Well, Thanksgiving is over, having said that...Christmas here has been officially in full swing since the second the left overs were securely tucked into the tupperware stacks in the fridge. Yesterday, was the last day of leftovers and I invited over the family to have what was left before I tossed the stuff I didn't want to freeze (which was most of it).
Jon's brother, his wife and their two daughters stopped by so that the kids could play and girls did a great job of sharing and playing together. The two older ones are fast friends. It's a good thing I'm making a baby for the baby to play with or she might feel like a tiny adorable third wheel when she's old enough to play.
I've decided being pregnant and going shopping is AWFUL! I highly recommend the internet and not the 2 hours of standing in lines. My feet were swollen last night and I was exhausted (still) the day after shopping. I've never had swollen feet in my entire life.
Having said that, because I'm poor and Christmas this year will basically be gifts for the baby and no one else, I'm pretty much done. I finally found a place to purchase "the dollhouse" and my mom has been nice enough to offer to order it on her card if I give her the cash.
I'm still waiting for Target to restock the Christmas Nativity I want to get Layla. I hope it comes in soon, I'd like her to have it before Christmas so we can talk about it. Today we went to the Dollar Tree and I spent $8 getting her some Christmas decorations she can actually play with. She's been walking around around with Santa tucked under one arm saying "ho ho ho merry itsmast" which is very very cute.
When the toddler naps today I wanna start my Christmas baking, but I may just nap too. I've decided to take it easy this year.
1. Because I'm pregnant.
2. Because I'm poor.
So we didn't put up ALL the outside decorations, just the important ones and I cut down my baking list and I cut back on the gifts for others.
Layla gets a Christmas ornament from us every year. I always let her pick it. I do not make her get a hallmark or get something in a theme. This year her ornament was $1.50 and she picked it at the grocery store. Maybe she knows we're on a budget.
I'm also scaling down Christmas dinner, since there will only be 6 adults and 1 toddler here. By that point I'll be really pregnant and I know I have my limits. Christmas dinner will be turkey, grandma's corn bread stuffing, gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs and rolls. I might make chocolate cream and coconut cream pies. If people want something else they'll have to bring it. (See previous note about swollen feet).
Basically, I asked Jon what his favorite family Christmas traditions were, and then I took my list of traditions and I kept anything on both lists, and a few really special things from each list. We went from last years OVERBOOKED Christmas (yes it was really overbooked enough to warrant having GIANT CAPITAL LETTERS) to a simple Christmas more about our daughter and our favorite memories.
So what's a tradition you can't live without... well our list looks something like this...
1. Downtown Light Events (the Tree Lighting, Christmas Tree Lane and the Christmas Parade)
2. Homemade Christmas Candies & Cookies (for Jon that's chocolate chip and fudge, for me it was popcorn cake and sugar cookies)
3. Going to pick out and decorate the tree/house & putting up the Nativity.
4. A present Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas morning in your jammies (with limited gifts)
5. A traditional Christmas feast with family favorites & whatever family happens to stop by.
6. Sharing our favorite Christmas movies & songs with Layla
7. Doing a single Christmas craft with Layla for her to give to relatives/friends.
Things not important to this family this year...
1. Photo Christmas cards
2. Stressful family photos to put in the Photo Christmas Cards
3. Big family events or multiple small family events
4. Lots of lights, gifts, stressful baking to give away, etc
5. Planned office functions
6. Christmas events that "every one else goes to" such as holiday concerts etc
7. Attending church events out of a Christmas feeling of obligation
8. Attempting to sludge through multiple stores on black friday
10. Worrying about getting to see everyone before the "season" is over
11. Brunches (Layla hates brunch and every year we end up doing at least 2)
And those are just the things I can think of off the top of my head. What about you? What things mean "Christmas" to you? What things do you do every year that you could live without?