Saturday, December 8, 2012

Counting Christmas

There certainly are a lot of things to count during the holiday season.

When I was growing up, I spent the days leading up to Christmas anticipating and counting down the days until Christmas Eve fine-ah-lee arrived. It seemed to take forever and now, well, where DID the time go?

When the lovelies were growing up, I counted the days until school was out for Christmas break (yes, I'm aware that it's officially called 'winter break', but I call it Christmas break) so we could relax and enjoy making our family traditions.

 I've counted our Christmas ornaments, the pieces in my Santa collection, my nativity collection and my Christmas village collection which always leads me to wonder where the heck I find a place for it all in our tiny house.

We count cheese and olives balls and sausage balls every year because we can't believe we sit there and roll that many individual balls that are devoured in a matter of minutes.

No one bothers counting the number of times I listen to Christmas music because- 1. I have been known to listen to it year 'round so they don't know where to begin counting or where to stop and -2. The can't count that high.

It's a similar situation with Christmas themed movies. Especially Love Actually and Christmas Vacation and all those Dickens' inspired titles.

The lovelies still enjoy counting the number of presents under the tree. But I think that's just used as an excuse to pick up the presents so they can see the name of the recipients. I used to use codes- either made up names or numbers or letters- instead of names so they wouldn't know which gifts were for whom. And every year- EVERY. YEAR.- they were able to decode my cleverness.

They also keep up with the number of times each one has been the finder of the hidden pickle ornament. Breezy and BestSonInLawEVER are in the lead. This does not make Deanie, Bridie or DoodleBug very holiday spirited.

These days, I spend a lot of time counting down the days and hours and minutes until all the lovelies will be back under our family roof to celebrate Christmas. And, when everyone is here, I count the number of times they lift my spirits, fill my heart with complete joy and the house with laughter. I count the number of times I am grateful that they act so crazy no matter how old they get and that they get closer and closer to one another with each and every passing year. I count the number of times that I am grateful for their hilarity; spontaneity; helpfulness; kindness... 

These are the things I hold in my heart.

And they are the things that make Christmas so very special in our family.

What makes Christmas special in your family?


  1. Great post. I love the idea of trying to code the present labels. Cute idea. In our Christmas tree we hide the "Christmas frog". Long story. Lol

  2. Loved all the pictures of the Lovelies especially with Santa. I used to do the same with my kids to take them to get pictures with Santa so I could see how much they grew from year to year :)

    I love all the things you counted; too cute with your code for presents. The surprise was always on all of us Christmas morning opening gifts; I had wrapped their gifts so far in advance I often forgot what was in something for them that it was like a new gift for me too :)

    I know you will enjoy your time with them come Christmas when you are all together!

    Did I share this here already,if I did forgive me, senior moment, but my most favorite time was Christmas morning after breakfast when hubby and me would be cleaning up and son and daughter would go into the room with the tree/gifts and sort the presents into piles for everyone. Then before opening gifts we would read from the Bible (usually Luke chapter 2) and then say a prayer thanking God for Jesus and then we would open presents one at a time like we did in my house growing up. It was neat just watching everyone's faces opening gifts, getting what they hoped for.


  3. Love the pics!! Sounds like some wonderful family traditions. For us, we are starting some new ones, with two men joining us on this Christmas. So exciting!

  4. Kim- The Christmas frog? I MUST hear this story! Have you posted about it?

    betty- Thank you! We only recently stopped having pictures taken with Santa and it was only because everyone can't always get here for Thanksgiving. My mother forgets what's in packages she's wrapped too. Sometimes she forgets that she's hidden something and we find it years later! We all get such a laugh out of it. No, you hadn't shared that! When I was growing up, I always read Luke, chapter 2 at my grandparents house! We've tried opening up gifts one at a time but we just can't contain ourselves. LOL

    Betty- Thanks! I can't wait to hear all about your new traditions and to see all the pictures! Your family has grown!

  5. What a great post with your memories of Christmases past, and lovely to see all those photos of the lovelies as they were growing up. I love all your collections by the way!

  6. Diane- Thank you! We have such a great time during the holidays. My mother is responsible for the collections. I get new Santas and nativities every year. But I've run out of room to put them all out.

  7. Ah,this post was awesome,photos and writing, just loved it :)

  8. I love your Santa collection and your village is beautiful. I love the pictures you shared. I definitely have to go through my photos. Traditions change a little bit as they get older. We love opening one gift at a time and it last for hours. We all love that!
    Our newest tradition is decorating Gingerbread houses on Christmas day.

  9. I loved seeing the old pictures especially. I've been pulling some out for a post I hope to get to later this week. I'm struggling to squeeze in blogging this month.

    When you see those old photos it does feel like it went by in the blink of an eye, doesn't it? Enjoy your week!


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