This is the first December in five years that I haven't been either arguing a huge case in court or giving birth to a child. It's been nice, but also weird. Having a non-Christmas-related "big thing" going on in December really forces you to be intentional about which holiday events you say "yes" to--a skill I absolutely failed at this year.
I actually can't even really think of a thing I said "no" to in order to make myself sound more sane, but somehow it's all worked out. Without what has become the "normal" time/mental/emotional suck popped right into the middle of it all (the arguments, not the baby)--even with a few extra events--our December hasn't (generally) felt unduly frantic. In fact, I've felt pretty light.
Apparently that's my big secret to being happy in December. Be insanely-crazy-busy for a few years, and then you'll feel great the first year you're not. ;)
Onward for some highlights....
Hardly a day goes by that I don't find one child or the other spinning the wisemen along on our Christmas windmill. They almost never bother the ornaments on the tree, but that spinning windmill is irresistible. Thankfully, one of our woodworker friends gave it a quick sprucing-up last year, so it's once again sturdy enough for at least a little "careful!" spinning.
And the Kid is once again experiencing the joys of his Star Wars Lego advent calendar. It's only been two years now, but I think this is becoming a bit of a tradition between he and his Panga. My father-in-law finds each year's calendar on sale in January and saves it all year. Then, the Kid gets up each morning in December and builds a new ship or person or set piece. They don't exchange pictures every day, but--usually at least a few times over the month--the Kid insists that we photograph an especially cool creation to "text to Panga". It's a pretty cute way for them to connect.
But, speaking of Star Wars, we saw the movie last weekend. As an oldest child myself, I'm probably a little over sensitive, but it felt like the Kid has been--for lack of a more tactful way to say it--putting up with an awful lot with his sister lately. He was definitely due for some undistracted attention from mom and dad, so we made "Star Wars" a date just for the three of us. (Spoiler-free review: There were things you could pick at, but, on the whole, I enjoyed it.)
OK, so this next one is a little funny, I have to admit, even though it makes me look pretty ridiculous.
Sweet Husband's boss gave us his store's tickets to Lawrence's fancy charity gingerbread auction. It was a fun night out. We got all dressed up, went with some friends, and enjoyed the yummy food and drinks.
Except that, apparently, I had a little too much of the bourbon punch, because a few days later I discovered that I had accidentally bid on (and won) not one, but two, gingerbread houses in the silent auction. (To clarify, I bid on one completely intentionally. But the second one was a surprise.)
Some people get frisky. Some people get silly. Apparently, I get drunk and buy gingerbread houses.
That same weekend, we went to see our little friend dance as a mouse in The Nutcracker. She was so adorable!
And the weekend after that, I took the Kid, Little Miss, and one of the Kid's besties to see A Charlie Brown Christmas LIVE.
It felt a little over-extravagant to see both The Nutcracker and Charlie Brown in the same year, but Charlie Brown was great, so I'm glad we did it. The boys and I liked it, but Little Miss was actually dancing, she loved it so much. And also stressing me out by draping her cookie over the edge of the balcony and looking like she might drop it onto someone's head down below, but most importantly--dancing!
And then we had, like 4 billion (ok, maybe just four) school-ish parties. PJ's and waffles for Little Miss's last day. Cub Scouts. A book exchange with cookies and cocoa. Movies and treats for the Kid's last day.
(Little Miss has gotten into the habit of asking "And where are we going tonight?" when I pick her up from school.)
Last, but not least, I snuck away to a Buche de Noel baking class last night with a friend. In the nice way that the year sometimes book-ends, the class was the last one being taught by the same chef who taught the macaron class Sweet Husband and I took together this spring. I don't know if I'm ready to revive my Buche de Noel making ways (I made one every year on Christmas Eve for a few years), but it felt really festive to watch someone else make one--lol!
Seeing it all listed out--yeah, it was a pretty busy month. And a little quiet in January is going to be refreshing. Just the same....even with the extra gingerbread house, I regret nothing!