Fine. Enough with the Christmas stuff. I'm bummed, though, because I've really had a wonderful time doing this series - reflecting, reading others' input, planning for the future. I feel like it has helped me get the most out of the season, so thank you. I've got a few final thoughts on the various topics, so here goes. And then I'll quit, I promise.
I broke down and got Aly & AJ and Josh Groban's Christmas cd's this year, both on iTunes. I've really enjoyed both of them, especially Josh's Little Drummer Boy with a celtic flavor. Maren got me to give Chris Isaak another shot, and he's growing on me. I looked for the Garth Brooks song mentioned by Tona in the comments, but he's not on iTunes. So I need a copy.
My Santa advent calendar that I couldn't resist turned out to be resistible to the kids. Hazel just wanted to always put the tree in the "24" pocket because that's when we were going to Grandma Marsha's. Turns out we do need a tree/ornament advent - luckily I tricked Kat into volunteering to make me one. She's got a whole year and I will periodically check in to make sure she is pacing herself to be done on time.
Maren gave me a box of disco ball ornaments so I think we can see where my ornament theme will be going. Mom said she got me some colored disco ball ornaments and will keep them for me until I live nearby next year. I also went to Target on Dec 26 and got a dangly/jewely star tree topper at 50% off.
After staring at Ginger's stocking all month next to the rest of ours, I decided she needs a random sequin here and there around her name letters. Can't help noticing what a cheater's route I took with the iron-ons. Then I got inspired by my neices' stockings I saw in Colorado - the names were spelled out in beaded sequins. A nice compromise between the iron-ons and the nightmarish ribbon cursive. If I have need to make another someday, maybe I'll go that route.
Ed hit home again with the stocking stuffers - socks, Crest white strips, lithium batteries and a gift card to Little Cupcake. I cried...again.
I was surprised by the comments we got on this post - just in the small sample that responded there was a wide range of purposes the Christmas card/letter serves. I got some good ideas and I think the varied points of view helped me be a little more sensitive. Also, on that same December 26 Target trip (7 am) I picked up my cards for next year - 6 boxes of 18 (=108 cards) again at 50% off. Too bad (or good thing, depending on if you're me or Ed) I had packing limitations to consider since we were in Colorado; otherwise I would have stocked up on gift bags, bows, wrapping paper, ornaments, lights, etc. on sale. Next year.
I forgot to bring up in the original post about opening early. This is a hot topic in the Younce family because we do it and our in-laws don't. It started when we were young and our parents noticed how overwhelming Christmas morning would be on little kids - so many presents at once. So we started opening a present or two each night starting a few days early, sometimes a week out. It was a way to build up to Christmas, and to keep the mounds under the tree from taking over the house. It also allowed us to enjoy and appreciate the gifts better when not opened en masse. Christmas Eve we'd open four or five, then the rest Christmas morning. It made perfect sense to us.
When we got married I think we each encountered resistance to this tradition from our spouses. Tough.
While I got many lovely and thoughtful gifts this year, perhaps the stand-out winner came from Ed's sister Natalee: a coupon for a night of free babysitting plus a movie gift card. Ahhh...we used it two days later.
Books & Movies
Mom gave me a beautiful pop-up Christmas book to add to our collection called The Nativity. I recommend it.
I got The Bishop's Wife from Netflix since it was the only Christmas movie I came across that I hadn't seen but wanted to. I didn't get it watched before Christmas but it's here and I'll watch it soon. Darn computer keeps calling to me.
My sister-in-law Jenny made us this seriously delicious sweet bread for Christmas breakfast that's a tradition in her family. I asked her what it's called, expecting a foreign, perhaps Scandinavian name. "Christmas Bread." I hope she'll post the recipe either here or on her blog.
Happy New Year,
and to all a Good Night!