Weekend Update: Spreading Some Cheer

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Living in California, it isn’t always easy to get into the holiday spirit. Some days we really have to work at it. Today I put on a cheery red tshirt and flip flops to finish up the last of my shopping. I know what you’re thinking.. flip flops in December? Well, it was 78 degrees outside. “Oh the weather outside is frightful..” somewhere else!

My kids asked if they could do a little caroling Friday night with a few of their friends. My mental knee-jerk reaction was, “No! I don’t have time! I have too much to do! I have to wrap, bake, clean, etc. etc.” But, instead, I surprised myself (and them) and said, “What a great idea! And then we’ll have hot chocolate when we come home!” The excited chatter and smiles I got back were well worth the inconvenience, and my neighbors were very pleasantly surprised to have carollers come to their doors. Even though the kids flubbed the words to Rudolph and Jingle Bells more than once, they were awfully cute (awful and cute?) and got several little treats, including gingerbread men and Hershey’s kisses. One neighbor offered singing lessons, which we politely declined 🙂

(The picture above is courtesy of the hysterical blog Loldogs ‘n’ Cute Puppy Pictures – I Has A Hotdog)

Beastmomma did a fun Pay it Forward post this past week that inspired me to do something nice for some underappreciated people at my daughters’ school (the janitor, the speech teacher, etc.). It was fun sharing with them and spreading a little cheer, but it occurred to me that I really didn’t do the Pay it Forward thing correctly. I never saw that movie, but I guess when you do something nice for someone else, you’re supposed to instruct them to “pay it forward” and continue the chain of kindness by doing something nice for another person. I just passed out homemade peppermint bark, with no instructions but to enjoy it and have a Happy Holiday. So I did it wrong.

To remedy that mistake, I’d like to Pay it Forward by sending the first 3 commenters to this post a little surprise in the mail, just like Beastmomma did (I was the lucky 3rd commenter on her post), and I ask those 3 to please pay it forward to someone else. Let’s keep spreading that holiday cheer.

I borrowed an idea from a fellow blogger, who I would happily credit if only I could remember who it was.. anyway, I thought it was such a nice idea. I filled a big red basket with all the Christmas books we’ve accumulated over the years and set it by the tree. Each night this week, my girls and I have read a couple of books from the basket and enjoyed a snack while admiring the tree. It’s such a simple way to slow down and enjoy the season with my kids. One of our favorite holiday books is How Murray Saved Christmas by Mike Reiss. It’s very witty, it rhymes, and the illustrations are great. We get some major laughs from this book year after year. 51xe4snfv6l_bo2204203200_pisitb-dp-500-arrowtopright45-64_ou01_aa240_sh20_.jpg

It’s so easy to get caught up in the chaos and craziness of the holidays. My kids have long wishlists but I know what they really want most is more time with me. I also know that will not always be the case. My baby turned 9 this week, and my other baby is 10. I’m making an effort this year to really appreciate my children and their sweetness, because before long they will be (gasp) teenagers.

So tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and I get to play Santa. Sadly, it might be the last time, since my kids are questioning and wondering and probably not really believing. They’re growing up fast. I’ll miss their innocence.

Merry Christmas, fellow Santas. Merry Christmas, everyone!