November at the Nielsen House was not such a great month. Three weeks of 2 sick kids and three weeks of ear infections in two kids. 2 of those weeks overlapping both sickness and ear infections. it was wonderful. Ok so that is a HUGE lie. December came in with great hope because all sickness was finally gone and my kids were happy.
Christmas with a four year old is a lot of fun. What a great age. Emily got up walked out behind me as quiet as she could be and said, "Um Mom. Look at all of that wrapping paper ( meaning can we open presents?). The excitement she was holding back was fun to see. Emily's list for Santa was a "Sophia the first dress up", a red dress and an "Easy Bake open the Oven". She got what she asked for and was so grateful for it. When she opened her Easy Bake Oven she was so excited you could feel the energy in the room triple.
Thomas was not quit into unwrapping this year. He looked at us like" yesterday I got into trouble for this and today you are encouraging this behavior ?" He got some home made building blocks. It was a little sentimental to me because as kids we had home made blocks from my Grandpa Saunders. Every time we play with them I cant help but think of the fun we had with ours.
My husband had a tradition when he was younger. His Grandma and Grandpa Summers would come watch them open their gifts and see what Santa left behind. So this year we invited Mitch's parents to come. Mitch said "If they take forever to get here I'm not making our kids wait". I guess his Grandma LaNae had to do her hair and makeup before she would go to watch the grandkids so she took quite a while. Mitch and his siblings would sit in the window and wait as patently as 4 boys can. I talked to my Mother-in-law about it later and she said it really wasn't all about waiting for Grandma and Grandpa though that was important to her. She also got a kick out of watching them worm and squirm while they wait.
This year I found myself wanting to start some family traditions of our own. So I started looking around for some fun things to do like making sugar cookies and watching "Polar Express" on Christmas Eve. Elf On The Shelf, making candy, sledding, going to Temple Square to see the lights, what to have for Christmas Breakfast. I found myself getting so into making memories that I was thinking what should we be doing next what should I be doing to make things better. It got to the point that it was ridiculous. I was stressing about everything and nothing all at the same time. I didn't take the time to enjoy the moment. I didn't even take pictures to keep the memories. It is funny how fast something so wonderful and fun can turn into something so stressful only due to our own craziness and selfishness to some degree. Needless to say next year Christmas Eve will be spent playing with cousins, sledding, and games. Navajo tacos and hot Chocolate for dinner. I cant say I didn't enjoy the season because that's is just not true. I got to see so many smiles, love and kindness I can honestly say December is ending on a wonderful note.