Somehow I feel like we're busy, yet not busy during this season. We've been doing activities at home and as a family, yet not stressing out about what to buy for whom, or where to get what gift.
We decided to stay home for Christmas, and told R's mom we were staying home. However, we know she really wants to see the boys so tomorrow morning we're driving up tomorrow to suprise her. I can't wait to see her face! I'm bringing the fixings for the Christmas meal I was making at home, and going to cook dinner for her and SIL and her children too.
R's working today and the day after Christmas. He has work to do, and the boys and I will find something to do on both days. I'm thinking about taking them to McDs, or the mall to run around, or maybe we'll stay home. Crowds don't scare me, even w/ the three kids. All we're looking for is a place to go (and unlike the house, it can't be torn upside down inside out within minutes!) We may also make some more cookies (somehow they keep disappearing!) and bring some to our neighbors. I'm just going with the flow, nothing really pressing to do, except enjoy being with the kids.
Tonight, we may go to church services, either as a family or R by himself. Depends on what time R gets home, and the mood of the boys. If not as a family, R may go to Midnight Mass, and I'll stay home w/ the sleeping kids.
I plan on hitting the stores the day after Christmas, its a tradition me and my sister started a long time ago. We always were amused with the return lines, how people talked about what they got (or didn't get) as a present-for us being Jewish, we never grew up putting so much emphasis on one day-one that has clearly become more commercialized and materialistic. Even for Hanukkah, w/ the idea of having gifts for 8 days, its always been a focus on doing activities, never on material items. R and I are continuing it with the boys too, using money we could have used on presents to fund a music and dance class in the spring.
At the same time, I always loved the sales that came after-and if I really needed or wanted something, I bought it then, not before the holiday. I distinctly remember R's niece being shocked one year at how I scored a ton of clothes and goods the day after Christmas-more than I would have had I shopped weeks before, if only because it didn't cross my mind to exchange gifts soley on Christmas. Well, this year is no different (even though my sister and I live apart). We're both going to scout the sales, buy all our holiday stuff for next year, including cards, lights, and my fav, buying the boys their ornament for next year. It blows my mind how much people spend beforehand on the same stuff, whereas I always get more than enough but at 75% off. I have a few gift cards from my surveys, and I'll buy toys ahead of time for birthdays. I'll pack lunch for me and the boys, and we'll have a good time.
I'm not going to get stressed out, because really, there's no point in it. If we need something great, but if we don't get it, no big deal. The one thing I keep getting reminded of on a daily basis is that we have a lot to be thankful for, a lot more than others, and that's really what I want to teach the boys.
So enjoy the holidays everyone. Hope you're relaxed as I am!