One thing I'm really starting to appreciate about Christmas with children is that it is so much more about the journey than the destination. All month long we were preparing and celebrating in different ways. It started on December 1st when I hung our advent calendar and we pulled the first card which said, 'Decorate for Christmas!' Our advent calendar has pockets and I fill them with a mix of small gifts (hair clips, nail polish, chocolates etc) as well as activities (help someone, bake cookies, watch a Christmas movie etc). Just like last year, we got a real tree and this year the process was a lot smoother!
Some of our traditions come from our years of being involved in Steiner playgroups and preschool. Like our blue cloth above, where I place a star each night for Clementine to wake up to (she thinks they come from the fairies) and when the sky is full of stars it will be Christmas Day. We also celebrate advent Steiner style, collecting special treasures to place on our tray and lighting one candle each Sunday as we say a little verse; I then tell a story about the nativity.
Some of our traditions are purely for fun, like decorating gingerbread houses or heading into the city to see the giant tree at the QVB. We did some crafts, went to carols in our neighbourhood, attended our playgroup's Christmas festival, and spent lots of time with friends.
I surprised myself how excited I was about the holidays this year. I ended up decorating most of our apartment, including Clementine's bedroom with this gorgeous sheet set and quilt from Pottery Barn Kids. I also got the girls matching reindeer jammies and they were thrilled. Of course, on the actual day of Christmas, emotions run high and it wasn't all peace and rainbows. But because I was expecting that, and because most of my focus had been on the lead up, I was ok with it. The girls got a few special gifts (we're pretty minimal with our gifting) and Hazel was so excited she kept shouting, "Merry and Kissmas!" So thankful for these girls of mine who snapped me out of my 9 year Christmas in Australia funk!