Monday, November 28, 2011

Here we go!

The Christmas season is in full swing at our place!   After our lovely Thanksgiving here, we have gone full steam ahead into Christmas.  Nathan and I are usually raring to go on the Christmas decorating so this year is no exception but it's always a little shocking that it's actually time for all of it again.  We actually did consider waiting a week longer to get the tree this year, since we're going to be home for Christmas but realized that Thanksgiving weekend is the best time for us to decorate and get the tree up.  Nathan was home all weekend without having to work at all, and now until Christmas break he will be living at the library again, trying to get a paper done so we concluded that it was best to go ahead and get the tree this weekend..much to our dismay, right?  Yeah.  We love it so much it's a little ridiculous.

Anyway, so as I said we will be home this year for Christmas.  We'll head to Oklahoma a couple days afterwards, but Santa will actually be able to find the kids at their own house for once.  We are pretty psyched about's a great year for it to happen too (although I guess the year Zoe was 1 we stayed in Brooklyn for Christmas, but you know what I mean) because we've been discovering how much more aware Zoe is of everything now.  It's cool because we are not only getting the older kid perspective through her, but we are getting the adorable baby reactions again through Owen...the wide eyes, the "ooo"ing and pointing at the tree and so cute.  We usually wait until after Zoe goes to bed to put everything up because the apartment gets totally turned upside down and Nathan and I do a lot of arguing discussing about what to put where.  Doing it sans "helpful" child was always a no-brainer, but this year the combination of her being a year older and Nathan and I having decorated this same apartment already it all seemed much smoother.  I felt the same way about Thanksgiving this year...every year we seem to find our groove more as far as these holiday traditions go and it so nice to feel like we're finding OUR way to celebrate together as a little family.  Anyway, while Owen was napping, the three of us took to decorating and Zoe was actually a big help!  Nathan and I did a lot of smiling at each other as we answered Zoe's questions about what ornaments came from where and listened to her say things like "Well, last year we put these bells on THIS door."  She helped me start filling our kitchen window with paper snowflakes and was able to do every step of it herself so some of the snowflakes are ALL her...she put the star on the top of the tree...she and I made salt dough ornaments and some of hers actually came out looking like whatever she intended them to be.  Of course, we got a couple of the obligatory 20 pound paint covered ones...the ones that require a close to the trunk branch as well as an equally strong one just below as kind of an ornament safety net, but I personally wouldn't have it any other way.   I just love having some ornaments you pull out every year that make you all laugh and reminisce (a certain  5 in x 5 in square piece of silver paper comes to mind)...seeing the tree full of those kinds of ornaments makes me so happy.

Along with the things we've done every year and carried along from our childhoods, I've also loved finding new traditions.  I started reading about Winter Solstice last year and really love learning about it and incorporating it into our celebration and I'm excited that Zoe is able to talk about it all with me a little.  While we were in the car going to get the tree, I was telling her how I read about why it's traditional to bring a tree into your house.  I told her that long ago, when people didn't know about why it got dark so early in the winter, they were afraid that the sun was slowly going away and that one day there wouldn't be sun at all.  One of the things that kept them hopeful was the fact that some trees didn't lose their green color.  Evergreen trees became a kind of symbol of hope that one day the sun would return so people started decorating them to sort of honor them.  I was kind of going on and on I think because I'm still learning all of these stories and haven't found a short way of explaining it.  I was sure I had lost her totally, but when I finished my story she said "Tell me more, Mommy!"...ah, music to my ears!  I told her one or two more I'd just read but it made me that more excited to keep reading and learning...

So anyway, here are a few pictures of our hall-decking festivities!  Love love love!

After realizing she was too young last year to understand the "Hide the Elf" game from my childhood (hiding the elf and helping the person find it by telling them their hot or cold), I've been thrilled to see that she totally gets (and loves) it now...she's even added this Rudolf I made last year to the mix.

Our kitchen window...the clothespins hanging down are our "Thankfulness Stars"..a countdown to Winter Solstice.  Each morning we write on a star something we are thankful for and pin it to a pin.

The ornaments she made for her preschool teachers

This is what Christmas is all about if you ask me. ;-)


  1. Sarah! I love your tree!! Our family tradition is so different... we only put up the tree on the morning of Christmas eve and it´s my sister´s and my "duty" to decorate and do A LOT of arguing/discussing :-) It´s all part of the fun. I´m looking so much forward to the year when Paula will be able to help and make lovely ornaments (just thinking of it brings tears so my eyes). Much love!

  2. Thanks Jenny! I remember you telling me about your tradition of getting the tree later and leaving it up a bit more into fun! You have so much fun ahead of you, you have no idea. ;-) Love and miss you, Jenny!! XO