Tuesday, December 4, 2007

5 things I love about Christmas

Have you seen that Bi-Lo commercial? The one with the little boy who says, "I love Christmas because of the pie. Especially pies that start with the letter P. Like pumpkin and pecan." Ok, maybe you don't have Bi-Lo grocery store where you live.... anyway...

I feel like that little boy. Not so much about pies that start with the letter "p", but about Christmas.

Last night we put up out tree. While Brandon was outside (in 32 degree weather) putting the lights on, Chandler and I were baking cookies (such a mom and daughter thing to do!). While we were baking (and I use that term very loosely since they were the kind that are already cut and placed out.... all you do is put them on a pan!) I asked, "What are your 5 favorite things about Christmas?" Here are her responses... in no particular order:
1. Putting the lights on the tree (actually she has never done this and Brandon was freezing to death at that moment just so we could have lights on our tree)
2. Putting the star on the tree... followed by, "Mom? Why do we have to have a star. I TOLD YOU I like angels on trees! (so... putting the star on the tree is probably not actually a Christmas favorite)
3. Decorating the tree... she only put 2 ornaments on the tree then said, "Mom. I'll give them to you and you put them on the tree.
4. Making cookies. That's the truth. She did enjoy that!
5. Having hot chocolate. That's another one she enjoyed.

So, here was my list of favorites (again in no particular order):
1. Time with family
2. Christmas parties!
3. Hot chocolate
4. Decorating my house (the tree is included in that)
5. Christmas food!!!

After watching Brandon and my girls eat cookies and sip hot chocolate (no hot chocolate for Riley... maybe a sip next year!) I decided to revise my list...
1. Time with my family... doing NOTHING! We don't have to have big plans or something exciting to do, I just like being with them. Sure I like to take them to fun places and watch their little eyes light up when they discover something new, but I love the moments here at home even more...
Today I gave Riley a bath. Chandler heard us in there and decided she wanted to take a bath with Riley. She got in the tub and I had the BEST time watching them together. Once Riley was shriveled up like a prune, I wrapped her in a towel and we sat on the counter and watched Chandler "play". She would make her baby doll "dive" head first off of the faucet and Riley would laugh so hard that she would actually shake! Those are the moments I love! Watching my girls delight in each other.
2. The smell of the Christmas tree. It reminds me of my childhood and all the wonderful Christmas memories that my sister, mom and dad shared. It also makes me excited for all of the wonderful Christmas memories that we will make as a family.
It also reminds me to appreciate and be thankful for the "little things"... Today we had our Mother's Group Christmas Tea. Two of the ladies were talking about an episode of "Little House on the Prairie". I never watched it much growing up so I had never seen this episode, but apparently Michael Landon's character trudged through the blizzard to get Christmas gifts for his family. A tin cup, a pencil, a bag of sweet potatoes (at least that's what they remembered the gifts being). We thought about it a moment and it reminded us that we should appreciate the gifts in life that we often overlook or take for granted. We would probably laugh or roll our eyes at a gift of sweet potatoes, but that was a treasure to that family in a devastating blizzard.
I am thankful that my children are healthy. I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads and a a place to sleep at night. I am thankful for a husband that works so very hard so that I can stay home with our children. I am thankful that I have the senses of smell, sight, taste, hearing and touch. I am thankful for a God that loves me so very much that he would allow his own son to die for my sins. That is an act of love so far beyond the reaches of my comprehension!
3. My church. I am constantly reminded of what a wonderful church we attend. Most often I am reminded through Chandler. She LOVES to go to church. Not because they let her play with Play-doh and color with markers (2 things that I don't let her do very often)... sure she likes those things, but I truly believe that she enjoys church because she has WONDERFUL teachers who have really invested time in her and in their preparation to teach our children.
Chandler has really begun to take in the Bible stories. She can tell you all about the birth of Christ, His death, and baby Moses in the basket. She doesn't always get the story 100% right... like the time she told us about Naaman the Leper. I asked her, "who told Naaman to bathe in the river?" She responded very matter of fact, "Ms. Anna told him!" Ms. Anna is Chandler's most favorite teacher... she is a treasure among pre-school teachers and apparently has great powers! :)
4. Making cookies. I have to agree with Chandler on this one, but probably not for the same reason! Making cookies with her gives us time to talk. Time to share with each other. Our days get so busy with meetings, trips to Wal-mart, laundry, making bottles, changing diapers and even church events that sometimes I loose Chandler in the shuffle. I don't physically loose her, but often I loose who Chandler really is.
I put so much responsibility on her to "help mommy with Riley" or to do it herself because "I'm busy right now" that I forget that she's just a little girl who is only 4 years old and she needs me just as much as Riley does, just in a different way. Last night making cookies and listening to her Christmas favorites reminded me that I need to slow down. I need to help her learn how to put on her own socks instead of rushing to do it myself because we are in a hurry. I need to take the time to read her favorite book "one more time" because one day she will not want me to read to her. I need to really bake cookies (from scratch) with her so she can learn how to do it and one day teach her own daughter.
5. Christmas Parties! Ok, this one is just fun! I love Christmas parties! I love the excitement of getting dressed, bundling up and loading everyone into the car. I love the coziness of a house full of people all talking about Christmas plans and the gifts they still have to buy. I love the feeling I get when I open my mail box to find an invitation to a Christmas party.
I love Christmas party FOOD! My all time favorite: Cream Puffs! 2nd Favorite: Mini Éclairs. This year I discovered something wonderful and I can't wait to try it out... the perfect marriage of the cream puff and mini éclair.... THE CHOCOLATE COVERED CREAM PUFF!!!! I told Brandon I had a hard time passing the cream puffs and mini éclairs. When I saw the chocolate covered cream puffs I actually stopped and gazed longingly at them!

So now I challenge you to sit down and really think about your 5 Favorite things about Christmas. Your answers may surprise you. Feel free to post your list as a comment. I would love to know what kind of list you came up with!
I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season and a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


Mathews Family said...

I love reading about your sweet family. Chandler seems like such a character. I'll come up with my top five things and get back to you :)