*So we've started some Christmas decorating around here!! And now I can hardly wait to finish up and have my tree up and Christmas lights everywhere and experience all things Christmas in our new house! While I'm not one to skip over Thanksgiving or neglect turkey day at all, I have noticed after years and years of waiting until after Thanksgiving to pull everything out for Christmas that I like decorating early and a little at a time. It's easier on me and I'm not as worn out or stressed out trying to get it all done at once. Plus I love having Christmas up for as long as possible. So slowly but surely we're getting things out. Our living room tree definitely won't be up and ready until after Thanksgiving but hopefully the majority of the house will be just about done before we celebrate around the table with lots of food, family, and counting of blessings. =)
*We've also put in our Christmas card order to our favorite most wonderful graphic designer, Megan. She does the BEST work and we're super excited to send out this year's card. Megan also did our Fall family pictures for us so she is multi-talented. =) (I can't wait to share pics!!) I know Christmas cards can sometimes get a bad rap because of "showcasing" your family or trying to send out the perfect picture even though life is far from perfect or even spending too much on outfits, photography sessions, and the cards themselves. (No worries about cost when Terrell Selph is involved because he will make sure our spending is as low as possible, haha.) But personally, I love sending out cards and I love receiving them in the mail. I send them out because I really want to and enjoy it so much. I want friends and family to know we're thinking of them and I want them to have an updated picture of my family. Especially out of town family and old friends from Covington. I think everybody knows our life is often chaotic and adventure filled and far, far from perfect! Ha! Christmas cards are a fun tradition for us and it's something we enjoy doing year after year. So hopefully nobody is offended by ours. =)
*I mentioned last week or the week before that we're in the process of finalizing Christmas lists. Both ours and the boys. The way we do Christmas gifts for the kiddos is that Santa leaves unwrapped gifts out for them to find Christmas morning and then they get a couple of wrapped gifts from us. Plus they each have a stocking. Wellll, this year we're attempting to do a little less for the boys in terms of Santa gifts. (I feel like we say that every year, haha.) Hope the boys aren't scarred or disappointed! They just get SO much at Christmas anyway that it's hard to justify getting them tons from Santa just for the sake of them, well, getting tons from Santa. I think Terrell and I both are a little attached to our own childhood memories of Christmas mornings and seeing lots of toys and presents waiting for us. So we want that for our kids. But in reality we end up giving them stuff just because we want them to have a lot... which isn't good for the wallet, toy space, or our boys truly appreciating all they have. Honestly, even though we're self conscious about it, I think we've realized that we actually are giving them similar experiences to our own and they are definitely getting plenty.
This is such a first world problem. Sigh. I mean things are tight for us this Christmas but we still have the option of giving our kiddos lots from their wish lists. We just want to tone down a little on Santa and still get them 2 or 3 things each from us. I really like the way Andrea at Momfessionals does Santa and gifts for her kids so that's kind of what we're shooting for this year. We don't have a "big" gift for every kid but we do have a couple of things that will be out from Santa plus 2 or 3 things that will be wrapped from us.
*Now when it comes to shopping we try to do as much as possible online. It's just easier, faster, and more convenient. However, for those items that we need to buy in person, we take care of those whenever possible. Terrell goes shopping on his lunch breaks sometimes. (I love him. =)) Sometimes I make a nap time run on the weekends. Sometimes I'm desperate and take my children with me shopping. Sometimes we have the grandparents baby-sit. (We really try to limit this one to just once because all of the grandparents work full time and have shopping to do themselves.) And this year we may take advantage of a fundraiser our Children's Program at church is doing and drop off the kiddos for a morning. For the most part, online shopping is our definite preference. We are slowly but surely making progress on our gift buying. We're planning a little shopping trip this weekend and are ordering things online almost daily. We aren't finishing as soon as I would like but we're making good progress!
*Thanksgiving Break is coming up for us next week and other than a dentist appointment for me and Garrison, my plans with kiddos before Thanksgiving Day mainly includes getting their trees up in their rooms. =) This is one of their favorite traditions. They LOVE decorating a Christmas tree (and stress me out each year when they help with the big family tree) but they love having their Christmas tree on every night at bedtime even more. It just puts us all in the Christmas spirit and makes us enjoy the season even more.
On Thursday we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving with both of our families. It's a really full day but also such a blessing. We are always so thankful we can see both sides of the family on holidays and that our kids get to see both sets of grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and great grandparents. Then on Thursday or Friday afternoon depending on weather and other factors, we'll go pick out our Christmas tree with my parents. Another favorite tradition! And the weekend will be spent decorating the tree and finalizing touches on the house. We are sooo looking forward to our Thanksgiving Break, extra time with family, and preparing for Advent. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!