Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Santa Claus and Snowmen

January 11, 2012

And Christmases (known to most as Christmas trees).  These were the words I heard springing daily from the mouth of my sweet Aiden as Christmas crept up on us this year and then swiftly flew right on by.  He was in love with the lights and the music and didn’t care two licks about the presents.  In fact in the days leading up to Christmas, we had unwrapped presents lying around in bags all over the house (I wish I was exaggerating *hangs head in shame*) and not ONE.SINGLE.TIME did Aiden mess with them or at least stop to wonder what all those toys were doing in the hall.  And our bedroom.  And the kitchen.  At one point Dan likened it to a dog that he used to know that was fed so often from the table that when bacon was dropped out of his reach, he was too lazy to go over and get it.  Several times in the course of Christmas morning when asked if he would like to open another present, his response was “No, I too busy” (To be fair, he’s too busy for a lot these days.  Where does he get this stuff?).

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At our neighborhood Christmas breakfast, this guy walked straight up to Santa at the mere mention of his name before Dan could get the camera and before I got Emily over there (only breaking in front of a couple of very understanding people in line). He was very comfortable in his lap, but not a word was spoken.
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Anyways, in true Louche fashion, all the money and time (and stress)devoted to ensuring my kids the “perfect Christmas” has sent Dan and I into a tizzy questioning what we really want Christmas to be about for our family.  It just seems in terms of STUFF, everyday is Christmas around here.  After all was said and done, it wasn’t the gifts that made us happy, and we wonder if our time and money could be better spent with equal, if not even better results.  I’d sum up what we’re thinking with LESS STUFF and MORE EXPERIENCES.  It’s an idea that’s just taking shape in our heads that we really hope to expound on in the next year or two since we figure we only have one (maybe two?) years before Aiden gets a serious case of the wants.  We’ll see what happens.  (And please don’t get me wrong.  My kids got some fantastic gifts that are already used daily around our house.  We are extremely thankful for all the thoughtfulness and generosity that went into those.)

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The Guthrie Family.  Aiden with his arm around Tyler (above) as we pose for the camera = priceless.
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The morning after Christmas, Aiden was still singing “Jingle Bells”, and even now he still talks about Santa and the Snowmen from time-to-time (a lot to do with our awesome neighbors that still have their Christmas lights up for our enjoyment).  He doesn’t know that it’s over.  He’s keeping it alive in our house even into the new year.  It’s magical.

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G-ma and sibling love.

And Emily?  Well she got the most wonderful gift of all over Christmas break.  Rice cereal. 

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And she really likes it.  A LOT.

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Along with peas so far.  For anyone wondering, this does not equate to sleeping through the night yet :\ 

Now to tackle my year in pictures.  It’s the only time of year I hate how many pictures we take.  Here’s 2009 and 2010.  Can I make it before the middle of January?  Chugging away at it nightly, but doubtful.  Stay tuned.

Cambridge Christmas

December 21, 2010

Our neighborhood has an annual Christmas breakfast.  We went last year, but that was back when we were perfecting the art of shoveling food in our faces before the baby lost his patience so I think we were there all of ten minutes.  This year was much more enjoyable.

We ate,

and made a mess.

played on the stairs,

because all the kids were doing it.

and met Santa.  (Breaking the ice with a high-five.)

High-five!

No lines, no crowds, no muss, no fuss.  Is it possible that we could avoid mall Santa this year?  Dan thinks so, but somehow missing out on the tradition seems wrong to me so we still might make  another trip.

His look says "WTF?!?"

Again, lots of pictures, all of them looking pretty much exactly like this one.  No tears, but uncharacteristically no smiles either.  Check this out…

Mom - 1981 Aiden - 2010

That’s me with Santa when I was somewhere between 14 and 15 months old.  I only point this out because I was nearly as big as Aiden is now at 18 months.  And our expressions are uncannily similar to me.  And Santa has really come a long way since the early 80s.

Merry Christmas!

How about Aiden's scarf?

A Little Moved

December 17, 2010

This morning I was reminded of the episode of “Friends” where Phoebe searches for the selfless good deed.

You see this year Dan and I decided to adopt a family seeing as how Aiden is so lucky to have such generous grandparents, aunt, uncles, and neighbors.  Seriously, the boy has more toys than you can shake a stick at, and while I have a strong desire to just continue giving him more, Dan and I both agreed that perhaps we should focus most of our shopping efforts this year for a family in need.

Families FirstWe found our little family from Families First in Atlanta, and I must admit that picking a family from the list was not an  easy task for us.  We wanted a family that was small enough so that we could afford to give them a nice Christmas which eliminated the family of 11 with a baby on the way who were all asking for iPods.  And Dan really had a strong desire to buy a bike for a kid, so we focused on families with kids in that age group.  Seriously we spent more time finding the perfect family than we did picking a name for our own child.  But eventually we found them: Melinda and Isaiah.  A thirty-something single mother with a six year old little boy.  Exactly what we were looking for.

Presents for the family under our treeSo we shopped.  We took what little information we were given on the family and did our best to get a little of everything.  For him, the school clothes his mother requested, legos, and a scooter (his information mentioned he already had a bike so poor Dan had to settle for the scooter).  For her, an entire bag of Bath and Body Works stuff (because what women doesn’t love that?) and a new set of pans for her kitchen.  For them, movies and board games and new pillows for their beds.  When I looked at it all wrapped up, I honestly wasn’t sure it was enough.  Had we done them right?  Should we have involved more people so that we could have gotten them more stuff?  But Dan assured me that we did good, and they would be thrilled.

Well yesterday I went to deliver the stuff to Families First in midtown.  When I walked in with my bags of presents, I couldn’t help but notice the gift-lined walls.  Hundreds of presents for those in need.  It was pretty cool.  I asked the lady that walked out with me to get the rest of the stuff from my car what would happen next, and she told me they were in the process of delivering the presents to the families so that they could have the stuff under their tree until Christmas.

My thoughts instantly went to our neighbor’s kids who are nearly 6 years old and REALLY into Santa this year.  As a mother, I can’t imagine poor Melinda having to worry about not giving her boy the Christmas you know he has to be imagining.  But after the presents arrive, she’ll get at least a week of relief knowing that everything will be a-ok.  And just think of Isaiah’s excitement!

So while we didn’t set out to adopt a family so that we could feel good, this ended up being such a wonderful, heart-warming experience that I can’t wait to share with my son.  Sorry Phoebe!