“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer, and more beautiful.”
-Norman Vincent Peale 4 years ago
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer, and more beautiful.”
How I did it: by limiting my celebration ot the 12 days of christmas i had less time to get bitter and loose interest. i choose gifts that i knew i could find and that may not be what people asked for but that i knew would be memorable. i shopped for one day, again limited the number of parking spots that could be stolen from me, carts pushed into me, lines that were too long. i kept it short and sweet. Read how I did it… 5 years ago
Of course Christmas was going to be magical. It was our very first Christmas with Babybutt. I’m so surprised at how much fun she had opening gifts, playing with boxes, new toys, old toys, bows and paper. We took our leisurely time on Christmas morning. I felt very satisfied. I love how Babybutt could have spent Christmas Eve with one gift… not even a gift, but a box. How she kissed the box because there was a picture of a little girl on the box. I’m so happy that she was comfortable enough to spend time with every one of our family members. Well, everyone except my brother but she flashed him about 20 smiles and was giggling at him at evening’s end. Yeah, it was a good Christmas; a wonderful, magical Christmas. 5 years ago
Daughter A is here today at the house, back at the Bay from her Christmas trip to the Bayou.
I picked her up yesterday with the thought she would be looking after the dog while R and I journey to Las Vegas to visit his family.
But we came in to a distracted and distant R, scrambling with his end of the year business tasks. I felt happy and relaxed, having paid the bills, written up a request to the tax assessor to re-evaluate taxes on our house that has plummeted in market value, received at long last health insurance reimbursements, and contacted the bank for mortgage remediation.
It was weirdly dissonant.
R could not even tell me what his possible Las Vegas plans were, and the elements of his distress were evident in the paper strewn around him at the dining table.
Reading the man is sometimes like reading tea leaves. It looked like Vegas trip was going to be him solo, a last minute flight to be with his daughter on her birthday, leaving me behind. Daughter M much prefers having her dad to herself, and it being her birthday, that more or less makes sense. Of course, with his plans a murky mess, it is unclear whether he will be back by the evening of the 31st, so I cannot make plans.
And meantime, I have the gift of one or two days off with daughter A. We will go to the salon and get our hair and nails done. We’ll go out to dinner somewhere fun. Maybe Pear Street Bistro. Maybe Powder Keg. I don’t know if I’ll go in to work tomorrow – I did take both days off. Maybe I’ll take the luxury of a drive up the coast with A, if she’s of a mind to do that. No one is staying in the Bodega Bay house, oddly, right now. There is a two day hiatus there.
Maybe we’ll drive up Mount Tamalpais, go the Mountain House. Ah, the possibilities! I think she’ll be happy to have an adventure, something like the old days.
It will be the magical flourish at the tail of the Christmas season, and 2009 will begin anew, a new time for all of us. 5 years ago
There are so many things that make my Christmas magical. One year I’ll detail them all…I love the music (played by hubby from August), the lights everywhere we drive, the excitement of the children, shopping (at times), the cold, crisp air, the Christmas stories, the annual argument whilst putting up the tree, watching the children overload one poor branch of the tree, choosing presents, wrapping the first few (until my back starts to break, Christmas Eve at my parents, turkey, sausage meat and all the trimmings, Mum lighting the pudding, waiting hours for the children to be able to sleep, leaving a letter for Santa, family all coming to stay, sending and receiving cards, watching the children opening their pressies, chilling with chocolate and playing with pressies, singing carols and drinking lots of Tia Maria.
The list is endless. This Christmas was made extra special by it being Stinky Pinkleton’s first one, by me being a little more sober than last year, by family making that extra effort and by us starting our own Christmas traditions.
Yes, this Christmas was magical! 5 years ago
It is our first year of mixed rituals. I am liking it.
It may be our last mainland Christmas.
This is the first Christmas I mail ordered in the things that I could not find locally, like the candle pyramid. And the ornaments that came one by one. I am pretty sure I got hit with postage for every separate mailing, but it turns out there is a lot of fun in getting those packages every few days…
This is a pretty weird camera shot of one of them, a really beautiful glass elephant. 5 years ago
My husband’s Mom would always make coffee with Irish Creme on Christmas morning. And since I don’t drink coffee he bought some (really yummy) cappuccino. He said he wants it to become a tradition with us, something we do every year. And he did. He made it for us our Christmas morning. It was so good he made two cups (and I’m going to ask him for another right now!) 5 years ago
Oh Christmas, high stakes art project….
The magic was all the chum. But there was an air of less than wonder over the day for me.
We were, of course, all sick. But not as horribly sick as last year. Just never ending toxic colds, but it made me tired and less than capable.
There’s was nothing I could put a finger on and say that was why it wasn’t right, just a lot of small roughnesses that added up to less magic for me. The duplication of Santa’s gift by my sil, my other sil showing up an hour late and then needing to take over the kitchen, the head congestion that muted everything except the chum’s popgun, that I got virtually no presents until Bumble’s, the horrible smell of cooking ham….
There were a lot of really wonderful and incredibly magical Christmas moments in the last month – the holiday shows, looking at lights, getting and decorating the tree, and more – but the Christmas day experience wasn’t among the top five.
I think what the last two Christmases have really taught me is that I can’t get too tied to the one day. Last year we were so tragically sick, there was no way it could have been a ‘perfect’ Christmas. And this year it just wasn’t. But that’s OK. There were moments of beauty and magic that made me cry from joy all along the way. 5 years ago
- The chum and I made his presents. The hot chocolate mixes looked great though we ran out of powdered milk part way through but I just attached a not to make with milk. Hopefully will be OK. The spoons were a big hit. So easy to make so we did extras and gave them to the grandparents as well. I love having the chum make gifts for all. It really helps reinforce the message of giving rather than getting.
- Christmas cards did eventually go out. I love our picture of the chum but I;m not sure how to go for next year. I find the photo cards to be not quite what I want – though easy….
- Cookies were made in a scaled back way. But we all got the joy of it. And we still plan to decorate sugar cookies tomorrow – because, why not?
- As noted elsewhere, the Nutcracker was attended. Also we watched the SF version on my Dad’s huge TV on Christmas eve. The chum was enthralled again. Today we bought a Nutcracker ornament for next year.
- Gingerbread house making at the Discovery Museum – a very good way to spend the 23rd. Seasonal, active, and totally out of Daddy’s hair. 5 years ago
The Celebration Continues
We try to continue to celebrate Christmas through New Year’s Day. We just don’t want the fun to end. 5 years ago
A clean house is always magical to this Mommy. This morning I got a chance to actually wash the kitchen floor AND vacuum the house. Wow. Hokeybutt promises to clean the bathroom. What more could I ask for? 6 years ago
Due to time and energy constraints, the baking whirl is small this year. The biggest tragedy is the loss of the PB trees.So we’re making
- Jam Thumbprints (dough made)
- Cinnamon Biscotti x 2 (done)
- Cranberry Biscotti x 2 (done)
- Sugar Rollouts (dough made)
- Spiced Icebox (dough made)
- Rocky Road Bark (done)
The chum was suitably frontloaded for the big day.
I told him the story as well as I could remember (that second act is pretty plot light, isn’t it?) with the caveat that every group changes it to fit their own ideas – like we’ve encountered in other fairy tales.
We also had a fun half hour on YouTube looking at some wonderful and some really crappy Nutcracker sequences. And then this morning we listened to the whole ballet in order. So, yes, front loaded and ready for the best case experience of a 3 1/2 year old and a ballet.
It turned out our seats were the front row since the first few rows had been removed for the orchestra. Very cool – we were just 4 feet from the violinists. Some visual obstruction for the chum but luckily, adults behind us so some sitting on knees was not a problem. And how cool was that for the overtures? To be able to whisper about the sort of bowing that was being done and how the music changed when the cellos joined in…
The chum was the ideal audience member. Enthusiastically applauding, totally engaged pretty much up until the Dance of the Flowers (at which point, I think most audience members are a bit over it), and whispering, “Is that Clara?” and I hear the timpani!”
And once we got to the point where he could no longer appreciate ballet, I gave him a peppermint. So he was set until the end.
He loved meeting the dancers afterward. We ignored the ‘get the autograph” thing that seems to be the new way kids are supposed to interact. So the chum shook hands with the dancers and shyly murmured, “I liked how you danced.” or something to that effect or I did it for him. Very sweet interaction with a girl of about seven who had been a rat. she seemed thrilled to have a fan.
I note that the chum has not in any way lost his preference for Asian girls over all other girls. He had to go back twice to shake the hand of the small girl who played the role of the doll in act one. Sigh.
And tonight he’s been a French girl and a flower. And his dance moves are a lot more long legs and arms and less punching the air and rolling on the floor.
But most gratifying of all, as I got him into bed he said, I really liked the Nutcracker. Let’s see it again. Next year. Let’s have it be our own special Christmas-time thing.” Like it was scripted!
Oh, my dear little man. Thank you. 6 years ago
Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!
What the heck? The lights are not working on the tippy-top of our tree. What a pain in the rump! I was just hoping they would magically start working. I need to start playing with all the little lights and figure this out before we take pictures!
On the bright side our tree is partially decorated. We hung all of our Hallmark ornaments. Tomorrow night, hopefully, we’ll hang the rest. I’ve never ever NEVER waited this long to decorate the tree!!!
That reminds me of something else I’d like to do. I’ve been collecting Hallmark ornaments for years. This year will be the start of Babybutt’s collection. I plan to buy her at least one ornament every year. 6 years ago
are going to be minimal if they happen at all this year. We’re all just too sick. The chum is the most well but that wet cough is not getting near any baking!
Fingers crossed that this is going to end soon. I’m on Day 5 right now. 6 years ago
Every year on Christmas Eve my family has someone “play” Santa and that person gets to wear the Santa hat and hand out all the gifts. I’m curious to see if we’ll have a Santa in a Santa hat this year since this is the first year we picked names. I do, however, have three Santa hats… one is the perfect size for Babybutt. And of course we’ll have to make sure we get a few photos in front of our tree with all our hats on. I’m looking forward to it. We really need to get that tree decorated!! 6 years ago
I found this on mops.org and I’m copying it here just in case I can’t find it on the net when I need it. I may even try get this stuff together this year just to get in the swing of things.
One way to focus on the story of Jesus’ birthday is with five fun stocking stuffers.
After gathering the stocking stuffers suggested below, wrap and number them in the order listed. Next, place the items in a single stocking or distribute them among family members’ stockings.
On Christmas morning (not sure I would wait until Christmas morning), help your children unwrap the gifts in numerical order. Use each item as a prompt to tell a portion of the Christmas story.
1. Angel ornament: This Christmas ornament reminds me of the angel, Gabriel, who told a young lady named Mary that God had chosen her to be the mother of a special baby boy. The angel told Mary to name the baby “Jesus.”
2. Small box of blocks: These remind me of a builder. Joseph, who promised Mary that he would be her husband, was a builder. While baby Jesus was still in Mary’s tummy, Joseph and Mary took a trip to Bethlehem, a town that was far away.
3. Animal crackers: When Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem, there was no room left in any of the hotels. Instead, they stayed in a stable, a cave where animals were kept. These animal crackers remind me of the animals that might have lived in that stable.
4. A pacifier-shaped lollipop or a baby doll item: This reminds me of a baby. The most special baby ever born was God’s own Son, Jesus! Baby Jesus was born while Joseph and Mary were staying in that stable in Bethlehem.
5. A soft pair of socks or mittens: These soft socks remind me of wooly sheep. An angel visited some shepherds who were watching their wooly sheep near where Jesus was born. The angel told the shepherds to find baby Jesus. After finding the newborn Savior, the shepherds told lots of people the good news. I’m glad I can share the good news about Jesus with you this Christmas, too! 6 years ago
This is the third year that I’ve wanted to go on the Jingle Bus and this is the third year that we’ll more than likely need to pass. Aboard the Jingle Bus you can see the magical sights of downtown (lights, Christmas displays) for just a buck. There is a 40 minute narrative of “Milwaukee’s merriest of scenes!” If that wasn’t enough there is free hot cocoa, coffee, cookies, crayons and coloring books. I’m still hoping but we may need to pass because of Hokeybutt’s work schedule, the snowstorm a-comin’ and it’s extremely close to Babybutt’s bedtime. It will stay on our list for next year for sure… and the year after that… and the year after that… 6 years ago
- Amy’s Minty Wafers x 2
- Jelly Bowls x 3 this should be just x2
- Cinnamon Biscotti x 2
- Cranberry Biscotti x 2
- Sugar Rollouts
- Peanut Butter Trees x 3 this should be just x2
- Chocolate Espresso x 2
- Molasses Crinkles x 2
- Jelly Bowls x 2
- Peppermint Bark
- Ginger Crinkles x 3
- Cinnamon Biscotti x 2
- Cranberry Biscotti x 2
- Sugar Rollouts
- Snowballs x 2
- Peanut Butter Trees x 2
- Chocolate Espresso x 2
May want to cut back more since I’m not super enthusiastic this year. Plus several people from last year’s list are now dead. 6 years ago
The Christmas pyramid is here. And I was wondering if it would arrive before Christmas…
A very magical thing to be sure. The heat from the candles turns the figures around, by turning the blades up top. 6 years ago
Gotta wear Christmas socks on Christmas and Christmas Eve. You just gotta. All have Christmas socks to wear – check! 6 years ago
Not a huge turnout, but we all had a fun time. GG’s food was wonderful, of course. And the chum’s brownies were a nice addition. Must make more friends in 2009.Also this week
- Made a huge bay wreath for the front gate. Bay makes your nose run like crazy when you’re working with it, fyi.
- Also made one of Rose’s cute button wreathes. Hung it where the Olivia print was in the bathroom since I’m tired of looking at naked chicks while I pee.
- Visited Santa. Got the chum to figure out what he wanted to ask for and ask for it. Then bought said item.
- Made snowflakes with the chum. Then glittered them up. Fun. Also did glittered snowflakes. Our deck is sparkly.
- Been practicing carols. The chum finds some of them ridiculous. Figgy pudding indeed. 6 years ago
I like the idea of having a birthday cake with “Happy Birthday, Jesus” written on it. The only thing is that we do not need more
crap sweets in the house.
I’d love to attend but not quite sure how I’m going to swing it.
Cookies and Milk
Oh my gosh! I almost forgot the cookies and milk for Santa. How can you forget the cookies and milk… and carrots for his reindeer?
I have all this
tacky fun Christmas jewelery and I must wear a few pieces at our Christmas party. Hokeybutt usually wears the necklace of flashing light bulbs.
Need to replace our mistletoe decoration that broke a few years back. Maybe I’ll get one for half off on Boxing Day. But we do have this headband that hangs mistletoe over the head of the person who wears it. Must remember to take photos of us wearing it with Babybutt.
I bought a kit off eBay to make an imprint of Babybutt’s hand and I’m hoping there is enough dough to make one of her footprint.
Want… more… ideas…6 years ago
The Velveeten Rabbit
My sister gave Babybutt a board book of this story for St. Nick. I’ve never knew anything about the story and I got to say that I absolutely love it. It’s very strange that I like it since I’ve never been into stories about fairies and mystical creatures. I’m so fascinated that I am going to investigate… maybe find other books or a movie. I’ve been reading it, along with other bedtime stories, every night. It will be packed away with the Christmas things and brought out again each year. 6 years ago
It’s creeping up!
Tonight once Cullyn is in bed I simply MUST:
Finish wrapping presents
Write up cards
Decide on recipes and make an ingredient shopping list 6 years ago
Christmas at the Farm
Yesterday we finally decided that we would indeed go back to the pumpkin farm that we went to in October for some Christmas magic. Santa was suppose to be there in the log cabin with a special gift for each child. We were invited to bring our own cameras. We would meet, greet, feed and pet all the animals. There was to be hot chocolate and cookies made by Santa’s elves. There were going to be carols and a sleigh ride. Babybutt was dressed in four layers, me in three, and Hokeybutt was in shorts. When we arrived at the farm there was a sign up saying “Closed for icy conditions.” That will teach me to not call ahead. It’s still on our list for next year. 6 years ago
The Night Before Christmas
Hokeybutt is out Christmas shopping. (Hmm, wonder who he could be shopping forrr?) I called him on his cell to get him to pick up a copy of this book. We gotta be able to read the story to Babybutt on Christmas eve! 6 years ago
Hokeybutt bought a wooden calendar last year where I can put treats inside. I’ve filled it with lots of yummy and exciting gifts for him. If he misses a day, I get the present. He’s only missed one day and seems to be having more fun with it than last year. I have a paper one that I’m reading with Babybutt but it says things like, “Make cookies” or “It’s fun to make Christmas cards.” I have a second one just like it and when Babybutt is old enough I’ll be prepared with ingredients to make cookies and construction paper and tape.
Babybutt has an adorable dress to wear to the Christmas party that her Auntie bought her and super cute Christmas pj’s to change into later that night. She has other outfits to wear this month and something gorgeous to wear for Santa. Me, I can’t fit into anything that is not maternity so I am not sure what to do there. Hokeybutt has pretty much the same problem. Need to figure out what we’ll be wearing for our family picture.
Candy Cane Lane
This is a neighborhood that is decorated out for blocks to the max. We actually got out of the car and walked half a block before Mommy couldn’t take the cold any more. Babybutt was extremely tired, the poor thing, but she was sort of moaning at all the lighted Santas, Snowmen and other scenes. She can see out the window now in her new car seat but we didn’t stay for long. I’d like to do this one more time this year.
Christmas cards have been done and were sent out before Thanksgiving. Lots of angry phone calls and email. (Ha! Love it!) Pictures of Babybutt were included. Next year we’ll have to do a cute Christmas photo.
Make a few batches of the peanut butter star cookies. That was EXTREMELY hard to do with a baby. Note to self: No making cookies unless someone is watching Babybutt. Would like to make a few more batches if there is time since everyone LOVES the cookies.
Christmas decorations are up. Not as many as previous years but still quite a few more than anyone expected with a crawling eight month old. Nowww everyone says, “Next year you won’t have all this stuff up.” Uh, that’s what you said last year. We’ll see. The Christmas village is up and most of the Santas in place. Anytime we walk past a Santa decoration with Babybutt we say, “HO HO HO!” and she jumps up and down with delight. We have a few moving pieces that she just loves too. The candles are in the windows, stockings are hung and Nativity set is up.
We’ve been listening to Christmas music on the radio since before November first. Hokeybutt hasn’t killed me yet (or complained much at all!) so things are going well.
Already attended a few Christmas birthday parties. This will be the first year we are not hosting Christmas. Feels weird but it will be NICE not having to clean up the day after. I’ll be making my famous crock pot mac and cheese to share. It’s super quick and easy to make (and still hoping to make more cookies.)
Babybutt sitting on Santa’s lap was truly magical. I can’t tell you how happy I am with the whole experience. Hopefully I’ll have time to tell the story here. We went directly to Sam’s Club and made copies of the three ADORABLE poses to be given to family on Christmas. No one will see the photos before then. The next day Santa (same Santa) also waved to us while we were watching him from afar, upstairs. Breakfast with Santa is planned for next weekend at the zoo.
Babybutt has already tasted and held her first snowball. Snow angels and sledding (flat surface, seat buckle, going very very slow) are planned.
This tradition is HUGE in Milwaukee and it was Babybutt’s first. This is the day I officially declared her spoiled (well, almost.)
Toys for Tots
Babybutt donated two new toys. At first I didn’t think she was going to give up the Cookie Monster but she eventually gave in without a fuss. We took photos of her giving the toys away. I would like to make this a yearly tradition.
The tree has been up since the first of the month and we finally plan to decorate it today. Babybutt and Daddy will do the honors of putting the Angel on the tippy top.
Christmas videos have been dug out of the basement. We no longer watch much TV or any movies for that matter (we don’t want Babybutt watching the boob tube) BUT we may turn it on to have something playing in the background, like The Grinch, while we decorate the tree.
All the shopping is done and the only gifts that still need to be wrapped are Babybutt’s. I LOVE seeing all the wrapped gifts under the tree.
I like our list but always open for more magic!6 years ago