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Nov 30 / Jamie

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas!

Felted tree ornnament
We had a very lovely Thanksgiving, and as is our custom, we went out the weekend after to cut down our Christmas tree from Ingalls Tree Farm.  They are a lovely family run farm and we have always gotten really lovely trees.  This year is so bizarre weather wise.  We had a huge snow storm for Halloween, but the weekend after Thanksgiving we so sunny and warm we went out without coats on to get our tree.  The kids had a blast running in the rows and we took our time finding just the right tree.
Christmas Tree Harvest

Christmas Tree

We have been busy making all manner of holiday decorations, some for the tree and others for the home.  I think we will try to wrap up our decorating projects at the end of next week so that we can switch gears and focus on edible treats.  Last year, we made quite a large number of culinary confections.
Holiday Table
So far, we have made a tree skirt, a bunting, a table runner, and some ornaments.  We are adding that to the ornaments and napkins we made last year.  I hope to work on a wreath or two with the kids and also maybe make some ornaments to give as gifts as well as another bunting or two.  I also have a quick panel quilt that I need to get batting for and then quilt together.  My to-do list is long, and I know I won’t get to everything, but I will try.

If I have one wish for Christmas, it is to create wonderful memories for my children so that they will always hold this time of year as sacred and loving in their hearts.  This does not mean having the perfect tree, or the most expensive gifts, far from it.  It means creating loving traditions that are filled with joy and creativity.  It means getting to see the people we love the most.  It means surrounding ourselves with handmade objects.  It means filling our time with Christmas carols and cookies and chocolates.  It means indulging, but not in the overly commercialized Western fashion, but in goodness and faith.  It means letting go and living in the moment.  It means creating cherished memories.

Advent "Calendar"

To help facilitate this, last year we started what I hope will be a very long-lived tradition.  Instead of doing the typical Advent calendar, we have wrapped up a book to be opened each night and read all together, based on a suggestion from this blog.  There is a LOT of reading that takes place in our house.  I must spend an hour each day reading to the children, and then Mike does stories with them each night.  But, we don’t often read together, all five of us.  Last year, it sort-of worked out.  We learned from the experience and this year I was able to procure 25+ different holiday books, some directly Christmas themed, some about other holidays or just winter in general.  Thankfully we have the BEST used book store about 40 minutes from us, so buying this many books was not a problem, especially when they were just $1 apiece.  Our children are also one year older and one year wiser, and now that our oldest is reading as well, we hope that these evenings will be very special indeed.  We also ordered a very special treat to go with the books, some Cadbury Roses, coming directly from the UK.  I discovered these while working outside of London and it is now hard to imagine Christmas without a tin of them around.

Advent "Calendar"

Advent "Calendar"
I hope that you find some magic this month and are able to slow down and live in the moment.  It really is a wondrous time.


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