The other day Gigi was rummaging under the Christmas tree, looking through the beautifully wrapped presents. Feeling her desire to peek I told her, "Gigi, if you can't wait until Christmas Day to open your presents, I am going to have to take them away". She looked at me and said matter-of-factly, "Just like the Grinch did!"
Yes, the Grinch.
I've definitely had some grinchy moments during the weeks before Christmas - the result of trying to do too much without taking the circumstances of my life into consideration - but I think that Christmas 2012 will have some real highlights that don't include my grinchiness.
Here are a few things I hope to remember:
This year we chose a real tree for our home. My mom offered to subsidize a real living breathing tree if we would retire our 3-foot artificial tree this season. It was the perfect year to have the fragrant gorgeous tree in our home - Gigi is 2 and a half, and loved decorating and smelling the branches, and baby Orion is too small to cause mayhem.
We picked out our tree, and Gigi wanted to pay for it with her Chinese yuan bills that were remnants of my time living in China. After Marcos paid with American currency the cashier humored Gigi and took her money. It was a good first transaction.
Gigi also finished up her ballet class. We were hoping to have her enrolled again in the spring, but Miss Camielle is expecting a baby and will sadly not be teaching dance anymore. I need to look into options at our local Y and community rec center...
One of our new favorite activities in the weeks leading up to Christmas this year was making treats for our local Firefighters. Gigi, Livy and Emerson loved unwrapping the candies. One on the tray, one in the mouth, one on the tray, one in the mouth...
And then we packaged up our treats and took them over to the fire station. The firefighters were endlessly kind, and took the kiddos for a tour of the station, and let them climb the engines.
The Grandmas had ample opportunity to love on Orion...
And on the beautiful days, we took advantage of the fine weather and took Gigi outside to play. This day was particularly fun. We took Gigi out for pizza and then went to the park. Marcos scored some truly beautiful photos with the new camera.
And of course there was cookie-making. We decided on Torie's Cherry Chocolate-Chunk cookies, and they did not disappoint. One evening we went caroling to a few of our favorite neighbors and took them bags of our cookies. It was a very nice way to interact with our neighbors, and Giovanna did not want to go home when we were finished. She would have happily caroled all night.
And that was just a snapshot of the weeks gearing up to Christmas Eve. Next up: our Mary and Joseph Dinner and a great Christmas Day!