Thursday, November 29, 2012

How much is too much?

  Every year I swear I am going to cut way back on gifts and instead focus on building memories and character. Every year I end up thinking I am not providing the "magical" Christmas experience that is expected by our society. Why do I do this? Every year I disappoint myself. My kids? They don't seem to care about the gifts really. Once they open them, it's game over.

  This year is going to be different. I booked us on the Polar Express train on the night before Christmas Eve. It is a real train that looks just like the train in the Polar Express movie. All the kids wear pajamas and watch the movie on the ride. The train travels out into the country about 40 minutes during which they serve hot cocoa and cookies and perform the song and dance for it. Then you reach a magical North Pole that is all lit up and get to meet Santa. He will have a special gift for my kids. Then we travel back to the station watching the second half of the movie. The best part? Kaytee and Ashley will be with us and I got all 5 kids matching holiday pajamas to wear. We are all so excited for this!!

  We have gingerbread houses to build and decorate. Giant gingerbread men I will bake and we can decorate and eat. We will be adopting a needy family and shopping together for them. Plus for the very first time we went to a tree farm and cut our own live tree. (Levi cut it down!)

  I am going to decorate much less, only put up the truly special decorations. Nothing outside this year. Frankly, with school and work plus being a Mom and wife, something has to give. The outside decorations are for others to see. We live on a cul-de-sac with no traffic. No one sees our decorations except us, and then only as we drive up to the house.

  My most memorable Christmas memories are of me, my mother, my Aunt Judy and my Grandmother coming together for a day of cookie baking. We each had baked some cookies to share and brought lots of dough. All day we laughed and baked and hugged and shared. Those are my best memories of the holidays. That is what I want to create for my children. Even now when I think about it I get teary eyed. I live so far away, my grandmother has passed, and the tradition is gone. But I have my memories!

To Memories!!!! A lifetime of hugs and smiles.....


Reba said...

Sounds like a wonderful Christmas of memories! I love the Polar Express idea. We have a similar thing here but not nearly as cool (it goes like 20 minutes then turns movies shown :). Maybe we need to travel to Texas. :)

Andrea said...

Long time blog stalker, first time commenter (I think). I've been thinking about this EXACT same thing. My best memories have nothing to do with toys, or the STUFF. It was about the times, the memories, and the fun. I would love to do a Polar Express train ride. Sounds like SO much fun! Enjoy!