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Something about the Christmas season always gets lots of projects aswirl in my brain. Here’s some of what’s been going on around here.
- I’ve been working on a really fun bathroom cabinet project that I’ll show you soon. After doing a bit of hunting online, today I bought what I hope will be just the right drawer pulls to jazz up the project. So much fun to see something new coming together in a space that has looked tired for awhile.
- I’m in the midst of my yearly struggle to keep gift-giving moderate, to not go overboard on spending. But it’s really hard. Gift-giving is one of my love languages, and when I see things kids would enjoy, I just want to buy them all the moon, hang the cost. I do try to keep to a dollar limit. But just today I found a great price on an item that I KNOW one of my big kids would use and use and use. After some discussion, John and I decided to go for it even tho it was over the budget for that kid, and maybe do a bit less when that one’s birthday comes around. If I remember. Ha.
- I’ve also been gradually collecting little stocking-stuffer items. Actually, I started this summer, and am almost done. Things I’ve done in past years include chapstick, stretchy gloves, toothbrushes, mechanical pencils, peanuts, Hershey’s kisses, and flashlights. What do you like to put in kids’ stockings?
- This year Erika and her husband and baby will be with Israel’s family over Christmas. So we’re planning a before-Christmas mini-celebration so that we can all enjoy watching the babies open gifts together. Erika and Israel will be getting their gifts from us then. All the kids will be doing a gift exchange that day too. When they were small, John and I brought them to the dollar store to choose one gift for each sibling. A couple years ago, after some discussion, they decided to go with the name-drawing system and buy one larger gift for one sibling each instead of tiny ones for everyone. It seems to be going well. Much excitement is buzzing here among the kids at the idea that they’ll be getting to open at least one item each before Christmas. I imagine this will all get more complicated as our family grows and more of the kids get married. What do you do to get together with family when some of them are traveling?
- Christmas always gets me thinking lots about traditions. I want traditions and warm memories more at this time of year more than any other. Teenagers don’t always appreciate my efforts to do the same things over and over each Christmas. They look cranky when I suggest the yearly viewing of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ They’re not so thrilled about helping with cookie-baking. They’re bored with puzzles. They do tend to enthuse over our annual gingerbread houses– but that’s mostly because of the candy and the fact that we do that activity with friends, not just family. I’ve just decided to ignore their resistance, and gently require their presence during family times. Our grown kids like the traditions just fine– in fact, they seem to appreciate them more the older they get. So we’ll hope that this current batch eventually gets over their boredom and come to appreciate what I’m trying to do with these little routines. But still, I’d love to hear your hints for encouraging teenagers (especially 14 year olds– heaven help me, I have three!) to appreciate traditions and time spend with family during the holidays.