I'm finally starting to feel that excited anticipation for Christmas around here. The kids have been feeling it since the stockings went up...but it's taken me a bit longer. I just kept looking at my list of shopping, baking, school exchange gifts, decorating, party planning...and I was just not in the mood. But something's come over me, and starting today, I've got the fever. The younger kids and I started our day by cleaning out the basement toy room. Our intention when we started was to clean up, then sort out and part with our gently used toys to be donated to a nearby Women's domestic violence shelter. It was just the motivation we needed and Grace, Mary and John and I got the job done in less than an hour. And while we cleaned up, and tossed many broken, neglected toys, "gently used" is unfortunately not in our vocabulary. We did not have anything worthy of donating this time. (Our cleaning sweep mid-summer though, sent many nice things to Agape, so perhaps next round).
Anyhow, from basement, we moved on to more holiday decorating. I finally got our large nativity set out and Mary helped me to arrange it "just so" on the pie safe in the kitchen. We added a few small Christmas trees with lights surrounding it, and it looks beautiful. This evening, the boys kept turning the kitchen lights out just to stare at it in wonder.
During afternoon naptime (while the older ones were at school) I added more lights outdoors. This time decorating the back porch, and stringing one tree full of lights. I always like adding something out back that's "just ours" to enjoy. The tree I decorated is the one that has several bird feeders hanging in it..visible from our kitchen window for bird-watching. I got a kick out of the black-capped chickadee who kept calling to me as I strung lights. I'm not sure if he was as excited about the decorations, or just wanted his supper perch back. He was good company, none the less. The kids excitement as they all gathered home after school was priceless as they checked out the new lights and decor. I get such joy doing these silly little things, knowing how much they find pleasure in it.
By evening, John got the big star hanging outside above our lighted yard nativity. The lights had burnt out after last season, so it needed completely restrung. (God's always providing us with exercises to grow in patience. Thank you Lord.) It looks beautiful, I think. The four oldest kids got out for an evening of Christmas movies at our Parish Center. So they came home all giddy and talkative about the movies, meeting Santa, etc. Seems as though we're all getting anxious.
Anyhow, tomorrow's another day and I'm hoping to get the baking "bug." I love trying new recipes every year, and I've got a couple yummies up my sleeve for this Christmas. Bring on the chocolate!
Peaceful night all!