I tried hard to follow the "slow Advent" I had been reading about at Melanie's blog. We identified the activities we most wanted to do, did those, and eliminated the rest. Consequently we did make a gingerbread house, then ate it, we did have an Advent wreath, and a Jesse Tree (which we actually finished!), we did bake sugar cookies (thanks to visiting relatives), and I did make cinnamon rolls. We did make paper snowflakes, and I did not do Christmas cards. We did go to Royal Hours on Christmas Eve, followed by confession. We did get a photo of all the kids, we did keep gift giving simple, while still having the kids do a secret Santa. We did get a real tree, for the first time in 13 years. We did not get out all of our decorating, just a bit each day until it seemed lovely. I did do my St. Nicholas mantle. And we are having our New Year's Eve party.
Sounds full, but we eliminated a lot of unnecessary stress. And I did enjoy Advent and Christmas this year, although I fought the nagging feeling of it not being "enough". Not enough glitter and spice, not enough "dream presents", not enough festivity. But then, I remembered that those things are imaginary, made up images. The reality of Advent and Christmas we realized in our home, with only a few moments of despair. Mostly, content anticipation. Lovely!
All of them. The best of the lot of 10 I took. The series is pretty funny, maybe I'll share it some day.
Her Royal Highness, after a haircut courtesy of her 10 year old sister.
Our little, lovely Christmas Tree, with presents. See? Not much for 8 children, but it was enough.
Sleepy baby Christmas morning. With daddy.