01 December 2014

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . .

Every once in a while I will be really on the ball and get all the Christmas prep done before December starts, with the idea of having a calm and peaceful month leading up to Christmas. I didn't do this the last couple years, and there were times around Christmas that life felt too hectic (and a couple years ago I even had to miss out on a little time I could have been spending with extended family that was visiting from out of state, because I hadn't prepared earlier and I was still doing last minute Christmas shopping, wrapping, and mailing the week before Christmas). 

So, this year I decided to be good and do the Christmas prep work early again. It made for a very busy November (especially because I came up with an idea for some homemade gifts that of course took much longer than I planned to make), but I did it. I had all the gifts made or purchased, and wrapped, helped the boys get and wrap their gifts, got the packages in the mail for our extended family members, framed this year's family photo for my little Christmas tree with framed family photo ornaments from each year, and finished our Christmas letter just in time before Thanksgiving. And I'm a firm believer that no matter how busy this might make November, it's always better to have December feel peaceful and calm (at least looking back, after I'm all done with everything).  :)

Since my parents and brothers ended up changing their ski plans and stayed in San Diego for Thanksgiving, we got to enjoy spending the week with them, and then we went over the weekend and cut down a Christmas tree at a little tree farm in Ramona. (The types of trees that grow in this climate aren't quite as pretty as some of the ones that they have shipped here, but it's such an experience to go pick one out and actually cut it down ourselves -- and the tree always looks good once it's all lit up and decorated). 
(That's our tree, behind my head). 

Then on Sunday before church we got to decorate the tree together. Always so fun. (And only one ornament broke in the process, so that's pretty good with all our eager helpers). 

(We tried to take a picture of the whole family in front of the tree, but it was hard to get all of us plus the tree in the same shot. So we went with a cute picture of the boys in front of the tree). 

Now it's really starting to feel like Christmas time around here. :)

(That little tree with the family photo frame ornaments from each year since we were married is probably my favorite Christmas decoration. I just love looking at the pictures and reflecting back on each time of our life that they remind me of). 

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