Friday, December 18, 2009

how did this happen? it's no surprise....time's almost christmas! it's not the date that surprises me...i pretty much have this christmas thing figured out. i shop throughout the year....i love to pick special gifts for the people we love....i store them away in my little secret hiding spots...i have a running list, it's in my head. tis better to give than's true. it's also nice to play hide and seek. this is mom did this too...she, too loved to give and really enjoyed the pursuit of something special.... she sometimes spontaneously found that special april. she would tuck it away, like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter.....only she sometimes had a little trouble finding her hiding spot...that's where the hide and seek comes in.i have inherited the hide of the hide and seek routine....only, i have yet to figure out the seek part.

my mom loved to wrap each gift beautifully....a special ribbon, with wrapping paper and a tag that coordinated, an ornament that would be appropriate for the recipient....lovely touches...and joy wrapping....even if she lost the scissors or tape in the middle of the process.
she wrapped into the wee hours with christmas music playing. i have beautiful memories of wrapping with my mom.

she also planned out when she would have to mail her long distance gifts....plan her trip to the post her christmas stamps for her christmas cards, always with mary and Jesus on the cover......

somewhere, in all of this jolly elfing, i missed that organizational chromosome......i love to shop, buy, hide and give. did i mention that i have a little disconnect with the seeking and the wrapping and the perfect ribbon and the mailing. i'm still working on that.

this is one case, where i have to say that i've just never been quite the same since i had kids! it all started our first christmas with a baby.....and then the next christmas...with another baby.

anyway, here we are, years later...the kids are early teens and ........well, i'm still blaming them for my mailing mixups when i can.....come on, just once in awhile. no one believes me anyway!

so, my problem is that i hurry and put all of the packages away, so no one will happen upon them....usually, they won't.... and truth be told......either will i. once i find the gifts, my husband is enlisted to help me get them wrapped and ready to deliver or take to the post office. when i have trouble finding some of the hidden gifties, he pleads ignorance and i wander around for hours...sometimes days....looking for the presents. usually, we find them before christmas. occasionally, we have them wrapped before christmas. and rarely, do we get all of them mailed before christmas! last year, our record year, we were able to get our friends little gifts, for the family, to them in may! they were delighted...they don't usually open gifts on memorial day, so it was a real treat. they loved it. they said it was even better than christmas day because sometimes it gets to overwhelming...everything at once! we may have to take advantage of that spirit again this year!

we have a wrapping frenzy somewhere in the vicinity of christmas eve.....lots of colorful paper, bags and ribbons....only, when we're on the road to spend time with family, we barely use the ribbons anymore. we wrap the gifts and pack them in rubbermaid tubs to travel in the car...different tubs for different's not quite as christmas romantic as the way my mother did it....but we get it to the right people ....with lots of love and laughter...just minus the ribbons, the wrapping perfection and sometimes the tags.

over the years, we've really created some special traditions for our christmas season.....we used to go and visit the mangers outside many of the different churches. we would explain the story of christmas to our little children...and we cherished those sweet moments...standing in hay, out in the december cold. it was wonderful then and sweet to remember.

we had many kodak moments of our children visiting santa and whispering requests in his ear...we had some very exciting christmas eve nights sprinkling reindeer dust all over the lawn, so the reindeer would be able to spot us and know where to land. we've left cookies and milk for santa. we've called santa on the phone to talk and tell him hopes and dreams. we had christmas parades in our village with santa and mrs. clause and even reindeer and candy galore.
we've read christmas stories throughout the month of december.

it's all a little different now. our young teens don't have the same twinkle in their eyes when we talk about santa! their eyes are rolling more than twinkling. oh, it's exciting for them...they enjoy giving ideas and wrapping and is different as our little people grow and grow.....thank goodness we can share some of the christmas joy with other little's very fun to see our kids with little kids....sharing some of the oohs and ahs of christmas and santa stories.

today, just for fun, we planned to make our gingerbread houses....our friends and all of the kids are older and humor the tradition....they can tolerate anything with sugar involved! you could say the enthusiasm was dwindling and everyone was exhausted from the busy week. plans got just a bit complicated, with different activities planned.......we postponed til monday. i think this may be the last hurrah!

the love of christmas and the spirit of christmas is still there.....and the love of giving...and now, some of the joy of the christmas season comes from random acts of kindness and spreading the joy to the oldest and youngest of believers....and thinking of others who might be lonely at this time of year.

we'll always love santa and christmas and family and that special giving's just different.

my husband and i will probably still go outside on christmas eve and spit little pieces of carrot all over the lawn.....since those reindeers get kind of messy when they eat their treats! and there will still be some bites taken out of santa's cookies....all we can hope is that throughout these years, that have flown by so quickly, we've been  able help make some very
 sweet memories with our children.
and, on christmas morning, when they notice the carrot bits all over the lawn, they'll laugh and roll their eyes....and we'll give them more memories of christmas with teens.

the photos are those kodak moments.....the memories are forever...

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