Christmas 2013 was really pretty magical. I have to write about it before all the little details slip from our family memory forever. There were lots of crazy stress filled moments, but I felt like this Christmas, more than ever, was filled with moments where I could step back and see the beauty behind it all, the love that propelled us all forward.
The season was short this year. And I think that pretty much stressed me out for the first little bit. Until I let go of a lot of the things we normally do. I gave up a lot of stuff this year. Realized that some things just weren’t worth doing. We didn’t ever get candles in the windows and the furthest we got to putting lights around the door like we usually do was to get out the extension cord, it stayed in a basket by the door all season. Our Christmas tree wasn’t perfect, I let the kids pick it (the first one they saw) and light it (lots of big holes) and place the ornaments. And it was my favorite one yet, in all of it’s glorious kid imperfection. It felt good to let go. Looking back, I wish I’d let go of more because there were certainly moments where I held on tight. I love this Christmas tree farm that we’ve been going to for years. Somehow we have almost always lucked out with a not too freezing day. Usually I agonize over trying to find the perfect tree. The weekend before going up I got an email in my inbox from myself (did you know you can do that?) that i had scheduled last November to be sent. It reminded me to let the kids pick the tree, to not worry. To step back and enjoy. That’s exactly what I did. It was so freeing! Lots of you might have no way to relate to this, maybe you’ve never cared about your tree, it is pretty pathetic, but something about the way we went about picking one growing up kind of stamped this huge totally stupid importance on finding the perfect tree. We have that Eyre gene that makes us want the biggest and the best and the most perfect, all for the best bargain. Jeff has been trying to stamp that out of me for years (except for when it benefits him :)). Well, it was gone on that bright November day. And that felt good. We were meant to be in nature. That’s what we were made for. I wish I could live at this Christmas tree farm. Beauty as far as the eye can see.
I love that beginning part of Christmas. It’s crazy and messy and a lot of work to get all the decorations dusted off and out of their boxes. But, oh, the smell of pine in your house from the new tree. The freshness of all the Christmas music, the hot cocoa, all the excitement and crazy work of it all. Getting out all those storage boxes is like opening presents. The kids are delighted by all the treasures in there. For some reason they are always especially excited about unpacking their nutcrackers. They played with these things for a whole day, inventing all kinds of games involving them, drawing their portraits, dancing to the nutcracker music. I love how everything, all toys and stories and projects start to revolve around Christmas themes. I love seeing kids internalize things by incorporating them into their play. We chopped down a little baby tree for our neighbor Joyce. Because I was feeling so overwhelmed by all there was to do to get the season up and running I sent the kids down to Joyce's on their own to set it up with her. They were DELIGHTED by this responsibility. This chance to serve, this little adventure. They were gone about an hour and came home skipping with glee. They had got it up (a little crooked) and lighted and decorated all by themselves. I just had to include this picture of our chalk board^^. For some reason my kids can not leave this chalk board alone. No matter what I write on it they find a way to change it around to something silly. I got maybe a bit too mad about this one. Grandma and Grandpa Shumway sent us an awesome vintage train to go round the base of our tree. This adorned our tree before any lights or ornaments. All of the kids spent hours running that thing, laying on their bellies and watching it go round and round in magical Christmas wonder. I loved this new addition to Christmas.
There’s lots more to document. Lots of magical stuff that I hope to find the time to write about over the next few days. It’s slapping, Christmas is slipping away, and maybe being such a delinquent blogger will help me make it linger a little longer!