Wednesday, December 30

One Last Post about Christmas. Probably.

As I piled the gifts by recipient, I began to think I had gone overboard. Alexis' pile kept growing taller and taller. I knew I couldn't blame Mr. Husband for the excess; I had purchased most of the items. When the pile grew to be taller than the kid, I started to kick myself for being one of those parents. One who did the whole excess thing.

But, as the kid gleefully started to unwrap things, I slowly remembered that I hadn't been totally out of my mind. There was the Sleeping Beauty costume I picked up at the Disney Store after Halloween for a whopping $15. Several gifts were individually wrapped dollhouse accessories; I spent a total of $35 on the entire lot of them. There were a few t-shirts, a pair of pajamas, and a few Christmas ornaments.

As Alexis unwrapped the very last thing, I started to think I hadn't done enough. Of course she still had some Santa things to unwrap, but there really wasn't much. There were no electronic toys. There were no high-priced items. It was a series of small items that had been wrapped to appear to be much more.

As Alexis surveyed the meager pile, she proclaimed, "This is the best Christmas ever!"

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I never did manage to get all the Christmas decorations out.

I had enough ornaments to start a new tree, but apparently now that retailers start putting out Christmas stuff before the 4th of July, you can't actually buy anything once December rolls around. By then, it has all been replaced by Valentine's Day crap.

Many of the outdoor decorations were an electrical failure of epic proportions. Although, that doesn't really explain why the giant wreath is sitting in the dining room instead of hanging on the window. There's really no good explanation for that. Nor is there a good explanation for where the heck my white glitter reindeer that belong on the dining room table might be hiding. They HAVE to be in the house somewhere, right?

One evening, as I surveyed the piles of stuff that really should have been put on display, I realized that Alexis was standing in front of one of the trees watching the motion ornaments do their thing. As the Tigger and Rabbit tugged back and forth on a stuck Winnie the Pooh, Alexis turned to me and said, "This is the best Christmas ever!"

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Every year I morph into a Domestic Goddess for a few days as I bake a ton of cookies. We can't really afford to buy gifts for everyone we think should be on our list, so tins of homemade confections fill the gap. I take the process very seriously, always making sure to make a few more complicated recipes. After all, Christmas just isn't Christmas without a pile of star-shaped Linzer cookies.

This year, I knew time was short. I decided it was time to keep things simple and avoid any recipes that would take more than an hour to complete. I incorporated a few new recipes into the mix, but the Linzers were out. There was no time for cookie cutters and such.

As I compiled various cookies into various tins, mourning the lack of pretty stars on top, Alexis sat munching on a giant portion of Puppy Chow. As she shoveled the stuff into her face, she turned to me and said, "Momma, this is the best Christmas ever!"

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I'm grateful to have a little someone in the house who constantly reminded me that although Christmas wasn't quite perfect this year, it was indeed the best Christmas ever.

29 comments:

  1. It is tough to remember that through their eyes, it's the simple things that really make Christmas magical. Maggie's jingle bell is one of her favorite things- it's the 2nd thing she tells people she got from Santa (after the DOLLHOUSE, of course!) It cost me less than $2 and 1 minute to put together.

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  2. How right she is! This year was the best Christmas ever - perfect or not. I love that they don't know how Christmas is supposed to go - they just know that a few lights, some cookies, and a heap of wrapping paper make for one amazing day.

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  3. I totally hear you on the Christmas decorations thing. Christmas stuff out before Halloween, and nothing the last 2 weeks before Christmas. So aggravating! Looks like you guys had a great Christmas.

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  4. That is one fabulous gingerbread house! Oh and a great smile on your sweet girl.

    My 5 yo kept repeating that same chorus too. It's so wonderful to hear them say it again and again and to see it written on their faces...

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  5. She's just a wonderful child :) Glad you gave her the best Christmas ever!

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  6. Great post! And now, I will admit something completely embarrassing...
    We had 3 pumpkins from Halloween on our front porch, right along with the Christmas decorations, right up until this morning's garbage pick up. Now, the only saving grace here, is that since it is my husband's job to take out the garbage, I can blame him.

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  7. there is perfection in imperfection. kids know that. i love that you also do.

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  8. I'm glad that I wasn't the only one that felt that way for a moment. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Morgan said Christmas rocked the house this year. I'm glad she thought so. It was a good one. I always wish it was better. But, watching her play with the Imaginarium train table and the new dollhouse for hours on end tells me it was, in fact, just fine.

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  10. I think as ragged, hurried, stressed and stretched we the adults seem to see the holiday as, Children are able to find the magic, the joy, and the beauty that we are continually trying to create for them. Alexis is totally right. This is the Best Christmas Ever. Because she will remember cookies, and trees, and snow, and family, and opening treasures. They don't need much to make it special. :) You did great.

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  11. Please tell me that next year, you're not going to drive yourself crazy trying to top "The Best Christmas Ever."

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  12. You're in a new house. Of course you're not going to find everything. Sounds like you exceeded someone's expectations!

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  13. @Jen--There kinda sorta were two liquefied pumpkins on our porch up until about a week ago. I totally forgot they were there until our neighbor mentioned it on twitter. OOPS.

    @bluzdude--"Perfect" is a moving target. I'll never get there, and that's just fine by me. I'll set high goals as always, knowing that I won't quite get all the way there.

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  14. Anonymous9:33 AM

    Lovely. It is wonderful having a small one in the house to remind you just how magical xmas really is, isn't it? My two young boys kept me centered, even though we also had the sadness of losing a loved on xmas night...

    Oh, and I still have two pumpkins in my wine barrel by the door...

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  15. I didn't even put any decorations on the tree because the kids would destroy them. Still, she would tell me every morning as she came down the stairs, "Momma, did you SEE our tree?! It's BEAUTIFUL."

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  16. I agree with Alexis. This was the best Christmas ever. And I didn't even get to see any Christmas Crazy down in Florida... :-)

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  17. I'm just as nutty about Christmas as you. I wish I had a kid to watch open gifts and stand in the kitchen and proclaim it as the best Christmas ever.

    This Christmas was a bit different for me. I'm not even sure why, but I do know that I made the best of it, as I always do.

    Don't worry about the perfect Christmas. Every Christmas you spend with Alexis and Mr. Husband is the perfect Christmas!

    I didn't get any electronic toys/games for Christmas, either. :(

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  18. @Bobbo--I think the lack of electronics is a very good thing. I'll take the crazy adventures of Pocahontas and Captain John Smith over a DSi any day . . .

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  19. My kids are still saying that, no matter what I do or don't do. To kids, Christmas is about what you did, not what you didn't. I love kids for that.

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  20. It's funny how we grow up and seem to forget that it's the simple things that make Christmas magical and perfect in the eyes of a child.

    And I can relate to rushing the holidays. When I bought my kids their Halloween costumes, I could have bought Christmas stuff in the next aisle!

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  21. Kids are so awesome. We worry about what isn't just so, what was left undone, and they are just so delighted with everything!

    (Your opinion on my latest blog post would be much appreciated, if you get a chance!)

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  22. That is so great. Oh Kids. They always remind us what is really important.

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  23. This was a wonderful post. Abby was the same way this Christmas. Everything was amazing and wonderful. We made cut out cookies together which took twice as long to do with her, but oh well, and decorated together. My husband was not satisfied with our outside decorations either, but I think they looked wonderful. I am sure next year there will be more. Abby's favorite gift was her Grover from Santa Claus. It was just what she had asked for. Hope you have a great new year.

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  24. I have gone overboard so many times and then kicked myself. This year the piles were quite a bit smaller and I was feeling bad until the kids acted the same as Alexis - they were thrilled & I learned a lesson.

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  25. Very well said! It's great to have a little someone to help keep the Christmas spirit alive.

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  26. I try so hard to see life through my daughter's eyes... they are so innocent and pure not jaded by life yet some days it is easier than others to see the world as she does. On those days life is great and I feel like I have no problems because I have love and I am living in the moment. If only I could or should I say we could live life in the moment too! Happy and healthy New Year to you and your loved ones. I love your blog!

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  27. PS very impressed with the gingerbread house we tried to make one and let me just say it looked more like a shack... a run down shack at best!

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  28. I have to agree with Alexis the best Christmas evah! And it just reaffirms my belief simple is better. (Hugs)Indigo

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  29. As long as every Christmas is the Best! Christmas! Ever! at my house, I'm happy. :) So far, so good.

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