You guys. This year is ROUGH…and I know I don’t have to even say that. Our lives changed literally overnight 9 months ago. Never in a million years did I still think we’d be where we are today. But alas, here we are. Still. We’re still staying home. We’re still only seeing our select few people. It’s a new norm that we’ve grown used to, and it’s scary.
I hate that my kids know way too much about a deadly virus. I hate that we cannot travel to our favorite places. Hopping on a plane or sailing away on a cruise ship is the last thing I’d do right now. I hate that we haven’t seen many of our family and friends in almost one whole year. I hate that I feel my youngest son doesn’t really understand what school even is.
But even though I’m screaming inside and full of anxiety, I push through with a smile on my face. I do it for my kids. Trying to keep things as “normal” as I possibly can. This is their childhood. As their parents, we decide how they will remember this time.
Does this suck right now? ABSOLUTELY! But, I think it’s important that we show our children that even through darkness, there is light. We can still make memories. We have each other. When you look around, we have so much to be thankful for. This is a time they will remember and tell their grandkids about. If I can make this a happy time for them, then you better believe I’m giving it my all.
Christmas is my favorite holiday. We go all out with decorations inside of our home. While we usually wait until after Thanksgiving, this year we decided to decorate the first week of November! Christmas brings magic, and we could all use a little bit extra this year.
Our family usually take a trip on the Polar Express train ride every year. We’ve been doing this since before Avery was born. Of course this year we had to figure something else out. We live just a short drive from Gillette Stadium, and they had a drive-thru holiday light display. So we piled into our car and made the 40 minute drive to check out the lights. Although it certainly wasn’t the Polar Express, it was still something.
We built our Gingerbread Houses together as a family. The kit we has this year had four houses inside. Lincoln thought it would be fun if all four of us decorated a house! It was a great idea, and we all enjoyed ourselves.
Avery has been singing “Oh Christmas Tree” practically on repeat. I decided to print out sheet music to play it on our keyboard. He thought that was so fun to sing along while I was playing. Lincoln wanted to learn to play the song, and then Avery was determined to learn it, too! Now if they randomly walk by the keyboard, they’ll turn it on and play. I loved how quickly they both picked it up. I think virtual piano lessons could very well be a thing after the New Year for them both!
Last week we made Christmas cookies with my mom. They had so much fun, and the cookies were so yummy! In fact, they’re gone already! We’re going to have another cookie day this week and make more. Both Lincoln and Avery already requested it!!
A few days ago we had our first big snowstorm of the season…and I was actually excited about it! Usually I dread snow, but knowing that my kids would be able to go outside and sled down our big hill, have a snowball fight, and build a snowman made me so happy. The joy on their little faces when they woke up in the morning to see all that snow was priceless.
This past weekend I wanted to do something extra special. The four of us put on our pajamas, grabbed our pillows and comfy blankets, and camped out in the living room. We watched Christmas movies all night with popcorn and hot cocoa. The best part of the night was when Avery said to Lincoln, “Are you having a fun night?” And Lincoln said, “Yes! Are you, Avery?” And he replied, “YES!!” The next morning they both thanked us for our special night. I think we might have started a new tradition!
There is magic in the little moments. You don’t have to look far. Sometimes the smallest things mean the most. And for kids, being present and spending time with them means so much. That’s where the magic truly happens. It’s when you’re together. Making memories as a family.
This Christmas can be whatever you make of it. Will it be different? Sure. But remember, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I’m choosing for it to be a season filled with magic and hope. I hope one day my children look back on this Christmas and remember it as a joyful time we were all together. When we cuddled up on the couch and ate way too many sugar cookies by the Christmas tree. I hope they know how hard we tried extra hard to give them every ounce of magic. And I hope they know the joy that filled our hearts watching their eyes twinkle with happiness.
There’s still magic this Christmas. It’s hidden in all those little things. Don’t look far, it’s right in front of you. Those little moments mean more than you think.