It's easy to get carried away and think we have to participate in every activity, make every craft, and buy every "must-have" gift. The rising popularity of Pinterest during the last two years has only added to the do everything pressure (at least for me), but having a list of the things that are most important to us makes it easier to keep a bit of focus throughout the season.
This is my beginning "wish list", if you will, sure to be edited and adapted many times over the coming weeks. But it's a start, and it sure has me excited about the holidays!
- Serve a free Thanksgiving dinner at church and enjoy spending the day with family, friends, and community members.
- Pore over the giant stack of Black Friday ads. Reaffirm that we like sleep a whole lot and equally dislike crowds, so Black Friday shopping is NOT for us.
- Watch the Alabama/Auburn game while putting up Christmas decorations.
- Let Addison & Mackenzie help with decorating this year--maybe the small tree in their room.
- Have many family movie nights to watch Christmas favorites. (We have already watched Rudolph this year and The Grinch is waiting on DVR.)
- Introduce the girls to the goodness of real hot chocolate with marshmallows.
- Watch Love, Actually with my Laura Jo (hoping to cross this one off the list this week!).
- Do some kind of Advent activity. Make some type of calendar/countdown.
- Make and deliver holiday treats for our neighbors.
- Bundle up and take an evening walk around the neighborhood to enjoy the Christmas lights.
- Surprise the girls with a pre-bedtime drive around town to see the best Christmas lights, complete with pajamas and hot chocolate. (I saw this idea on Pinterest somewhere, and I love it!)
- Have fun reading through the stack of new Christmas books I just ordered for this year. Some will be wrapped as small gifts and spread out through the month of December.
Get a picture with Santa. (Done! At school last week, and M even sat in his lap.)
- Visit the Opryland Hotel in all its holiday glory.
- Let the girls do some fun Christmas crafts and help with holiday baking.
- Spend lots of late nights crafting, wrapping, and talking with my sister.
- Have a date night at home with Jeremy--with the fireplace going, a movie, and some kind of delicious food.
- Enjoy a now-traditional shopping date with Jeremy.
- Make a list of gifts for each person and STICK TO IT.
- Try to incorporate something handmade into as many gifts as possible.
- Have lots of fun wrapping the girls' gifts and finding creative places to hide them.
- Read the story of Jesus's birth from the Bible with the girls on Christmas Eve.
- Host my family on Christmas morning. (This is a new one--we've always been at my mom's--and I'm pretty excited about it!)
- Relax and enjoy the time with family and friends. Let go of the idea of perfection. Think less about the messy house and more about the memories being made.
What's on YOUR list this year?