I am not the best at living life purposefully. I should be, since I've read enough books on it...but given my own nature, I tend to live fairly haphazardly. It actually works pretty well for me, except when it doesn't.
In order to not miss out on anything in the month of December, I decided to be purposeful about our celebrating of Christmas (as purposeful as I get, anyways.)
I made lists. Hundreds of them, mostly to-do, to-buy, to-bake etc. But the most important one I made was a sort of bucket list of December. Specific things to do by myself and as a family before the season was over. The overall encompassing part for me, was to enjoy the moment of each thing. Suck the marrow out of every single second, because there is one thing that 2011 taught me...a new moment is never guaranteed.
The List (parts of it)
#1 - Go chop down a real tree.
Their faces say it all. After about 3.2 minutes the boys kept saying "Pick a tree already, they all look the same!" I made them linger awhile, just for good measure. After all, I'm the mom, it's my job to do my best at searing this experience into their memory.
#2 - Picture With Santa
We don't even do Santa, but they certainly need a picture with him. :) Lucy is 19 months here. She was totally willing to sit on him since he gave her a candy cane.
#3 - Be Amazed
#4 - Enjoy the Hodge-Podge Christmas Tree
Little Miss couldn't help but mess with the ornaments. We reached an amicable agreement by just leaving the ornaments on the top half of the tree.
#5 - Family Date Night/Driving Around to Look at Christmas Lights
We went to a favorite pizza joint. The waitress spilled the entire, enormous glass of ice-water right on Ben's lap. We laughed so hard. She ended up giving us our appetizer for free. The boys congratulated their Dad for "taking one for the team." We'll likely remember that for years to come. Afterwards we drove around eating home-made treats and admired peoples Christmas lights.
#6 - Bake Stuff
Boy did I. I got a new mixer for my birthday/Christmas. It just makes baking so much more fun. I tried a bunch of stuff from Pinterest. It was a Pinterest Christmas for sure. One of the favorites was home-made cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. New tradition.
#7 - Church
Our church family is just that...family. We spent time on a Sunday evening after church, putting up the quirky decorations, eating brownies with peppermint frosting, drinking hot chocolate and laughing together until my sides hurt. It was one of my favorite parts of this season.
Also on my list this year was not planning the Christmas program. A good friend volunteered and did an amazing job.
#8 - Take Group Shots
I failed miserably at this last year. In the moment, it's such a pain to make everyone gather around and do it, but it's so worth it later!
So, you get the idea of what some of the list was. There were several things on the list that didn't get done, but this year that was by choice...rather than forgetfulness. It felt good.
I'm in the process of making one for the rest of winter, spring and summer too. I don't want to forget these moments.