Sunday, December 14, 2014

When Christmas Needs to be Easy


Sometimes you have a year where things don't easily fall into place.  Sometimes you have a year when you don't get the stockings down until after the 14th of December although the tree has been up since the beginning of November. Sometimes you just send out the photo card without the letter to go with it...even though you know you know you will get a letter in January from a certain someone laying on the guilt about not receiving a letter.  Sometimes you have a year when your husband has been traveling like crazy, you are almost mid-way through your first year of homeschooling, and getting nervous  eagerly awaiting the arrival of your third bundle of joy.

Sometimes life is happening all around you and you are just trying to keep up with what you can. 


Something that the past few months have taught me is to accept my limits. I know that God did not create me as a person who can handle it all. In the past I would try so hard to keep up with everything, including all the extra stuff, that I would make myself and my family miserable.  I  could easily suck all the joy out of a day with to-do lists and unrealistic expectations. 

I am learning to let it go. Most of it doesn't really matter anyway.  It's totally ok that I don't have the house decorated as much as I would like. It's just fine that I didn't have an Advent calendar ready for us all to go through together until yesterday (hello 12 days of Christmas!). And it's ok that things aren't 'perfect'.

This is where we are right now.

This is who we are right now. 

We are a family who is so happy just to be together for the beautiful normal.

Normal is beautiful. 

The everyday is beautiful. 


This Christmas season, it is ok that you don't do everything. Focus on spending time together as a family and filling your days with joy. Look for the beauty in the normal.  We go through different seasons of life.  Sometimes we can do more, but sometimes we need to embrace that we simply can't.  Being filled with joy is so much more important than all the other stuff.  



Keep the decorating simple.


Plan some fun activities. Singing carols, watching movies, making an easy batch of cookies, a game night with popcorn or a root beer float.  Pick up a peppermint shake (yum!!) at Chick-fil-A and drive around looking at Christmas lights. 

If you don't make it to all the different activities around town, I promise...it will be ok. They are going to remember the laughing. The fun they had dancing and singing to Christmas carols. How they got to decorate the cookies any way they wanted while you smiled and told them how great they looked. They will remember being with you.


My favorite quote (from the Nester) is this:
"It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful".

It's true. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Elf Day


We kicked off our week with our first annual Elf Day. The idea came from a super fun Instagrammer I follow: katherinemaries Go follow her! You'll be inspired to do so many fun things with your kiddos!  Here's what we did...


I wrote this up the night before and had it waiting on the breakfast table. The kids were so excited when they got up and read it!

1. Issue elf ID's

I had two laminated Post-It Notes that I punched and strung on twine. The kids picked their elf names and I wrote them on their badge.

2. Play Pass the Present and Elf Relay

Pass the Present: Grab a gift-like box and some music. Turn the music on and have them pass the present like you're playing hot potato. Stop the music. Whoever is holding the present is out. 

Elf Relay: Be set up a cup at one end of room and a plate with 4 marshmallows at the other end of the room. Using their elves, the kids pick up a marshmallow and run it across the room to their cup. First one with all 4 marshmallows in their cup wins.

3. Hot Chocolate Break

4. Blindfolded gift wrapping: We didn't actually make this a contest. It was the best activity of the day. Hilarious!

5. North Pole Picnic Lunch: Fun lunch on the floor next to the Christmas tree.

6. Paint your elf: Paint a picture of your elf.

7. Elf Pancakes for Dinner: I searched Pinterest for Elf pancakes and found this great pic to follow!

8. PJ's and a Christmas movie: Always a favorite activity!

We had so much fun with this day and it really didn't take long to set up! I'm convinced we need more fun days like this in the future!