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The Holiday Rush

December 20, 2011

Every year, I say that I WILL NOT stress the holidays. We value family and good food over expensive gifts–and my hard and fast three present rule for our kids has kept me from getting too insane. Still, it always creeps up and this last week is crunch time.  

I’ve got this week planned to the minute. Shopping trips, prep work in the kitchen, wrapping gifts, cleaning house…it all has to be done between play dates and day to day living.

Funny, having small children in the house means less time to get everything done to make a holiday happen…and all the more reason to do it.  Where J and I might say “the heck with this” and dash off for a vacation…I see the  magic happening on my kiddos faces when we turn on twinkling lights or read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” just one more time.

The holidays are amazing when you are four–even when you are a pint size skeptic who pooh poohs the notion of Santa and insists that mommy gets presents from the UPS man in a box.

(Keeping his very sick baby sister company on the couch last week)

I’ve had to slow myself down and live in the moment. I’ve relished the look on my baby girl’s face the first time she tasted a candy cane. I have been thrilled with the ooohs and the ahhhs that come with each nightly lighting of the tree. I’ve teared up over earnestly made Preschool Christmas gifts… and now I know why all mothers keep those moldy plaster hand prints with smudged green paint and glitter. My babies made these. They are beautiful.

This year, we won’t be with our family up north. So, we’re bringing some of the traditions here to enjoy with our “Desert Family.” We’re throwing an open house “Kelly” style Christmas Eve–so that we can celebrate with those we love.  And, I am excited to make a tapas style holiday feast and some great cocktails to make it my own.

I’m planning a little red wagon tour of the neighborhood to enjoy the lights–complete with fresh baked cookies and milk. One of the perks of a holiday in a warmer climate!

Our kids will be able to wake up to their own Christmas tree!  I cannot wait to make them a special holiday breakfast and spend the day playing with their new treats before we head off to a dear friend’s place for dinner. Our friends are making beef Wellington, one of my absolute favorite meals.

I am also deeply happy to know that my friend K’s husband made it home from deployment–one of the last brave soldiers to leave Iraq! Their three amazing kiddos will be so excited to see their daddy home for the holiday!  I am so proud of K for making it through this time and doing such a damn fine job of being a mom. It could not have been easy…and she did it all with grace and style.

Even though we will be missing friends and family… we have much to be thankful for indeed.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura Hodges permalink
    December 21, 2011 12:35 am

    Glad you all are staying ‘home’ for the holidays….the ‘wonder’ of little ones is so very special…I remember it in the eyes of each of my nephews and my niece…and all of the excitement of Christmas morning and the sweetness of watching them in the Christmas programs….I always got so misty-eyed watching them sing or play with the band…always so very proud of them.

    I know that you and Jeremy will take it all in and enjoy the children and their excitement. Wishing you both all the very best Jen!

    Much love —

    Laura

    • December 21, 2011 2:13 am

      Thank you! We are looking forward to it–it is a magical time 🙂
      Hope you have a wonderful holiday! Much love to you!

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