Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Specially Christmas a.k.a. The one where I use the word "special" at least 62 times

On Christmas, my father-in-law plopped a brown paper bag in everyone's lap.

We opened them at the same time. Contents included:
  • an orange
  • some hard candy
  • a candy cane
  • an assortment of nuts

He told us he wanted us to see what his treat was every Christmas when he was growing up 50+ years ago. This treat was so special, that he vividly remembered after all this time.

Before I go on, this is NOT a post poo-pooing giving gifts at Christmas, if that's what you're thinking. It blesses my heart to give and to receive thoughtful and intentional gifts. So, please read on, knowing that's not where I'm headed.

I do believe that sometimes we lose the special. There's so much, and the holidays can be so harried, stressful, overwhelming, _____________ (you fill in the blank), that nothing stands out as special.

This Christmas was so exciting for me and Brad. Our girls are old enough to get excited, and we were excited about their excited.

Along with excited, we want to make Christmas meaningful and special. I think we have to be intentional about making Christmas special, and that takes planning and work. I'm not sure we've quite landed on our unique special yet, but we're working on it.

I've read lots of great ideas about this via the blog world recently of Mamas who have embraced Christmas and lovingly included their children in fun activities to make Christmas special:
The above is not always easy for us mamas, I tell you---embracing the chaos that comes along with giving our lovies meaningful and memorable experiences requires lots of yoga breathing (and wine) sometimes.

So, this is what I'm thinking:

(I know Christmas is over. Then New Years will be over. It will still be cold outside, but there won't be any Christmas lights to look at, which quite frankly, depresses me--especially when there's no snow on the ground, in which I can at least take cute pictures of our girls all bundled up.)

I'd love to read and share your Christmas stories---keep the spirit of Christmas alive a bit longer---at least until that groundhog does his thing. I'd love to read about how you make Christmas special in your family.

It can be:
  • a tradition
  • an activity
  • a special book you read
  • yummy food you eat
  • games you play
  • maybe something beautiful and wonderful happened this Christmas that you want to share?
This is an invitation for you to guest post those stories here! Or, if you've shared them on your own blog already, please leave the link in the comment section!

I know there are lots of beautiful stories out there that can keep January sparkling (even if there's no snow on the ground).

If you're interested in guest posting, please email me pontifications (at) hotmail (dot) com

I look forward to hearing from you!!

(My husband thinks this is cheesy, "but that's okay," he says---so, you've got Papa's stamp of approval to guest post--sort of).


Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

It's not cheesy at all! I have a Christmas recap up on my blog today, if you want to stop by :-)

I love love love the stockings!!!

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

That's such a cool gift from your father-in-law!

I couldn't help but laugh at myself last year, a bit along those lines...the girls were asking almost every day for strawberries, but strawberries were about $5/pound, which was just ridiculous to me. For Christmas, though, I ponied up and bought those expensive strawberries. It wasn't part of their gifts, but I couldn't otherwise justify the price! ;)

I love this idea...let me think on it, and I'll try to zip you an email. :)

Hope you're enjoying all the days of Christmas!

championm2000 said...

The brown bag sounds just like something my father would do...certainly reminds me of the stories he tells every year.

One of the cool things about being new parents is making our own traditions, and it's been (pardon me) special watching how ours have taken shape.

Mary Cavalier said...

Julia - you asked! This is one of my favorite subjects because our family (extended family on my side) has a wonderful tradition that I love to talk about.

If Brad thinks your idea is cheesy - he will probably think my post is really cheesy - Velveeta cheesy :-)

Mary Cavalier said...

Oh - and we used to get brown bags full of peanuts with an orange, apple and a couple candy bars each year at our church Christmas party when I was a child. We really looked forward to that as children because candy bars were not an every day item. When we were older we helped pack the bags. I had forgotten about that until I saw your post - thanks for stirring up those memories. :-)

Anonymous said...

I love hearing other people's Christmas traditions! Mike and I strarted a tradion 9 years ago when we were first married. We give each other pj's as a gift on Xmas eve that you MUST wear to our annual brunch on Xmas day. Some years they are funny and some just plush and cozy. 2 years ago Mike received an adult one-z, complete with feet..he wore it with pride. To me this holiday is about time off work to be spent at home, relaxing/decompressing, playing board games with family, lounging in comfy pj's. Now that Nori is here she gets to join in on the pj action. We can often be seen in our Xmas jammies even days
after the holiday was over! :)