I would tell the kids how many days away Thanksgiving was and then one sunny afternoon it dawned on me that they were really into Thanksgiving.
So I asked why they loved Thanksgiving so much.
Because this is why everyone loves Thanksgiving, right?
Silly me! My kids told me they couldn't wait for Thanksgiving because it meant that Christmas was next! And don't you know. The very next day after Thanksgiving my kids woke up and said, "IS TODAY CHRISTMAS???"
You know what I've been busy doing instead? Probably the same things you are doing: my normal every day job. I've been cooking and cleaning and folding laundry. I've been homeschooling 3 days a week and organizing outgrown clothes and closets. I've been paying bills and combing through our finances to find enough money to even have Christmas this year.
Every day my children wake up to what often times feels like a reminder of how many days "left" I have to get the most magical time of the year ready for them. But that's not it. Not it at all.
Seriously, when I take myself out of it all and all the static and stuff that comes along with the holiday is removed, this is such a magical time of year with or without any of the extra stuff we do! We have 11 days left until Christmas and outside of decorating and buying a few gifts we've not done much else...
I love watching my kids put gifts in each others stockings each morning and not taking credit for it! They find things around the house, little toys or drawings they made and hide it in each others stockings when the other ones aren't looking. It's awesome!
They tell each other that Santa did it! I love their imaginations, their play, their excitement for this time of year.
Even though I can do without the 5:00am wake up calls, I love that each morning at 5am (sometimes 6) the kids wake each other up and go running through the house to see what the crazy thing Elf Robert has done or where he is newly hiding from the day before.
And I could also do without my husband waking me up at midnight to tell me I went to bed forgetting to move the Elf for the kids excitement and enjoyment each new day. And sometimes Elf Robert doesn't move until the morning after the kids have waken up or after they've gone to school.
But you know what? They don't care. It is still so incredibly magical for them and exciting. They make Elf Robert gifts to give to Santa and they leave him plates of food and cookies. Watching them give to each other and Silly Elf Robert are wonderful things about this month.
Then it is answering all the questions that go along with the Christmas story that I love getting to sit down and talk with my kids.
Why was Jesus born in a stable? (or per Olivia, a staple?)
What is a stable?
What is the Nativity?
Is Jesus still a baby?
Does Jesus celebrate Christmas in Heaven?
Is Santa Clause like Jesus?
My friend doesn't believe in Santa, but I still do, is it okay to always believe?
Where is Jesus mommy now?
I love their excitement and interest in another family we've offered to help in this season.
Rather than being anxious about having only 11 days left to get my Christmas shopping done or my Christmas cards in the mail or our Christmas cookies made.
I should instead be sad that I have 11 days left to watch my children so excited about Every. Little. Thing. There are only 11 days left to watch them wide-eyed over Santa. There are only 11 days left to see them hide gifts for each other around the house. There are only 11 days left for me to watch the magic in their eyes as they bring me one Christmas drawing after another. There are only 11 days left when they ask endless questions about our Savior's birth and the significance it has on their every day.
It really is the most magical time of year, but not because of anything "magical" that I do or in this years case, don't do. It is magical whether we get cookies made or cards sent out. The magic lies in watching my children give and grow in their servants hearts and see them so enthralled with the birth of Jesus. This is where the magic is.