Sunday, December 18, 2011


Shane said it doesn't feel like Christmastime to him. But it does to me. Tree up, lights glowing. Advent lollipop trees, garland on the mantel, wreaths on doorways, candle tarts warmed, cinnamon pine cones, cookies and music.

Enjoying Christmastime by Michael W. Smith this year. By far, my now favorite is Carol of the Bells by Barlow Girl.

My dad's girlfriend told me when she was a girl, her relatives would spend Christmas together, getting a tree on Christmas Eve, propping it in a sand pail undecorated. She said when all the kids and cousins woke up Christmas morning, the tree was fully decorated and lit up, presents underneath and stockings full. She said it was magical. It sounded that way. I can only imagine the party it must have been for the grown-ups pulling an all-nighter (how fun!). I bet the coffee tasted good that morning.

My girls already requesting the color wrapping paper for their gifts. When Erin was much smaller, we color-coded packages so the kids could spot their gifts if they couldn't read their names. Funny this has stuck with them as being part of Christmas in our house. I was about to abandon the idea, since Erin can spell and read her name. But it looks like a tradition is born of anticipation.

Revisited a former tradition by bringing back the cookie swap. We skipped last year's since our house was on the market, but it felt good to be back in the kitchen baking, and sitting with friends for an afternoon. Shane was going to take the girls to the movies, but Erin decided to stay home in her tutu. I loved having her here, and we sang songs and prepped until the friends arrived.

The day went fast, the hellos and hugs too brief, a lot like the season. I sat down at the end of the day, covered in a baby blanket, drinking the last of the salted caramel hot chocolate. And whether it felt like Christmas or not, I was glad it felt like home.

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