Christmas 2022 is in the review mirror. There is always so much anticipation for Christmas and then it’s over in what seems like a blink! I love the whole Christmas season. We make the celebration unfold over the course of December (and maybe even some of November). Our December started off with a full calendar, but the second half of our month has been slower. We’ve been home with extra time to bake treats, read books, and play games. The week after Christmas is always a fun one as the kids jump from new toy to new toy. There is always something to do (or in my case, always something to read)!
Let’s chat about Christmas! This year we opted to do all our family gatherings in two days. In years past we’ve gathered over multiple weekends to accommodate schedules, but this year it worked to do our Christmas celebrations on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, we gathered with my parents and sister to have brunch and open presents. After dinner, the boys opened their presents from Jeremy and I and their gifts to each other. We don’t always follow the “something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read” strategy, but this year we were close to it. Each kid got a LEGO set, a board game, pajamas, and a book. Board games don’t fall under the need category, but growing our game collection is always fun!
Christmas morning the boys opened their stockings from Santa. They had some time to pull out their new toys and play before we hit the road to visit GG (Great Grandma) and my extended family (who live about an hour away). We do a kids’ gift exchange where the kids draw a name and shop for each other. My boys drew the names of two of our younger cousins which means I got the joy of buying books for littles. Toddler/preschool books are some of my favorite. Even though I’m no longer an Usborne Books & More consultant, I still love book shopping with them. After a visit up north, we took off for a meal of appetizers and a gift exchange with Jeremy’s family. Once the gifts were opened, the kids settled in for cousin play time while the menfolk settled in for a game of Lord of the Rings Risk.
We have a tradition of shopping the day after Christmas. Jeremy and I have reached an age where most of our “gifts” come in envelopes (which I totally have no problem with). We enjoy hitting the stores after Christmas to see if we can score some good deals. Our stops this year included Costco, Target, Old Navy, Barnes & Noble, Macy’s, and Hallmark. The kids scored with their Christmas cash. Jeremy and I… not so much. I was so hopeful that Barnes & Noble would be a success for me, but sadly, the store was a zoo and I couldn’t find the books I had in mind. When we got home that evening I hopped on to Amazon and Thrift Books and came away with quite the book haul. I’m feeling much better now!
2022 is almost in the rearview mirror as well! I’m working on my thoughts for my book blog tomorrow. I’ve certainly reached my reading goal this year and then some… I have some thoughts on what I’d like to see happen in 2023, but nothing firmly decided. As I reflect on 2022, I’m thankful for the adventures we’ve had and the friends and family we’ve spent time with. 2022 started with pandemic restrictions and it’s been wonderful to move toward “normal” life again as the year unfolded. Coming back to in-person church and joining a homeschool co-op have been huge blessings in our weekly routine. 2022 has been a formative year as we imagine what life after the pandemic looks like. We’ve grown and changed so much over the last few years. It hasn’t always been comfortable, but the growth has been good. I’m very intrigued to see the direction of 2023. If anything, the pandemic has taught me cautious optimism. No matter what, God is good and we have so much to be thankful for. Happy (Almost) New Year!