I love all the lights and decorations. I love the 24-hour-a-day Christmas music station. I love shopping and wrapping and decorating.
I love looking at this from my favourite chair:
But this year I felt stressed and overwhelmed and just a little bit "humbug" about the whole thing. Even my favourite (solo) Christmas tradition of putting on Love Actually and wrapping all the presents by the fire didn't help to alleviate my grumpiness.
So I had to make a conscious effort to put on a happy smile and enjoy it for the kids. And you know what...it worked. I watched the joy in their eyes as we went through all of our usual traditions and - to use a cliche - I felt the love. Because every moment was lovely.
Christmas Eve...putting out the cookies and milk for Santa (and a couple of carrots for the reindeer):
Christmas morning present opening:
|Comparing stocking stuffers...|
|Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans for my Harry Potter loving daughter.|
|Best. Stocking Stuffer. Ever. We played russian roulette with these bad boys. Be warned - vomit and booger taste exactly like vomit and booger.|
|Phantom of the Opera CD. I think she liked it.|
When the entire family came to our house in the afternoon and created mayhem (the good kind):
And stayed to witness the big reveal:
Well...I say big reveal but truth be told I was (once again) disappointed by the lack of screaming and crying by my girls when they found out the news. I mean they haven't stopped talking about Disneyland since we got back from the last trip. You'd think it would warrant a better reaction than this.
The (not so) Big Disneyland Reveal from Kelly Duran on Vimeo.
(I think I need to lower my expectations...)
And to the quiet moments following the mayhem when presents were opened and played with:
To the sleepy cuddles at the end of the night when she just couldn't keep her eyes open anymore.
I'm glad I was able to pull myself out of my funk to enjoy each of these moments. Because they are only this young once...and watching the joy they get from Christmas is truly magical.
Chalk up another plus for parenthood...