Monday, December 3, 2012

happy december!

i know it's been a while.

i have been rather busy working, mothering, housekeeping, tending to sick babes, tending to a sick wife, and elving.

the wife and i have been ramping up for the christmas season for quite some time now: thinking, dreaming, online shopping, packaging. but mostly, we've been making. every spare moment is spent making. and sometimes moments are orchestrated to ensure that the making happens amid the hustle and bustle of work and family life.

while watching tv, on the bus, on rare lunch dates, the wife and i have also been giving serious thought to the tone and tradition we want to set for our kids during this holiday season: thoughtful intentions, mindfulness, meditation, and generosity.

over the next little while, and interspersed with anything else i feel like sharing, i'll be documenting some of the ways we'll be merry-making, discovering the spirit of giving, celebrating the return of the light, and paying tribute to the nativity. we are going for simple and sweet this year, with a focus on togetherness and gratitude.

starting now.

well, starting yesterday, actually.

the wife and i collaborated on our family's advent calendar (we designed together. i cut the pieces and hand-sewed most of the numbers. she machine sewed.). and this would be the first year we'll be marking the rhythm of december by counting down the days before christmas with family activities.

i've been wanting to do an advent calendar since the year the boy was born, inspired by so many fabulous examples in in the blogosphere. our version was made only from what was in our supply closet: felt, broad cloth, and leftover yarn.

this handsome reindeer from christmases past is going to mark our december days for us. 

yesterday, we kicked the month off by decorating the tree.

today's activity was our very first santa claus parade (which was mostly a wet, cold, and epic adventure. we vow to be the wiser next year, with a newly formed strategy that mainly involves catching the tail end of the parade and skipping out of most of the rest).

tomorrow, we're shopping for the boy's school food drive and i'm looking forward to this starter opportunity to talk to my kids about what it means to help others, even in the smallest of ways. 

this is only our second christmas as a foursome and it is all the fuller for it.

my toddlers are older this year. what they see, what they hear, what they understand - watching them experience their lives, changes my perspective everyday, challenges me to be better, kinder, more mindful.

some days are most certainly better than others. today was most definitely not my best, to be sure. (i don't deal well with public meltdowns.) but there is also value and a certain sense of redemption in starting a fresh new day, "with no mistakes in it;" and in the interest of sanity and being kind to myself, i think i'm going to embrace this sentiment as part of our december days: my christmas gift to myself.