Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas preparations, family traditions, and the joy of the season

Yes, I'm still here, though I'm caught up in the Christmas rush. My list might look familiar to most of you, though I feel like I'm a bit behind on a couple of things.
  • I started decorating a couple of weeks ago with Christmas garland and snowflake window clings.
  • Lights are mostly up. We still have a string of lights to add to the outside of the house, but there are color-changing stars and flickering candles in the front windows. I love Christmas lights! My son is thrilled as well; we're hearing a lot of, "iiight, iiight!"
  • The tree has been up for a while, but it only had lights and our star topper on it until last night. The photo at right is a cell phone snap of my work-in-progress. I'll be putting on the finishing touches over the coming evenings.
  • Goodies (Christmas and birthdays) packed and mailed to Korea for my parents. The postage was painful, but I like knowing that they'll have something from home to celebrate the holidays.
  • Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers went out to my sister and her family yesterday. The post office loves me!
  • We have our Christmas cards, personalized with photos of our family, but we still need to get them ready for mailing.
  • I'm working on the third edition of our family cookbook, which will be released on or around Christmas.
  • I made Red Velvet cake for an office holiday party and plan on making it again for my Newsletter Committee. The red looks so festive, particularly with the addition of green-tinted sugar crystals. More baking and cooking to come over the holiday.
I also planned a Christmas art project to do with my son. Last year we made clay ornaments with his hand and foot impression. This year it's a snowflake-shaped blank ornament for him to color. It will be more of a scribble, but he loves crayons so markers should be even more fun. I plan to make this a Christmas tradition, choosing a project each year that suits his interests and development level.

I still need to purchase a couple of gifts, but I'm almost done. The gift-wrapping frenzy will commence this weekend. It's a task I enjoy, but not all at once, so I will be working on it over several days. Hopefully I can put my house in order and get rid of the excess boxes (saved for wrapping purposes) before my husband's family arrive on December 23rd.

We will have our Christmas feast and present unwrapping on Christmas Eve night. I'll have my camera charged and ready to snap lots of pictures, particularly of my 20-month-old toddler. My son was too little to really understand last year (he fell asleep in the midst of the package unwrapping), but this year he'll be in the thick of it. Don't tell, but Daddy and Mommy are giving him red wagon for Christmas. Good thing he can't read yet (though books, "buk, buk," are one of his favorite things).

In the midst of the rush, I try to remain mindful of the true spirit of the season. Often, all I need to do is to take a look through my son's eyes. His joyful exclamations over Christmas lights and decorations, giggles and grins while reading Christmas stories, and cheerful insistence on praying after reading are all reminders of the joy of this special, family-oriented season. 

What are you doing as Christmas approaches, and what are your plans for celebrating? I'd also love to hear about your family traditions. We wouldn't mind adding a few new traditions of our own.


  1. Beautifully said, Jimi. Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. You're welcome! I'm glad that you enjoyed my rambling.

  3. That red velvet cake looks and sounds yummy..I don't like christmas cake so never make one, could this be used as an alternative?!

  4. I think your Christmas cake should be what you like, so I don't see why you can't make the red velvet instead of the Christmas cake/fruitcake. I did.