We're back home and slowing getting back into the swing of things. We had a marvelous time with friends and family and are excited for the new year ahead of us.
We do however, have a slight pang of reluctance as we take all our Christmas decor down and reminisce on the scenes of this past season.
Little O is especially reluctant and manages to put back up all decor that I begin to take down.
I can't help but relate to his stubborness and decide to give in a little, letting our little shrub of a Christmas tree stay up...just a bit longer.
We've had a wonderful season full of creating, gifting, pondering, stuffing our faces, laughing and lounging with family friends, magic, delight and joy. I find that as I grow older, it's the season itself that is the greatest gift for me. Christmas day is always a joy, full of magic and wonder, but it's the time preceding that day that I treasure most.
And it's the season that I have a hard time letting go of...more and more...each and every year... Is it because my children are growing older I wonder? And each year signifies another beautiful year of childhood passing along?
Well, whatever the case, a good season we did have. The boys were delighted with all the magic and wonder and Jon and I couldn't have asked for more (except, perhaps, for more time to squeeze in all the creative ideas that seem to overflow within us this time of year!).
We've really enjoyed starting new family traditions and I have to report that the book advent was a smashing success. Little A was especially into it and every morning he'd wake up and rush first to our random acts of advent calendar to pull out his and Little O's candy for the day and then quickly rush to open the corresponding book for that day. Both boys would then bring the book to us in bed and look at it while we would unsuccessfully try to catch a few more morning Z's. Then later that evening, after the boys were ready for bed, we'd sit down and read the book together. It was such fun. My favorite was probably when we read The Nutcracker and I let the boys ceremoniously hold our little nutcracker doll during the duration of the story. They don't normally get to play with this guy so it was quite a treat for them and they handled him with almost a reverential manner (this also helped them sit still through the long story).
We also put up a small tree in the boys room this year and they loved having 5 minutes of Christmas lights on as they drifted off to sleep each night.
I had so much fun with the little touches this season and some of my favorites were secondhand scores, like these vintage deer found at the beginning of this post.
We also dug Jon's old record player out of storage and we've been listening to an assortment of retro holiday tunes all season long. I've so loved having the crackling, nostalgic sound resonating throughout our home.
Needless to say, we had a great Christmas and after I share just a few more things with you, such our our zero dollar gift exchange for this past year, I'll be sure to jump right back into 2012! (Which I'm truthfully very excited about!).