Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas Part 1

It's 6 degrees outside right now.  The high today was 13.  I can hear my furnace chugging and see the ice build-up on the inside of my front door.  The elementary school pipes froze and burst open, causing several classrooms to shut down.  My front door also burst open after school with Abby following behind, proudly exclaiming that she "had class in the Library today!!!"  I immediately served my two little icicles some hot cocoa--mostly to appease the guilt I felt at making them walk home today.  

In other words?  It's cold.  The kind of cold you welcome before Christmas.  The kind of cold that we didn't have before Christmas.  

When we took our kids to go see Santa (around December 1st) people were in shorts.  The grass was green.  Santa was sweating.  A lot.  It felt wrong.  For so many reasons.  But I figured that kids in AZ do this every year, we can tough it out just this once!

The kids made their requests--a violin for Grace, a barbie and pet shop for Abby, and a camera for Eliza.  Santa also made his request--that they go to bed early on Christmas Eve.  Thank you, Santa!

We also managed to squeeze a few other things into the month.  Like a haircut for this cute girl.  I tried to get some good pictures of this silly girl....
 and I dare say I did.

We also found time one morning to make Gingerbread houses.

And, amazingly enough, my dad and sister came out for a quick early December visit!  It was so wonderful having them here!!

The kids love Julia.  But the luuuurve her Ipod.  She uses that power wisely

James with his favorite things: His grandpa, his books, and his fingers

Making our retro ornaments

Reid in front of the fire he lit for an evening of marshmallow-roasting, carol-singing and cinnamon-stick burning

Julia and Zhaameyes
(Julia's nickname for James.  She had just returned from a trip to Paris and taught us all the worst fake French you've ever heard.  It stuck)

But most of the month was spent doing what i do best--tackling a service project that is bigger than I am, and feeling guilty the whole month because we aren't ice skating, caroling to neighbors, visiting live nativities, and making plates of cookies for our friends!  I am truly torn over this issue.  I love helping people out at Christmastime. I love turning my children's focus away from their own wishlists and toward the needs of others.  I love teaching them that one of the ways we can honor Christ this time of year is caring for the poor and needy, like He always did.  But honestly, I feel quite guilty about the things that we don't make time for...and the fact that I'm a frantic crazy person for weeks on end as I try to save as much of the world as possible! What do I do?  Or perhaps the better question is, What do you do?  How do you balance these two apparently conflicting desires?  Do you make your Christmas cookies in October?  'cause as of right now, that's the best I can come up with.

Luckily for everyone in this household, all of my Christmas Crazies were gone by the 20th, when the last packages were shipped off.  And we made it to Wyoming for a wonderful, peaceful, relaxing, just-what-I-needed glorious 6 days.

More on that later!!

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