For years now I have wrapped up 24 Christmas books and the kids have unwrapped one each day. We snuggle up and read them together and it’s something we all enjoy. I now have enough of a collection that I don’t need to reserve a ton from the library, but that is usually what I did in years past. Some books were forgettable, and some were so good I would buy it for our library whenever I had a coupon or saw it during the year.
I wanted to continue the tradition this year but I was not feeling the work of wrapping 24 books! So instead I have a stack of books in my closet and I just pull one out every day. Guess what, the kids don’t really miss the opening of the books at all! They are just as happy to find the book waiting for them with their breakfast each morning. It’s especially fun this year because I have quite a few board books I was ready to give away and now they’re perfect for Sam! The twins love reading their old favorites to him and even though he has no clue what’s going on, he knows something is up and that it’s pretty fun.
The only new book I added to the stack was The Crayons’ Christmas by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers. My kids love this series and I knew it would be a hit! It has a bunch of letters to open, kind of like the Jolly Postman books?, and it made for a giggly morning. I also highly recommend The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker by Jessica Courtney Tickle. I bought that one last year and it is an all time favorite! (all the story orchestra books are great!) That’s the book in the picture. I had their mouse reading it to our Nutcrackers and of course it’s open to the page of her favorite scene. The kids thought it was hilarious and I was pretty proud of myself- ha!
Anyway ,this is your reminder that traditions are fun, but a lot of work isn’t necessary. Simplifying can be a good thing and can change the focus a little and however you countdown to Christmas, I hope you’re enjoying this special time of year!
Yesterday marked the second week of Advent. I feel like September through mid November dragged and now my life is flying by! I’ve been working hard to stay present and in the moment and even without a huge life change on the horizon, I know a lot of people strive for that this time of year.
The liturgical calendar gives us a name for this time and as I get older I find Advent more and more comforting. The chance to simply be in the waiting, to allow ourselves to anticipate the coming of Christmas, it’s a beautiful thing.
Advent is not a countdown, it’s a season unto itself and it can feel dark and scary at times because the world feels dark and scary at times. I feel less alone when I hear the readings in the lectionary, that there are so many others across so many years that have not known what’s ahead but forge on anyway. This is faith to me, to believe that there is light in the darkness and to try to cultivate it within myself and Advent, especially in a year ahead with so many unknowns, helps me focus on that light.
This year our celebration of Advent is fairly simple and completely imperfect. We are reading this book together as a family every night, Anticipating His Arrival, that I picked up in our church bookstore. It has the readings for all three church years as well as discussion questions. We are also reading A Christmas Carol, one of my all time favorite books. It is so perfect, and even if you think you know the story I promise it’s worth a reread. We have just made it through the first stave (the first spirit is about to arrive!) and so far the big kids seem to be enjoying it! Obviously some goes over their heads, but they pick up a lot of Dickens’ jokes and imagery and I hope it becomes something we do together every year.
Besides this we are trying to find fun things to do together as a family and with friends and celebrate this time of year in the home that we’ve made and loved in this city that we will soon be leaving. It’s all a little bittersweet, but honestly I feel like that suits Advent more than anything. I hope this season is meaningful to you as well and that wherever your life is at the moment that you can focus on the light in the darkness.
Ok that photo is actually from Beaver Creek but close enough right? My little family of 5 is in Denver for the month and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind getting here and getting settled. We all came up as my husband had a job opportunity and it has been a fun adventure for us.
I’ve lived in Dallas for 13 years this August and getting to explore a new city has been invigorating and sometimes a little overwhelming. The kids and I have been running around checking out museums and public swimming pools and over the weekend we took a trip up into the mountains and went on some great hikes. It’s so beautiful here and getting to be outside so much is wonderful. It is hot this week, we didn’t escape the heat wave, but 98 degrees and no humidity feels very different than what I’m used to in Dallas so I’m not complaining!
Going somewhere new and staying for an extended period of time changes the way you think about home. It makes you appreciate things you took for granted and it also makes you think of ways you can change up what’s normal for you and incorporate what you like about where you traveled. We have a week and a half left here and I’m excited to embrace every day and remember what lessons I want to bring back with me to Texas! A little perspective before Chris and I hit our 13 year wedding anniversary and decide what we want the next year together to look like. I’ve been reminded these past few weeks that change is possible and you are allowed to work for what you want out of life. Looking at the picture above I see a good portion of what I want and my thoughts are on how I want to get there.
If there’s anything I have to see while I’m here, with or without kids, let me know in the comments. I feel like I have a pretty good list but I’m up for any more recommendations!
It’s October! And we’ve had a few changes happen around here. Remember when I was going to blog every day in July? Well a few pregnancy things happened and took over and then it was kind of a matter of just putting my head down and making it to September. Which of course I did! And here we are with Sam!
Samuel Scott was born September 18th and he’s perfect and the entire family is in love with him. I also don’t know if I ever introduced our new fur baby on here, so please welcome Otis and Sam to the internet!
The big kids are absolutely in love. They were excited about getting a new baby brother, but their reaction to Sam has been more than I ever expected. They love on him constantly and want to show him off to everyone they meet.
Also Harper has a new muse and constantly gets my phone to take pictures of him so this is what my photo roll looks like.
So that’s what we’re up to! Settling into life as a family of FIVE and spoiling this baby boy like crazy. So thankful for a healthy delivery and recovery and trying to soak this time in as my other two are a constant reminder of how fast it all goes.