The last couple of days have been great! Sean took a half day off from work on Tuesday and Brian was off as well. Brian and Lauren came out in the afternoon to help me get ready for Game Night and Christmas. I still had some gifts to wrap, baking to do, and some cleaning to get done. I mobilized the troops: got Sean cleaning/organizing, Brian baking, Tiffany resting since she wasn’t feeling well, and Lauren helping me.
It was awesome!!! I let go of the control and my kids were great! I didn’t end up making any of the desserts for Christmas day. Tiffany and Lauren helped me make the snacks for Game Night. Tiffany put the ingredients for chocolate fondue in a little crock pot and stirred every 15 minutes. Lauren put together the Queso Blanco, resisting the urge to omit all the ingredients she doesn’t like, reminding herself that she likes the cheese dip. It all turned out great . . . well, all except the baked potatoes. I did not have them on high in the crock pot and so they were not done when we went to eat. Alas Brian and Sean to the rescue; Sean got the microwave out of hiding from where it was buried in the other room for such a time as this and Brian took charge of microwaving them and saved our baked potato bar dinner.
Change can be good. Don’t be afraid to change what you do and how you do it as your family grows and the dynamics change. Traditions, like a curriculum, are tools for you to use, not for you to become a slave to.
One thing I like about the Holiday Grand Plan is that it has you, along with your family, evaluate the things you typically do and decide which things you will do this year and which ones don’t make the cut.
When Brian was just 3 and Sean was 21 months, I think it was, we got them a kitchen set and a picnic table for Christmas. Our tradition had been to take all of our gifts to my parents’ home on Christmas day and open everything there. As you can imagine, that was not going to be possible that year. Consequently we had to make some kind of change.
One option was to open gifts at home first thing and then leave and go to my parents. Another was to wait until we got home to let them open the gifts we’d gotten them but we stayed until later in the evening (somewhere around 8 or 9, I think), so this was not a good option either. We could’ve let them open their gifts from us Christmas Eve night but then they still wouldn’t be able to play with them very much.
We decided to do something out of the ordinary but something that worked for us. Since Mike is self-employed, he could decide not to work on Christmas Eve. Thus, we decided to wake up Christmas Eve morning and act like it was Christmas day and we simply spend it at home. Thus the kids could open their gifts and enjoy playing with them. Then the next morning, Christmas Day, we could get up and go to my parents’ home and enjoy Christmas all over again. Win, win! (Quote from Letters to Juliet. )
Other traditions have evolved over the years and as my children are nearly all grown up, I know that some will change and new ones will begin. I’m looking forward to these changes, whatever they may be, with eagerness and excitement. But I’m also enjoying them just they way they are, as long as they serve the needs of our family.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas, God bless,
PS. I wish I had taken pictures but I was too busy living in the moment. I hope you are living in the moment this holiday season too.