Friday, January 4, 2008

December 25th

I think with the kids being in public school and learning about every religion has broadened the kids thinking maybe a bit too much. On Christmas Day Ethan opened an envelope that Katilin had made for the boys and coins came out on the floor. Ethan’s first reaction was “Is this for Hanukkah?” I don’t think Hanukkah is celebrated with money like some of the Asian holidays. More along the lines of Latkes ( potato pancakes ) and jelly donuts. Ryan has his driedel song paper and Menorah picture hanging on the wall next to the Christmas Story he did in school. It’s good to learn about all the religions and not just know yours but probably not a good thing to have your kids think we celebrate all religions.

Ethan received a really fun book for boys from my mom called “The Dangerous Book for Boys” by Hal Iggulden. It’s anything and everything a boy should know from how to make the best paper airplane and a paper water bomb, charting the universe, how to wrap a present with only a brown bag and string, history to know like the famous battles, understanding grammar, making cloth fireproof, how to teach a dog tricks, how to make knots and skip stones, orgins of words although we don’t need to know that because every word comes from a Greek word according to the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. This book is great and Wendy and I were having probably more fun than Ethan going through it. Boys especially are so curious that I think this is a perfect book for them to learn some pretty fun things about the world. I think the first thing he wants to do is make a battery out of quarters, foil, blotting paper, copper wire, and a few other things. They also have a Daring Book for Girls as well which I had to order for Katilin.

I am not sure what my favorite part of Christmas is.. the traditional Christmas Eve with Michael’s family spending time together- festive Christmas music playing in the background, driving around and seeing all the lights in the neighborhoods, Christmas movies, fudge- wine balls-and hot chocolate, presents galore, playing cards and spending most of the time in the kitchen, the holiday splendor and laughter. We were lucky enough to be able to spend two days with Michael’s family this year and I am hoping it will be the same in years to come.

Moms household traditions are the Village of Bethlehem set up with the kids allowed to play with and mom redoing it every time we leave, procession of the baby Jesus with the boys ringing bells and singing “O Come all Ye’ Faithful” and closing with Happy Birthday to Jesus, locks-cream cheese-and bagel which was moms childhood tradition, tons of homemade cookies and candies, apple cider simmering in the crock pot, and not as much gift giving, enjoying each others company and working together in the kitchen before and after & all the aunts and uncles playing with the kids.
It is amazing how different each day is and how I love the traditions each family has. I wouldn’t give up celebrating Christmas with either family.

Elizabeth, Heather, and I have a tradition that we started for the kids and that is giving each others children a special ornament instead of gifts for Christmas. I love giving ornaments out to the kids friends and have done that for all the godchildren for a few years now. It’s fun to try to find the perfect ornament for the kids and I am probably more excited with them opening them up than they really are. They probably would prefer a toy.. lol.. after all. I love looking at the ornaments they get hanging on the tree.

Trying to grab hold to some of my childhood I have found some of our childhood ornaments on ebay from the 70’s and have them hanging on our tree. I love the classic nostalgic ornaments and they bring up good memories for me spending hours staring at our tree with the same white lights every year sneaking out to the living room and turning on the lights trying my darndest to sleep on the couch with the room too bright from all the lights. Seeing our handmade stockings hanging on the mantel and the big felt 12 days of Christmas & partridge and a pear tree my mom and dad spent a couple Christmas’s making. They spray painted a little tree branch white and hot glued felt puffy pears with a felt partridge perched in the nook of a branch. It was held up by a Styrofoam base with moss to hid the foam itself. These are a few of my favorite things about Christmas.. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, Brown paper packages tied up with strings, These are a few of my favorite things…

Well, all my writing will be gibberish and nonsense. It’s just what I think is fun and interesting. I have learn from my mother that “presentation of a gift or a dish is just as important as the gift or food itself.” So I love finding the perfect wrap, tags, and love using yarn or fabric ribbon to decorate a present. It just gives it a little added touch.

I decided to do something to tease the kids this year. I bought a little 1 foot Charlie Brown Christmas Tree with the single red ornament on it and set it in our living room after clearing out the coffee table and ottoman and telling them that it was going to be our Christmas Tree! I set it in front of the window and put presents all around it and we kept it there till we did go out and get a ‘regular’ size tree. I loved the reaction on their faces. I also decided to get a little 1 foot whoville tree. It was Cindy Lou Who’s Tree that is bent to the side a bit. I was feeling playful this year I guess.