Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Hopes

There are so many things I want to do with my girls this holiday season.  I feel like having them home is a gift.  I can obsess over completing the stories they have in progress, finishing up Lilah’s math workbook, moving ahead in our Greek mythology study or I can stop and breathe.  When I breathe deeply I know that while these things and the other subjects we are working on are important, taking this month to stop and reflect on the meaning of Christmas is also important.  If this is my only year with both girls home, I will regret not savoring the holidays with them.  
  1. Paper Chains.  We always did this December 1st.  24 brightly colored strips of paper linked together.  For some reason we fell away from this tradition.  I plan on reinstating it.
  2. Jesse Tree.  I don’t know much about this Christmas tradition.  I have signed up for a free e-book and hope to take a deep look at the meaning of the holiday that means so much to us.  We know the advent story, we have read books and watched movies.  We have learned in church and religious education classes.  We have kept advent calendars and wreaths.  I am looking for something more.  This may be my answer.
  3. Skating.  We will skate with our friends and drink hot chocolate and smile and laugh and play.
  4. Movie night.  I would like to try for another friend movie night, like the one we had for Grace’s birthday.  Gather together and watch Elf.  How fun!
  5. Wintuk.  I am so, so excited for this.  Madison Square Garden, last season of the show.  I have never been to a Cirque Du Soleil performance and I am glad this will be our first.  My hope is Greg will get off work early to join us for the show, then meet up with my Mother for dinner before taking the train home.
  6. Concert at Yale.  We will be attending a holiday concert at Yale University.   Lunch after and perhaps a trip to a bookstore I want to check out.
  7. Christmas Eve Mass....our tradition.  There is a chance my girls will be singing in the choir.  This combined with the Christmas Pageant at church are much looked forward to traditions.  Last year my girls had the great fortune to be Mary (Grace) and the angel Gabriel (Lilah).  I wonder what roles Sister will assign them this year?
  8. Holiday Recital.  Grace will be performing in her music school’s holiday recital.  This will be her second December piano recital.  I hope to record her performance and blog it so her family who cannot attend can see how much she loves to play.  Her flute ensemble is also performing in January!
  9.  Free Fridays.  I have kept every Friday in December free and unscheduled.  Provided the girls get enough lessons done during the week, we can have these days for craft projects, movie days, playdates, basically whatever we desire.  I am still struggling to slow down during our week.  The girls want to participate in all the opportunities that are available to them but it leaves us running, stressing, getting home late, and feeling like we are not having fun, even though we are.  
  10. The reason for the season.  This one is more for me.  This year is hard for me to shop, write Christmas cards, decorate and remain calm.  I know that Christmas is not about Santa and the gifts.  I want the gifts I give to be meaningful but I feel that as my nieces and nephews get older the more they want big ticket items or money.  I feel like the gift giving is less special somehow.  With so many gifts for me to buy and very little time to shop, I am hoping I can pull it all together soon. 
Balance is the key to this holiday season.  Keep the lessons, free time, play time and holiday events in balance.

December is right around the corner.  Hours away really.  I think we will start tomorrow with paper chains.......

3 comments:

Jen @ Forever, For Always... said...

I love it - having them home really is a gift! We are doing a Jesse Tree for the first time this year too. I am looking forward to this activity. We have seen a couple of Cirque shows - absolutely fabulous!! Enjoy :)

Karen said...

Your December sounds amazing! I love the 'slowing down and savoring'. What wonderful memories you will make this month.

Enjoy every second Jess.

Karen said...

Another thing...Did you get your ebook from Holy Experience? I signed up for it but just haven't received it yet. :)

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