Like most little ones, I adored Christmas growing up. Picking out & cutting down our Christmas tree, decorating cookies, the crunch of freshly fallen snow under your boots. There wasn't anything about the season that I didn't enjoy. Then I got older & things changed.
Christmas became a time of year that I absolutely dreaded. How many people did I need to buy for? What was an acceptable amount to spend? When did we have to be where & what time? Did I need to bake or bring a side dish? So many things to think about, to worry about & thus I became the modern-day Grinch.
For several years the magic of Christmas was lost on me. I didn't enjoy decorating, or wrapping presents like I used to. Instead of being filled with the glitter of tinsel I was filled with a bad case of the grinchy grumpies.
Last year my grinchy heart grew just a little bit. Shelby was almost 2 years old & a bit more interactive than the previous year. She was still terrified of Santa & watching her open gifts was a bit like waiting for a turtle to cross a busy highway, I did have more Christmas glee in my tummy than I had in a long time. This year, however, she is ready & waiting for Christmas so I'm trying my hardest not to be too grinchy.
We already picked out & decorated our Christmas tree which was a lot of fun. To see Shelby short through each ornament & decided which branch would have the honors of displaying the ornament, it was entertaining & provided me with some of those familiar warm & fuzzy feelings from when I was a kid. Plus, Shelby picked out the tree this year & it fits flawlessly in the tree base. In years past we've had to secure the tree to the wall or finagle the base in such a way to prevent the tree from toppling over. She picked a perfectly straight, chubby little tree that fits perfectly in the living room.
Aside from the tree, I was looking for some traditions to start with Shelby that would be unique to our little family. Something I didn't do with my parents, but that she could potentially carry on with her kiddos. I decided to stock up on books over the last several weeks. Some I purchased from consignment stores, & others I snagged on Black Friday from the local book store. Some are Christmas themed, others winter-themed, & the rest have nothing to do with winter or Christmas. Each book was wrapped & placed in a wicker basket I found laying around the house. Every night Shelby picks one book from the basket, opens it & reads it with either myself or Tim. There are 25 books for the 25 days leading up to Christmas. Like an advent calendar but with books!
I thought about doing movies but she doesn't have the attention span to sit through an entire movie (unless it's Frozen) & let's face it, finding time to sit down at the end of each day for an hour or more, well that kind of time is hard to come by. Plus, I have always had a passion for reading & I hope to pass that love of books on to Shelby.
This basket of books is a super fun way to end the day & spend more quality time as a family. Shelby is a very imaginative little girl already so I can only imagine the adventures she will have if she fuels her imagination with good books.
What are some of your families Christmas traditions?
Thankfully, life spared me the torture of having to use a dating app. Tim & I met at work, highly unromantic, but made my life so much easier in the long run.
We were both involved with other people when we first met, & it stayed that way for several years. I was an introvert to the extreme dating an extrovert...which may work in some situations but not in ours. Tim was chasing the white picket fence & jumped headfirst into a relationship he thought would give him the 'happily-ever-after' he wanted. Needless to say, both our relationships met their demise & the rest is history.
The point is I never squirmed in my chair & bit off my nails trying to come up with a quirky, but not weird, funny but not comical, bio about myself...that is until a few days ago.
Ever heard of Peanuts? No, not the cute cartoon or the nuts squirrels go bananas for, but rather the app that was recently released to bring moms more mommy friends. That's right, it's like a dating app for mommies. You upload a cute photo of yourself, include your kids if you'd like. Type up a short bio about yourself & select three of your hobbies/interests to market yourself to other moms. And just like tinder you either swipe up to 'wave' at a potential new friend or swipe down to skip a profile.