I am waiting for a baby.
(Taken 10 days ago!)
But I am also trying to just enjoy this favorite season of the year, noticing the way certain things have become Christmas in our little family:
Enjoying our first December dinner with the flicker of candles in Advent wreath, reading the first of 24 little books telling the story of Jesus, and followed by a viewing of The Nativity Story (and cookies!)
Making cookies, and being sure to have a variety for tree-decorating night!
(Rum logs — add 1/2 tsp salt! –, Pepparkakor, and Chocolate Crackles. Coming soon: Peanut Butter Balls, for my favorite guy.)
Getting a tree, as soon as we can. Dashing through rows (that makes it sound tidy — not quite!) of trees, finding the “right” one. We don’t agonize too long: The right height, not prickly, a little bit wild. Done, settled, bring that baby home!
Music playing, softly each morning, more loudly during cookie decorating, and just plain old loud while tree-decking. I love filling the house with the sounds of Christmas, which for us have become Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, Luna Moon, The Cambridge Singers, The Nutcracker, and (when Ryan’s not home — he doesn’t get the same warm fuzzies as I do!), Sandi Patty.
A growing collection of books to read all month, which I put by the tree this year. I have it in my head that I will sit by that tree with a brand new baby, doing nothing but reading books to my other sweet babes. Even without that new baby, I’d say the arrangement is working out just fine. I am so happy to just read out loud while they eat it up.
There are so many favorites, but this year I’m being asked to read The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree on repeat.
Meals that aren’t fancy, but certainly feel that way when you add candles and a bit of holiday prettiness. It’s amazing how easy it is to linger a bit longer when there are cookies to pass around as the candles burn low. December forces a quick and complete embrace of short days and cozy evenings — things we’ll cling to long after the holiday bins have been stored back in the basement.
Corners of the house that the kids can almost arrange themselves, so familiar are the decorations and arrangements. Oh, I have to have a really good reason for changing the location of anything from year to year!
Anticipation that doesn’t have to be taught. It only takes a few Decembers to realize that these cookies, these songs, these books, these moments — they are special.