Christmas around here brings with it a lot of excitement.
On a daily basis – if not several times a day, really – you can hear Zach say , “I’m so excited for Christmas!” He then makes sure everyone around him is excited too. He’s caught me a few times being a bit of a bah-humbug and lectures me about “How could I not be excited for Christmas?”
I am, I am. I just need to get feeling more Christmasy. Today we decorate our house, so that will help:)
Sam and Zandra had the movie “Elf” playing all day yesterday too – and that certainly brings in some good Christmas cheer!
What also helps is thinking back on the year we have had and writing some recaps, so I will get started on that. (Note: I didn’t say I will try to do that as that might imply I’m not going to get around to doing it. So, I’ll just do it:)
The other thing that helps is getting all the Christmas traditions in full swing…. And I will also share some of those.
It’s no secret that I think traditions rock. And in a blended family, they become the foundation – and you need to build your foundation on rocks!
So, in the spirit of thinking back of good things this past year and in sharing some traditions, I’ll share with you a new one we started this year called “Grandparent letters.”
Buying gifts can be really challenging for grandparents. Especially from the grand kids. Last year we were racking our brains trying to come up with something; something we hadn’t already done a million times and something meaningful. It’s hard! We are also pretty big into gifts from the heart around here too. Yes, we buy gifts for each other, but I prefer gifts of activities, time, and talent – so there’s a strong push for that:)
We came up with the idea of creating a box for my Mom (Gran) and Rob’s parents (Grammie and Grandpy) and decorating it and giving it to them. It was a “love letter box.”
We then told them that every week, for the next year, one grandchild would send them each a letter by mail. A little way to stay connected, (even though Rob’s parents are relatively close, we thought a letter would still be fun.)
I made it easy for the kids to do it each week. I filled a bag with notecards and envelopes. In the bag was also their grandparents’ addresses and I kept a full supply of stamps on hand. I would then remind someone to write the note. I kept track of who did it when in my agenda as I quickly figured out I needed to do that! Occasionally Rob or I did the note. Occasionally, we missed a week, but we just started back up the following week.
I wish I got pictures of some of those cards. I read a few, and my Mom shared a few that she said made her howl with laughter. My kids are pretty funny. And the cuteness of their creative spelling is sometimes too much.
I remember Josh writing one that said to Grammie and Grandpy:
“Have a God Holy day”
It was around Easter, but it surprised me how religious he was with them!
Actually, he informed me that he wrote:
“Have a good holiday!”
He also calls my sister “Auntie Di” (long story – her name is Sarah) and my Mom gets a kick out of him asking about “Die”.
Most of the time, the kids write about their week, what happened in school, their sports etc. But they are usually quite creative.
Often, following the letter, Gran or/and Grammie gives them a call, or sends them an email to thank them, and it becomes a way to stay even more connected!
It has been a big success! I wasn’t planning on it becoming a tradition, but my Mom has strongly hinted that she loved her gift from last year and would like the same thing again.
We’ll have to wait and see what Santa brings her…..