Now that it is officially December Christmas seems so close!! We put up our Christmas tree and lights, manger scene and light-up Santa. We don't usually go all-out for Christmas, but this year we have more lights and decorations than we ever have, and I have to say I love it. Holly also loves it, and every time she passes any kind of Christmas light or decoration she pauses and says, "It is sooo beauty-ful." We really don't have many Christmas traditions yet, but one that we started a few years ago was to decorate the tree listening to Bing Croby's Christmas Album, and then have Taco Soup and Egg Nog for dinner. This year it was even cold enough to feel like Christmas, and then as a bonus we got snow today!! (After I mocked Target for replacing the rake aisle with snow shovels, saying, "How much snow do we really get?")
Holly is still trying to figure out how Jesus, Santa, and Christmas all tie together. Today she was telling me she wanted a purple and green vacuum. Then she thought about it and said, "Maybe Christmas will get one for me?"
We had a really nice Thanksgiving, aside from the fact that I was sick most of the week. The only good thing about it was that it took my mind off missing Joseph. The really hard part for me was opening up our box of ornaments when we started decorating the tree. I hadn't realized how many ornaments we had for him. There were a couple I had made for him, then a couple with his picture inside, then a few that had all of our names on them. The one that really got me was one with a picture of when he was five months old and Mimi and I thought it would be so cute to put him inside a stocking. It really is a cute picture, but it just made me sad that we won't get to do silly things like that anymore.
I loved getting to spend time with my parents and siblings and their children. One night all my sisters and brothers and I went out to dinner without spouses, something I don't think we have ever done. We had a lot of fun, and I laughed more than I have in a long time. We talked about "Love Languages," of all things, which just made us all really bellyache as we tried to figure out Sam and David's.
Cousin Bella is staying in Nashville for a few days, and Holly loves having a little playmate around. Bella took a nap over here today and she and Holly slept in the same bed for 2 hours. I couldn't believe they did it. After nap I got them a snack, then Holly got them both a box of raisins (one of her and Joseph's favorite snacks). Bella told her that she didn't like raisins and Holly just couldn't believe it. "Just try them! You DO like them." She was practically force-feeding her before I told her that there are people in the world who don't like raisins, and Bella didn't have to eat them. I just thought it was hilarious that Holly was trying to convince her that she really did like them. "They're juicy and sweet!" she said. I can't bear to tell her that they aren't my favorite snack either.
I hope all of you are having fun decorating for Christmas and shopping for or making gifts. A friend of mine dropped over an Advent Calendar today, the kind with the chocolate behind each day (Thanks, Katie!!). That was one of my favorite things to do as a child, so I'm excited to start doing it with Holly. The girl has a serious sweet tooth like her mommy, so I'm sure she will love it. Hope you all are enjoying some fun traditions, too. Stay warm and enjoy those Christmas lights!