Taking in the lights (holiday update)

I posted my holiday fun list a few weeks ago, and I’m happy to report that we are methodically moving through it. Since December weekends often wind up a bit full, I got the idea to push many of our holiday light display visits into November weekends. November is also less wintry than December — good for being outside!

We have now seen LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo, the Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum, and Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens. I’m glad we saw all of them, though with the kids, it’s important to keep expectations in check. Nothing is ever fun for the whole family for the entire time. However, we’ve generally been making the family go for walks most weekends anyway, and walks with lights and Christmas trees are better than walks without lights and Christmas trees. So there’s that.

Now that December is upon us, Sassy the Elf has returned. I just hope Sassy has the good sense not to perch anywhere that Max the puppy can reach, since that could go horribly for everyone. We have a torn-up Nerf football that could attest to that. The 12-year-old and 10-year-old and I are building the Lego Christmas house. The Christmas cards arrived, featuring our November family photo shoot. My husband has sent his half. I have yet to send mine. Someday.

We got the Christmas tree over Thanksgiving weekend. In the interest of keeping it away from Max (well, and the toddler) I decided to put it in the front entry way, outside the puppy gates, instead of in the family room. Since it is in the entry way, I was also able to enforce an “only white lights and no broken or tacky ornaments rule.” As a result the tree actually looks nice! I quite like this set-up. Perhaps in the future we’ll do two trees. A sophisticated one for me and the kids can have a smaller one with whatever color lights and ornaments they want to stick on it.

I have been having moving companies come by to give estimates on moving our stuff. This has really made me interested in having less stuff under the tree for Christmas, but at least one attempt backfired. I decided the older children could do a Secret Santa gift exchange for each other, rather than giving presents to all their siblings. People agreed, and then this brought out every negative sibling dynamic that exists in this house. Within a day people had broken secrecy, taunted others with broken secrecy, etc. So we’re back to giving everyone presents. Oh well.


3 thoughts on “Taking in the lights (holiday update)

  1. We do 2 trees and I can whole-heartedly recommend it. The “main” tree is a pretty one in the living room that I have some control over. This is where Santa leaves the presents. The second is smaller and goes in the playroom/family room and the kids decorate it with no input from me as they see fit. It is much better than relegating the not so pretty ornaments to the back of the tree.

  2. We used to do a cousins gift exchange where everyone drew names. This was fraught with emotion and disappointments sometimes. I fully sympathize.

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