If you're my facebook friend (which I think all three of you are), you know that the past few months have been hard. I'm normally one who loves everything about Christmas but this year I'm just not feeling it. Yes, it's great that Jeff is home with us this year. And, hopefully, we won't spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the nastiest stomach flu I can remember like last year. But, I'm not there. Yes, Jesus is the reason. Yes, my kids are excited. Yes, the lights are pretty.
Bring on 2012.
But, in an effort to restore my Christmas cheer I thought I'd do a little tour of our decorations. And then return to meal planning talk in a week or so.
The kids have loved our advent activities again this year. I picked up this advent calendar in San Antonio. I'm kind of over the felt nativity look but it's become tradition so it will likely stay.
The gratitude garland is hands down my favorite activity that we do in December. I love the honesty (not every answer is Jesus and health, Jeff always is thankful for homebrew) and that now the kids are wanting to fill out their own. I started keeping a journal of our list and am so glad that I have. This is one thing that we will never stop doing. Guaranteed.
Last year I did a wreath for our cards. While I liked the overall look, I didn't like that some of the cards were hidden a bit. This year I decided just to hang some baker's twine (how I love thee!) and clip the cards on with mini clothes pins. I like this much better.
We are starting to have quite the collection of nativities. This is one we got in Mexico the first year we were in San Antonio.
One of our traditions growing up was to go to the Oregon Ballet's The Nutcracker. I loved it every year and haven't been back in quite some time. Nutcrackers are always a special part of our Christmas time. Jeff went with us one year (he loved it, don't tell) and I can't wait to take the kids and my nephew. I can already picture us filling an entire row.
Finally, one of my most precious treasures. My grandma painted this in 1980. I can hardly believe that it's 31 years old and has gone all around the world with us. Each year I'm a bit nervous that it will have broken but it always makes it onto the tree. I barely remember her but this is so special to me.
So, there's a peek at our first Christmas in Italy.
Merry Christmas, all. Love well and enjoy every second even when it's hard.