The past few days have definitely put me in a bah-humbug sort of mood. The toddler has had a sleep regression that involves screaming whenever he is put down in his crib. There have been late nights, and interrupted nights. Or early mornings — pick your poison. My husband took his first international business trip since the pandemic started and so I have had a real monopoly on the opportunities as far as toddler sleep issues are concerned.
Fortunately he did go down at 7:30 p.m. last night (if he was up again at 11 p.m….) which was good because I needed to record a ton of Before Breakfast episodes. I haven’t been able to do this during the day because my neighbors are putting on a new roof and hence the workers bang and run machinery intermittently from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
Did I mention that I am recovering from a cold? Not Covid, but not fun either.
The high schooler was supposed to take the bus this week (since I was on solo duty in the early mornings) but something went wrong two days in a row and I needed to load the three youngest kids into the van (waking two of them) to drive him to school.
I have also spent 1-2 hours on house stuff daily — including such fun activities as re-selecting carpets after realizing my first choices were not good.
So, even though it might seem a bit premature, I have been making Christmas plans. I put together my annual holiday fun list. I have been buying tickets and making reservations. For me, at least, knowing I have fun stuff coming up makes a not-so-great week feel better. I have something to look forward to! Here’s what I plan to do this year to celebrate the season:
Get matching family pajamas. They are ordered! We will open them on Christmas Eve (or the day before) I imagine, and take our family picture. I know that the 12-year-old in particular will wear them once for the picture solely as a favor to me and then never wear them again, but oh well.
See LumiNature at the zoo. I wound up purchasing tickets in advance for a lot of holiday light shows in November. I figure that the weather might be slightly warmer than in December and November weekends tend to be less busy than December ones. Plus, it stretches out the holiday fun! So we’re going to the zoo display soon. We will also go see Longwood Christmas and the holiday railway at Morris Arboretum over Thanksgiving weekend. (I may wind up getting a ticket to see Longwood solo too, as I did last year — it’s a nice family activity but sometimes the kids don’t want to linger in the same way I do…)
Take the boys to the Nutcracker. The performance is back on this year! Seeing this ballet is one of the annual events that really makes Christmas feel like Christmas to me. My two eldest children, interestingly, were the ones who raised their hands to go. We’ve got tickets (and our vaccine cards for the theater).
Go to a handful of in-person holiday parties. My husband has two festive work-related events we will be attending. Alas, between the fifth baby and the pandemic I’m not sure my festive dresses (dating back to 2018 at this point) fit me, so I will add dress shopping to the holiday fun list.
Go out for dinner for my birthday. My parents are coming to celebrate during the day (ok, the day before — my “birthday eve?”) and then stay with the kids while my husband and I go out.
Play Christmas carols on the piano. I’ll need to use the upright piano at the current house as the workmen are still pounding away over at the new one. (Much banging…I suppose my neighbors’ roof is payback for what we’ve put our neighbors at the new place through…).
Make the Lego Christmas set with whichever children wish to participate. I’m debating when to start this one as I don’t want to have small pieces and an in-progress project out while we’re showing the house. But maybe soon.
Buy holiday flowers for the house. We will need to put the poinsettias up high so babies and dogs don’t get into them. My daughter asked that I put “decorate for Christmas” generally on this list. We’ll get a tree of course, and put a wreath on the door. She wants to wrap her bedroom door in wrapping paper. This reminds me that I need to go to Costco to supplement the wrapping paper supply.
Read Christmas stories with the kids. Five kids and fourteen years in, we have a fine collection of Christmas stories. I just bought Mr. Willoughby’s Christmas Tree and the Fletcher Christmas book so we’ll add those to the list.
Visit the live nativity at church. Kind of like going to the zoo and church at the same time, I guess? There’s no Christmas pageant this year, so this will be our main Christmas service for the kids. I may sing in the Christmas Eve service of lessons and carols. They’re still limiting how many people can be in the choir loft so we will see if I make the cut…
What’s on your holiday fun list?