Being present

Pb271327I'm working on being particularly present this holiday season. What I mean by that is that I don't want to get so caught up in making Christmas that I completely miss it and fall down exhausted on the twenty-fifth glad the thing is over. 

Okay, so I say that every year, but really, my intentions are sincere. ;-)

So I went over to the brand new sparkling clean and shiny Target that just opened less than a mile from my home (which proves the existence of God).  They have these beautiful advent calendars with little drawers that you open each day until Christmas and find a little treat inside. 

I am no stranger to advent calendars. Anyone who has ever had small children in the house will know what it's like to try and explain to an anxious kid how many more "sleeps" there are til Christmas. 

My kids have had the flat German ones where they were rewarded with a piece of chocolate (really terrible chocolate, but that's not important right now) each day until Christmas.  Adam, my impatient one would sometimes eat up three days of pre-Christmas anticipation in one sitting. =D

We've had the kind where you open a little flap and find a tiny toy to hang on Christmas hooks.  We have a snowman holding a Christmas tree who sits on a base with a little drawer underneath that houses flat wooden ornaments - one for each of the twenty four days and finally a little star on Christmas day.  Jonathan (the Lego Fiend) even had a Lego advent calendar where each day you could build a mini figure or ornaments all made from Legos

All that to say this: we have had tons of advent calendars.

Meanwhile, back to being present for the holidays. This year I borrowed a project from Ali who borrowed it from Martha.  I painted twenty-four chipboard boxes that I picked up at Michael's and put a number on each one.  We put these up on our giant calendar and instead of an ornament or a treat, I put a slip of paper in each with an activity to do together.  I should probably add here that when I'm creating, it feeds me.  I am intentionally making time to be creative during the holidays because I thrive on that.


We will in turns be:

Watching Christmas movies - at our Outdoor Movie Theater.
Making churros and hot chocolate.
Buying gifts for a needy child.
Baking cookies.
Playing games.
Going to the boat parade in Balboa.
Going to the movies - there are movie tickets in some - shh! don't tell!
Reading Christmas stories.
Having a sing-along. (Lucy on the piano)
Driving around to see Christmas lights.
Wrapping gifts.
Discussing what Advent really means.
Making and bottling Creme de Vie.  ;-)
Tonight we're going to see a show called A Christmas with Scrooge at our local community theater.

My hope is that each day will bring a kind of anticipation of fun and it will be awesome to spend time together.  I had just as much fun thinking of things to do as I did painting and finishing the boxes. 
Because this year I really want to be *present for Christmas.  =D

* pun intended. ;-)