few this year. It's always fun to watch the children's faces when they open them. The excitement is contagious and if you add a cup of hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream and crushed candy canes, it makes some special memories. So the kids and i were discussing gifts over breakfast this morning and Eric said he wants to get dad his favorite chocolate. Zac thought he'd buy dad a new gun. Eric squashed that idea flat in no time. Thankfully Zac took it in good humor....you never know. I eventually took Jacob into my room to get him ready for the day and after a few minutes Emily comes into the room. Casually she asks me what my favorite kind of chocolate is and i tell her that i love chocolate covered cherries. She goes flying out and i hear her telling the boys, "I GOT IT, I KNOW WHAT KIND TO Get!!" So, so cute and so, so transparent. I love it! And i intend to enjoy every chocolate covered cherry i get. :)
Another idea i would really like to try this year is a christmas countdown, or an advent calender type thing. Each day we'll pick a piece of paper out of a christmas box and we'll do that special thing. Something as simple as a moonlit walk, a story under a cozy blanket........if you want great ideas check out the blog on my sidebar, "Daily Pleasures." Most people do it the whole month of December, but i think we'll only do it the last week or 2. Those small things mean the world to the children, it only takes a bit of planning on mama's part, something i'm not always good at, but it's worth it. It's all about relationships and tying those heart strings between parents and children. Face it, no matter how badly you want to be a good parent, we mess up and i think it's important to be proactive in the good things. The kind of things that the kids will talk about when grown. When my mother spent a day with us last week we were baking christmas cookies. The house was warm and bright, it smelled good and there was flour everywhere. The kids were lining up for turns to cut out gingerbread cookies and the excitement was running high. (on their part, i was just trying to stay sane and calm) My mom stood to the side and watched and she kept saying over and over how this reminds her of her mom and how she used to bake christmas cookies and make homemade candy. Now, we never celebrated christmas at home except for a family gathering on christmas day, and while i appreciate my parents hearts in wanting to stay away from commercialism, i also have seen the beauty in making it a special time. It really struck me as interesting and touching though, how much that special time of year stuck with my mom. She has forgotten so much but she clearly remembers that warm and exciting time of year, and how her mother made it so special. I want that for my children. I want them to remember me at christmas (they better come visit to or i'll throw cookies at them...just kidding ;)and how mom made it a wonderful time of year. It's hard to always take the time to organize something when i'm already so busy, but it's worth it. To see the joy on their little faces, and watch their eyes so full of excitement and most of all, security. Dad and mom love them, Jesus loves them and all is right with their world.