I know I am.
I am one of those grinchy people who take down the Christmas tree ON BOXING DAY, and begin to look down my nose as I go down the street any time after new years at the people who still have decorations on the lawn.
BUT.... I've been a bit behind on some of the things I wanted to post around this season with moving and settling and some other personal things that have been going on in our hearts and home.
So for all of you who maybe wanted a peek into the way we did our Christmas business (there's no hiding it, this is really for my Aunties and Nanny especially who keep up with me through this blog)
Here's how 2010 went down:
Christmas Eve Pajamas.
Ava Grace's were from the bargain bin last year... Jackson's were from his dresser, re-wrapped without his knowledge. Perhaps he did not fully appreciate my frugal savvy, and he obviously didn't appreciate the fact that Santa and the glory of presents were coming in the morning, for he was sorely aggrieved to go to bed.
Here's the snack we left Santa. ... and Rudolph.
The creative gift wrapping prowess of my husband, who cleverly hid all sorts of mundane objects in the various body parts of the dog. (I thought it looked like a large mouse... but apparently it's a dog. What breed, I couldn't begin to guess). Lastly there was a piece for my charm bracelet in the last of his four legs.
Jackson's fire truck from Santa. Boy was he jazzed about it. Although he was equally excited about the foam football and the box of colored blocks I scored at the Salvation Army for a dollar.
She also loved that it had windmills on her and pointed at them saying, "that's cause I'm a little dutch girl right mama?"
"Yes, you certainly are." I said, "but you're also British among other things and so you must learn to drink tea too."
Of course the most favored gift was the long awaited Princess Ariel doll that she had written to Santa for back on.... September 15. (I have the letter dated).
I think she hardly slept and at the crack of dawn she was up chirping at my bedside to "please oh please oh please go get my princess Ariel!!!!!!!!!!!"
Ah, Santa never disappoints. But he has given me a clever out for all the cartoon character schlock my kids want from the big box stores. The explanation in our house is that only Santa gives cartoon toys and only one a year for less than 20.00 (otherwise he doesn't know how to make them). This works for now, and I will ride that until I no longer can. In the meantime I had a great time sourcing out really beautiful second hand gifts and toys that they loved. Ava got a second hand pair of skates to round out her gifts and although there wasn't a huge haul under the tree I think we liked it better that way this year.
My sister started a tradition with her son of 3 gifts for Christmas cause that's how many the baby Jesus was given, and so I loosely followed that for my kids too. (they got toothbrushes, oranges, smarties socks and hair clips in their stockings). Something about the less felt like so much more. They played all day with the few things they were given and each gift was given with real thought and creativity.
It started last year that I tried to simplify our Christmas gifting to save money for a big trip with the Winkels to Hawaii and something about it felt so meaningful and creative (and ya, we saved a huge amount of money) that I wanted to keep going in the same tradition this year. I have to say once again I loved the less and I think this is something that we'll keep doing in the years to come.
Christmas presents are TONS of fun don't get me wrong, and I LOVE the blessings I get in all manner of gifts from my generous family and generous friends, but I think we liked this too.
Next year my goal is to have the only "new" big box store items be the Santa requests and to find creative, second hand or homemade sources for all our other gifts. In fact the more I think about it the more excited I get, I may just have to start early with planning for 2011.....