Well - tonight's the night! It's Christmas Eve. The presents are wrapped, the new festive pajamas are laid out on the kids' beds, and my husband is about to start making our traditional Christmas Eve meal of homemade pizza.
The next few days will be filled with several family parties made up of food, drinks and merriment. So luckily, our family is enjoying an afternoon at home - reading, playing the Wii, baking and sipping mulled wine before the craziness begins tomorrow.
I am trying to enjoy every second of this festive season as well as the little things that make it special.
My daughter and made caramel corn this morning as we have every December 24th over the last few years.
Kevin and I sipped Christmas tea while we watched "Love Actually" earlier this afternoon. And after our supper of pizza we plan on taking advantage of the very warm temperatures we are having her near Toronto (15 degrees Celcius!) and going on a long family walk before snuggling into our new pjs and watching "The Grinch."
We've kept present-buying to a minimum this year. In fact the kids are each receiving 5 presents each over the next few days.
Truthfully, the kids don't want for anything. They don't really need anything either. So we picked up a few things that will excite them on Christmas morning, but nothing too expensive or earth-shattering. A few of my girlfriends say they spend thousands of dollars on their children at Christmastime --- and it shocks me!
I guess we've never gone for the big "buy-it-all" style Christmas. When we first married we didn't have the money to do it. When we had our three children in quick succession, we definitely didn't have any extra cash to splash-out on game consuls and American Girl Dolls. So, since then, our children have never expected it.
One of my friends said she would have loved to have cut back this Christmas because her husband had gone back to school and there wasn't as much money coming into their home.
However, she is too afraid to disappoint her children.
They NEED lots of gifts under the tree, she said.
They'll be sad otherwise.
Yikes. So she has chosen to go into major debt over it.
That is definitely not what Christmas means to me!
And I hope our three children have learned this, too.
And I have a feeling they have. In fact, one of them told me that they were glad that Aunt Stephanie had arrived yesterday with a board game as her gift for all three kids.
"It's a gift we can all use together, Mommy!"
And isn't togetherness what Christmas is all about?
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas Day!
Enjoy the food, friends and family.