Christmas 2.0

My in-laws aren’t able to make it to our home for Christmas due to health concerns so we agreed to have a 2nd celebration in January with the whole family.2015/01/img_4135.jpgMy kids have only been to their paternal grandparent’s house a few times so each time we visit it seems entirely new to them. My mother in law keeps a large stash of toys on hand for the grandkids and they had a blast exploring the toy bin.

It was also a lot of fun to dress up in Christmas outfits once again.2015/01/img_4143.jpg

2015/01/img_4136.jpgAs you can see, someone likes to choose their own shoes.

There is a large play structure in the backyard constructed specifically for the grandkids and I think this was probably my kids first time playing on it. 2015/01/img_4140.jpgChristmas at my in-laws has, in the past, been a bit of a scene. In the past few years we have all agreed to scale back on the gift giving and concentrate on being together. My kids were able to see all their cousins on that side of the family and they had an absolute blast with them.

I’m already seeing the impact of my One Little Word® CLEAN. I went into this family gathering with no expectation or grudges or anything and we had a fabulous time. At the end of the meal I helped out by CLEANing off the dining table. In years past my mother in law has requested we not do that but this year I felt a need to do it. Speaking with her on the phone today she thanked me and sounded genuinely grateful about it (rather than annoyed). After such a large family gathering I know the toll that takes on her emotionally and knew she wouldn’t be up for doing any heavy cleaning.

It was a truly wonderful celebration and I am grateful to have such a large family to celebrate holidays with.

Christmas Book Countdown!

Have you heard of the Christmas Book Countdown?

I might be more excited about starting this tradition then any of the others. Most likely I saw it on Pinterest. Initially I read thru this woman’s idea of a Christmas book countdown and thought it required too much work or money or time to get the tradition started.

The idea kept coming back to me though so I gave it a little more thought.

First off, we have a grand total of 1 Christmas book in our house. So that meant getting 23 from the local library? Not going to happen. Checking that many out would be hard enough, let alone dealing with the logistics of due dates, etc. Finally I read somewhere that someone picked up some second hand Christmas books at a thrift store. Bingo!

I knew there were a few books I wanted to buy new. Elf on the Shelf for example, I knew I wanted that one.

Since my mother plans to gift two Christmas books to the twins every year, I knew that getting cheapo books was exactly what I wanted to do. Then, over the years, the cheapo books could be replaced by the nice ones from grandma.

So off I went today to my favorite local thrift store. I scoured the Christmas section that they had put together but didn’t see any books. Book section, nothing. Finally, hidden in a corner I found the toddler/young kid book section. Practically all of them were Christmas books! I just started pulling books off the shelves! I should have counted but I didn’t.

Got home and counted them up, 19 books!! I almost wish I had gotten 24 but with the few books I did get from the library, I have more than enough.

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I am so excited that I’ve completed the hardest part of this tradition…aquiring the books. Now is the semi-fun part, wrapping them! Since there are still a few days until I start, I’m wrapping about 5 a day. I wrapped 6 today which gives me at least until December 6th to wrap more. I do hope to have them all wrapped before the 1st though.