I don't hate Christmas, I just hate the emphasis on stuff. There's so much buy buy buy! when that isn't what it is supposed to be about. At our house we aren't especially religious, but I still don't want my kids to grow up thinking that Christmas is about presents and Santa. I even asked Alana what she thought it was about and she said being happy and loving your family, so I guess that was a mild success.
I fight the battle of Its not even Thanksgiving yet but let's put up our tree! and the other battle of Let's buy more stuff for our kids that we don't need and have nowhere to put! and the end result of that fighting is Grinchiness. I don't want to deal with Christmas. I don't want to wrap presents. I don't want to assemble a fake pine tree to put in my living room. I just want to eat cookies and be left alone.
The only thing that has changed my outlook on Christmas was having kids. They make everything funner, and seeing Christmas through their eyes makes the season a little more magical. When Santa emails them and knows to tell Alana to be nice to her sister and for Ava to eat her vegetables and I see how excited they get over it, that makes Christmas worth it. When I put up the tree and Witten just stared at the lights for literally an hour, that made me happy. When Alana whispered I'm so excited its Christmas tomorrow! right before she fell asleep on Christmas Eve, that made me smile.
I try to get into the Christmas spirit. I watched the movies with my kids, then made lots of paper snowflakes with Alana inspired by Elf. I baked excessive amounts of sugary things, because something in my mind says Caramels and cookies = Christmas time. I wrapped presents with David, because he thinks that its fun and I try not to see it as a chore. And I ate lots of cookies and caramels, because my brain says Eat them, they taste like Christmas.
The only thing that really makes me happy and excited is being with my kids on Christmas. They make me forget how long it took to put up the tree and all of the other stuff. They make me glad we bought so many annoying toys and books and puzzles that made them so excited, even if Santa got the credit for the toy that Ava wanted most in the world (curse your commercials Dr Mommy!).
Christmas always ends up being a success, and at the end I'm only left with a slight feeling of my normal How did time pass so fast today? How does it pass this fast everyday? How is Witten's first Christmas over already? This is depressing but I'm also happy just to be with my kids and be able to buy them presents and make them cookies and see how excited they are when there are other people who aren't as lucky.
After all the presents and cookies and family I'm just glad to squeeze these Christmas nerds and open their endless pile of toys for them. Spoiled, wild, loved Christmas nerds.
|Ava isn't really a morning person, especially when we wake her up yelling "Santa came!"|
|He was more excited about finally getting to rip the paper off of the presents.|
|Doctor Mommy, the most coveted toy in Ava's existence|
|Santa may have misjudged how much candy cane wrapping paper it would take to wrap 3 large presents. And he also only had two fancy bow/tag combos. But he did have distinct "Not Mommy's handwriting" penmanship|
|We kind of love Melissa and Doug toys. And I've made quite a few pretend peanut butter & egg & cucumber sandwiches since Christmas|
|This was a gift from Alana's teacher. She was really excited to throw it around in our driveway on Christmas Eve, she credits it with Santa's arrival.|
|Hanging out and playing on my phone on Christmas Eve. We weren't sure if we were going to go anywhere, so she clearly dressed herself. Later she added sparkly tights and some Pumas for outfit of the year.|
|I love that my kids get just as excited to get new books as they do about new toys. And I didn't get a picture of her with her toy from Santa, but he brought her the Merida doll she asked for.|
|They were patiently waiting for Ava to wake up so they could open presents.|
|What am I supposed to do with this? Rip it? Well if you insist. (I didn't actually get a picture of him with it opened, but Santa brought him an elephant ball popper that the girls are obsessed with).|
|Me (minus makeup) and wide awake Witten dude|
|This one is our "normal" picture|
|And this one is how our family looks most of the time.|
|Witten and David. Someone told Witten its manlier not to smile in pictures.|
|Witten: I must escape!|
|He is storing food for the winter in his cheeks.|
|Here's a photo challenge for you: Take a picture of 9 kids and try to get at least half to look at the camera and smile. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE!|