Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My Christmas in Review

I decided to do a little Christmas review. Next year, I'll be able to look them up on my blog archives and remember what I wanted to do again and what I wanted to change. Thes are the answers to my own questions. If you want to answer them too, see my post below or here.

1. When do you normally decorate? Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Eve or somewhere in between?
I normally decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving. I like getting it up early for two reasons: so I don't have the added stress closer to Christmas and because I want to get Christmas decorations put away before my son's birthday on New Year's Eve (so the two can be separate occasions). So far my son has requested that Christmas decorations be left up for his birthday.

2. Do you like all your decorations? Are there any you wish to get rid of? Are there any new ones you wish to purchase?
I like almost all of my decorations. I have a wreath that I made myself for the door and a matching one for my table. I hope they survive a long time because I just love them. I do NOT like our star for the top of our Christmas tree. It tends to slowly fall over because it is too heavy for our tree. Hopefully, we can find a better tree topper for next year. I'd also like to find some kind of garland or ribbon to go around our tree.

3. Which traditions were your favorites that you want to make sure you keep for next year?
I have several that I want to keep for a long time. We try to go to some sort of show as a family every year. This year we went to a holiday concert at the symphony. We buy a new special ornament for our tree to commenorate something that happened that year. This year it was a baby's first Christmas ornament. We also get the kids a new ornament that they'll take with them when they move out. We always give the kids new jammies on Christmas Eve. I also don't put the presents out under the tree until after the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve. It's more magical for them to wake up Christmas morning that way. The kids and I usually go to The Coats Christmas concert with a friend every year but didn't this year. We were all sad every time we thought about missing it. We'll be sure to go next year!

4. Is there a new tradition you tried or saw on another blog that you would like to see next year?
I'd like to figure out a Christmas menu to make into a tradition. I'd also like to find an Advent countdown that works for us.

5. Is there a tradition that you wish to give up next year for some reason? Maybe it took too much time or energy. Maybe no one really enjoyed it.
I'd like to work towards making Christmas more about family togetherness and less about the gifts. I'd like to reduce the amount of gifts and the amount of money spent. I've wanted this for a couple of years but I'm always afraid that the kids would be disappointed. My husband and I have reduced the gifts for ourselves. We generally do not buy for each other. Instead, we help each child buy something small for us so they can feel the joy of giving.

6. What was your favorite Christmas recipe or meal that you like to make every year? Did you try anything new this year? Did you see any new recipes you want to try next year?
We do not have a traditional Christmas meal. I'd like to find one...but not a huge feast because it usually is only our immediate family. Usually I make certain treats that I don't make during the rest of the year: chocolate peanut butter bars and fudge are two of them.

7. What was your favorite gift given?
I put a certain pair of boxers in my husband's stocking. They were spiderman boxers; spidey blue on the back, spidey red on the front with black web and spider on the red part. His look, once he realized that they were for him (and not accidently put into his stocking by mistake), was classic.

8. What was your favorite gift received?
I'm thrilled with the gifts my kids got me!

9. How do you spend Christmas day? Do you want to change this next year?
Usually we unwrap presents, detangle toys from their hundreds of twisties holding them in, and then be bored the rest of the day. This year we bought the kids very few toys; they mostly wanted electrics stuff. We had no twisties to untwist this year! We spent the day playin gamecube games together which was more fun than the usual Christmas. I want to find a new tradition to fill in the post unwrapping part of the day.

10. When do you put away decorations? Right away or do you wait awhile?
My goal is to have it all pulled down, packed up, and put away by December 29th or 30th so my son can have a non-Christmas birthday. So far, he has asked for the Christmas stuff to be left out for his birthday so I oblige him and work on getting it put away before my daughter's birthday (January 15th). If he ever changes his mind and wants his birthday totally separate from Christmas, I'll be ready to have Christmas put away in time for his birthday. I like this plan.

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