If it weren't for a few outside-inside toys because of the cold weather, you wouldn't know Christmas came and went today.
Our Happy Birthday Jesus monkey bread "cake" this morning is all but gone. (Yes, the 2 candle is all I could find in the drawers).After two family dinners over the past two days, there aren't many leftovers in the fridge either.
And that's a good thing.
Doug and I decided to have a simpler Christmas this year, paring down to keep our eyes on the true meaning of Christmas instead of stretching ourselves thin in an effort to fulfill some imaginary "to do" list guaranteed to make the season bright.
Although I made several loaves of apple gingerbread for friends and church family, there was no "slaving" in the kitchen all day just so I could make sure I got everything made for us. Not the peanut butter fudge. Or the divinity. Or the cranberry bread. Or the peanut brittle.
We skipped the snow-in-the-park, the Reindeer Run, the lighting of the town Christmas tree, the parades. The only time we went to see Christmas lights was as part of a jaunt to Wal-mart to buy the nine mouse traps that still haven't managed to ensnare our Christmas mouse.
And to the chagrin of our oldest son, mommy and daddy made shopping easier, too. Each child received only one store-bought gift and one game from us while Santa merely filled the stockings with play dough, bath body paint, moon pies, and such. While Wyatt was resistant to this change, by this evening, he was parroting his daddy's words from this morning, telling me he was grateful for the toys he had, that Jesus was our greatest gift. Yes, now if he can just remember that a year from now.
I think my favorite change this season has been taking up a tradition from my mother. When my brother and I were young, the best presents were the ones she made for us. So, this year, I began a tradition of crocheting a "critter" of some sort for the kids. The gingerbread boy was quite a hit.
And Amelia loved her doll, complete with sparkly crocheted shoes and quite a full mane of hair.
At the grandparents' house, I even managed to have a little fun myself today.
I told my husband this was the best Christmas I can remember since the children were born. May this be the beginning of many more simpler Christmas seasons where Christ is first.