After resting up from my surgery of last week and advancing my diet from liquids to soft foods, I was able to enjoy at least some of the menu items from our Thanksgiving feast, especially the softer things like sweet potatoes. Alison and Hannah had chosen the menu from Whole Foods, including a turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce, as well as three delicious pies.
Since our decorations were already up, today I decided to help Hannah get her house in gear for the holidays. Reagan brought the boxes in from the garage and worked on assembling the 12-ft. tree that goes in the living room. He enjoys the process of assembling each section and "fluffing" the branches as he goes. With Hannah's help, the kids and I tackled the smaller lighted tree that goes on the landing outside their upstairs bedrooms. They loved unearthing all of their ornaments, including Disney-related, Paw Patrol and even a Black Panther one, which Noah pronounced "cute". There were some I had bought for them over the years and even a few from Hannah's childhood.
Hannah and I got out the decorations she has for the hall table and put those in place. Then we did the fireplace mantel with their polar bear stocking holders, lighted garland and decorative branches. By this time, I had run out of gas and returned home to take a nap. If they still need help tomorrow, I'll be there.
The kids are into Christmas in a big way, and joyfully unearthed their Elf on the Shelf dolls, named Darth Vader and Princess Leia. Their parents will find new hiding places for them each night and each morning, there are shrieks of happiness as the kids discover them in the Christmas tree, behind a wreath, in a bowl of candy or even in the freezer. Noah talks about Christmas on a daily basis and if he's getting whiny or disrespectful, all Mom has to do is mention calling Santa and he immediately reverts to good behavior!
Tomorrow, I'll take them to choose a new ornament apiece as well as an Advent calendar to help count down the days. These years of Christmas magic are fleeting and we all want to take full advantage of the fun. I look forward to Christmas baking and planning a great menu for Christmas Eve. In these stressful times, I'll take all the fun and good times I can find.
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.