I haven't been blogging much lately. Maybe that's because David says blogging is of the devil, which intimidates me into staying away from it--at least when he is home.
I never even wrote about how Shannon, Jonathan and I went and cut down a Christmas tree. I'm not sure what day that was, or how it worked out. It was not the weekend; I think it was a Friday, and for some reason Shannon and Jonathan were not at school. Everybody else was busy and the days were getting down to the wire, so Shannon and Jon and I got in the van and drove to Mexico, NY. We were the only people at Grangers' Tree Farm. They loaned us a sharp saw, and we hiked into the woods, and Jon picked out a tree and cut it down, all by himself. Shan and I carried it out of the woods. It turned out to be a GREAT tree--really tall and not too fat. It fills up the vault in the family room ceiling without covering up the fireplace like last year's tree.
I got a camera for Christmas, so maybe I can start posting some pictures pretty soon. We didn't take any pictures until after Christmas, but that's OK.
We didn't buy as much this year, and it was a really nice thing. We decided there was no need to go all out, because the kids weren't even asking for anything. We are content--we have everything we need and most everything we can even think of to want. How blessed we are, and we don't even stop to think about it very often. With less gifts, the mess after gift opening was so much smaller! And in the ensuing days, it wasn't such a squeeze to fit our new acquisitions into the house. Such beautiful peace! I gave each child a family game so we could enjoy playing games together over the school vacation. Last night we played Balderdash, which was fun. I love having a family of six. It is just perfect for family game nights.
The kids all bought gifts for each other, with their own money, and they are big enough to drive one another out to stores without us, so it was just great! It was such a blessing to see them get excited and enjoy the pleasure of giving... something they never had the opportunity to do back when I did all their Christmas shopping for them. I love having older kids. I just love it.
We didn't make all that many Christmas cookies this year, either. We made my original recipe of Spiced Christmas Cut-Outs (a.k.a. "Little Brown Boy Cookies"), and that is just about (not quite) all we did. I did not mind having less sweets around--besides it made my birthday cake on 12-22 that much more appealing, and for once it was all consumed before it was dried out and nasty.
We had a relaxing family Christmas, and we enjoyed it. These days, it is such a rare treat just to be able to be together at home and relax. We visited the O'Briens for Christmas dinner, and Frisbies were there, and after dinner about 12-14 teenagers came (at various times). At one point, a young man came in the front door saying, "Merry Christmas!" and as he went off to the basement to join the other kids, Debbie O'Brien looked at me and said, "Do you know who that is? I don't!" We have been doing Christmas with the O'Briens for six years or more now, and this has never happened, so I wonder if it is because the Frisbies are very popular with teenagers that we had all these extra people. Strange--the Frisbies' two kids were the only ones who were NOT in the basement. (?) Amber wasn't feeling well--she had a bad cold.
So all in all it was a very satisfying and pleasant Christmas, and it was a joy to see how much fun and contentment there can be with less gifts.