Ever since I became an adult I have felt like there is all this build up to Christmas, and then when the actual day comes I am left feeling like it was a little anti-climactic. Perhaps it was because I moved away from friends and family and Jimmy and I spent our first couple Christmas' alone here. We don't have a house full of people laughing and sharing stories. We don't have family sitting around our table sharing a meal with us during the Holidays anymore.
Maybe it is because when I was a kid and after the presents were ripped open and the candy in the stocking was devoured I had new toys to be excitedly playing with until bedtime. Now that I am a parent myself after the presents are ripped open I watch my kids play with them, while I roast a turkey and clean up tape and wrapping paper, use the jaws of life to get toys out of their boxes, put together toys, and use what feels like every tool in my toolbox just to get the back off of these toys so I can insert batteries. No wonder it is not as exciting in reality as I build it up to be in my head... well except for my Christmas Tree that is. I just love it. I wish I could keep it up all year.
It donned on me today that I shouldn't place all the excitement and build up on actual Christmas Day. Cause that day is not for me anymore. It is for my kids. And even though I get so much joy out of giving to them and seeing their little faces light up when they open their gifts, it is not the same anymore. And that is ok. So I have decided instead to focus on the MONTH of Christmas. The entire Christmas Season from start to finish. From the Black Friday shopping to the commercials on TV. To the neighbors up on ladders trying to out-do each other with lights. To playing I spy Christmas Lights with my kids in the car or taking after-sundown strolls to see the lights around our block. To the Christmas parties and festivals and crafts and fun we will have this next month. To the Christmas carols I listen to all day everyday this time of year, and never get sick of. To taking my baby to see The Nutcracker and exchanging presents with my besties. To Jimmy and Mine's Christmas Night hot tub tradition. All of THAT is now MY Christmas. So let the kids have the presents and the excitement that toys can bring on that one day. I will enjoy a month worth of Christmas instead. Starting with our Christmas Lights, which are finally up outside. Ella begged us to put up "Rainbow" lights this year. So Daddy took all our clear lights down off the house and trees and put up multi-colored. And he even hit five stores to find a strand that had purple bulbs cause it is her favorite color. And we haven't seen them on any other house yet. :) Score! (PS how cute is he???)
In the spirit of celebrating every day of the Christmas season our family will be attempting to do one Christmas related activity EVERY DAY from Dec 1 - Dec 25. I even made a cute little countdown calendar to keep track of all our activities and get the kids excited to countdown to the big day. I am hoping to post a few pics every day of the activities we do. It will take a big commitment but I think it will be easy to pull off as long as we keep the activities small (like watching Rudolph one night or picking out a new ornament another night, to re-naming our elf this night... etc) Here is our countdown calendar.
A few weeks ago we tried to get the kids excited for the Holiday season by taking them to the mall to see it decorated. While there we had dinner at Grimaldi's Pizza. YUM. We love it there cause the pizza is DELISH. The girls loved it cause they can watch the pizzas be made and put in the oven...
...and because they bring the kids some dough to the table that they can play with like play-dough while we wait for our food to cook.
After our dinner, we walked over to BUILD-A-BEAR to get them... what else?... the Clarice and Rudolph bears!! No Christmas in the Carilli house would have been complete without those two. And our super saver Groupon got us them at half off. Woo hoo! Ella is an old pro by now and dove right into it. Of course hers had to be Clarice, the girl.
but this was Ryen's first time at Build-A-Bear and she was SO shy about it. She clung to me the entire time and watched Ella go first. She was very timid about handing her Rudolph off to the lady, and she wouldn't even press the pedal to stuff him unless I helped her. Then Daddy had to take her over and show her how to give Rudolph his "bath".
But she eventually started to warm up and her and Ella chose their hearts to seal inside their reindeer.
And seriously... look at this face when she was finished. She was so happy and proud of herself... sigh. How fast these moments will go. This is what they mean by enjoy the small things. It doesn't get much better than that. :)
PS one of these days I will figure out how to get my photos to come out ok in Build-A-Bear. It is just like the library. There is so much darn YELLOW all over the store that every photo is tainted. lol. But here are our new babies :)
After our Reindeer were packed we headed over to the play area for some fun before bed.
And then Ella broke into Santa's area to check out his decorations and make sure his seat would be comfortable for when he arrived. Everything passed with flying colors and we didn't get kicked out by security. j/k
Here is hoping you can make the Magic of Christmas last all month long too.