So it's actually December 25 when I'm sitting down to write this post.
(Cookie crumbs and ash scattered about the hearth...)
Every year, I promise myself that I'll have everything done, wrapped and ready to go - a day or two early. And every year, I find myself up at nearly 2:00 AM Christmas morning. Oh, but next year ... next year when I'm working part-time from home again ... things will be so different. Mark my words. I'll have everything done in NOVEMBER.
(Or at least by 10 PM on Christmas Eve.)
Today in northern Virginia it snowed. Huge flakes - falling from the sky. Here's my Canadian born husband who spent 25 years of his life living in southern California, as evidenced by the shorts in a snowstorm....
Meanwhile, inside the house, in between our children checking in on Santa's voyage via NORAD...
I was struck by the beauty of snow on Christmas Eve, so I quickly lit a roaring fire. Only to realize that the flue was closed and smoke started to billow through the house. The kids all dropped to the ground and practiced their fire drills by screaming, "STOP DROP AND ROLL!!!" one of the children rolled right out the front door and fetched their father who was trying to catch snowflakes and told him their mother was burning down the house. We wished the snow would continue, but the temperature rose and the flakes soon turned to raindrops, so we decided to catch the earlier Christmas Eve service at church and give the house an opportunity to ventilate.
Once we were home from church, we baked Christmas cookies for Santa and then had dinner by candlelight. We've come a long way since the last time we tried such a stunt...
We read our final story in our Advent Calendar book, followed by 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Then we placed cookies out for Santa.
Ribbon was affixed high on the tree for Santa to see and potatoes and apples were left out in exchange for a gift. He left a basketball in exchange for an apple and a bag of Timothy Grass for a cookie. In a shoe, Santa also left some carrots with the stems attached.
Every year, it seems like we hit "Mach Crazy" with Christmas gifts, so we have to remind ourselves that Christmas is really the one time of the year we buy presents. We're not so big in to buying gifts for birthdays or other occasions. And the presents that we buy at Christmas are usually PRACTICAL like new backpacks, lunch boxes, shoes, clothes and dental floss. The children get so excited when we give them dental floss. Especially the kind that is flavored like mint!
Although this year, Santa did bring us some amazing toys and gifts.
Santa, that sneaky fellow, hid the long-awaited baby guinea pigs under the curtains in the girls room with a little rolled up note, tied with a bow, that is perched in a stuffed Santa's arms.
Charlie and I have a $10.00 bet riding as to whether or not the kids will see them when they wake up in the morning. I say they won't, he says they will. My logic is that they'll be so fixated on running out of the room to see what Santa brought - they won't even notice what's directly in front of them. Probably like me, who will be functioning off four hours of sleep since I'm also betting the kids won't sleep a minute past 6:00 AM. They are so excited, they could hardly sit still tonight.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
We hope that your day is beautiful and bright.