I'm thinking that if I say 'Happy Holidays' maybe some of you won't notice that I'm posting about Christmas on the 26th. Maybe someday that magic Christmas will swing around when I do everything on time, even a blog post. At this point, I just consider getting presents under the tree without losing my sanity to be relative success. Speaking of trees, we finally have one! Would you consider it pathetic or economical that this is our first Christmas tree in 5 1/2 years of marriage? I'm not counting the foot tall one that we bought a few years back for our old, even tinier, apartment.
To be truthful, you can basically chalk it up to just plain moping, really. I found myself stuck in that phase where you're secretly hoping that you'll wake up on Christmas morning 10 years old again surrounded by that Christmas magic that only mom knows how to make. I think I would self-pitied my grown up responsible self to the end of time if something hadn't come along to kick my butt out of that grinch-like hole. And that something was Livie. Suddenly I am now the mom who is supposed to make the Christmas magic and while I was able to still retain a slight grinch-like inclination for her first Christmas, I figured this one as a toddler might be slightly less acceptable to skimp on. Considering my stress levels just before Christmas break, I probably went just a tad overboard (proof of that in my unfinished advent calendar below):
But overall I am glad that I got out of my grinch mode and started/continued a Christmas tradition or two...
One of the things I got super excited about was finally getting a nativity scene! I have awesome memories of following Mary and Joseph along in our house as they "made their way" to the stable and awaiting manger (aka a spot on the living room shelf). I wanted that kind of experience for Livia as well--something that I enjoyed looking at but was easy for her to interact with; a nativity that she could play with to her little aggressive toddler heart's content. Enter peg dolls from Etsy! Seriously, I'm in love. They're super cute and I don't have to worry about her breaking anything. The "stable" is a wall shelf in the shape of a house that I found at a craft fair.
Then I indoctrinated Liva in the ways of the motherland (aka Albany) by making our family's Christmas sugar cookies with her. Of course, in real life she doubles not only as a professional baker but also food inspector so here she is "testing" the merchandise. We tried decorating them together but that resulted in lots more eating while I decorated. :)
A frenchie Christmas tradition that we started up a few years back is to make the annual hike to our local marché de noël. It takes place in a business district called La Defense (hence the skyscrapers) every December and is a fun warm up to Christmas.
I mean, where else do you get to see a giant pink pig on top of a wine barrel, right?
Yes, French kids write letters to Santa too, just in case you where wondering....
This, though, is the reason we go to the Christmas market. Vin Chaud and French hot dogs. Vin Chaud, which literally means 'hot wine', is like the Christmas grown up version of spiced cider here. I am literally salivating just thinking about it. Red wine + mulled Christmas spices = fabulousness.
So there you have it: some of the Christmasy things we've been up to lately. Currently we're in Nantes soaking up the rest of the holiday break with Matt's family (more on that next time!) before it's back to the daily grind. Hope you're having a fabulous holiday season!