Specifically, I love the lead up to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays: decorations, cooking, Advent services, shopping, and watching Ellie's face when she looks at the lights.
*As a teacher, I do not like being asked every day since October 1 when Christmas is coming. It happens every day at about 8:05 when I read the date, and it started when I read October for the first time. "First we have Halloween. Then a whole month. Then Thanksgiving AND Hanukkah. On the same day" (Cue kindergarteners asking what Hanukkah is.) "Then a whole month." (Cue "When are we taking our Thankful Books home?") "November 26. It's a Tuesday. Then a whole month. Then Christmas. Then New Year's. That's a long time. So we're going to do our writing now." Every. Single. Day. And I know Ellie will be the worst about asking in about two or three years.
I like the commercial aspects of Christmas such as reindeer (or, reinbeer for parties), Elf on the Shelf, and cookies for Santa.
And before you all call me one of those crazy commercial Christmas people, I love seeing Ellie's expressions at church on Christmas, being reminded of the Christmas story, and the quiet anticipation of the Advent season in contrast with the craziness of American Christmas.
While my aunt (and my husband) may think I'm nuts for working on just a few little Christmas things already, I'm also starting Thanksgiving preparations. My family is registered for a 5K. Ellie has been decorating our window with window clings repeatedly. We're working on a menu, I found gluten free stuffing from Williams-Sonoma (for one of our little guests), and Matt is going through my Pinterest picking out desserts.
|$3 window cling turkey from Target = hours of fun.|
We have a lot to be thankful for this year.
For the first time in Ellie's life, she's had exactly zero surgeries this year. We're thankful for a place for our family to gather in Florida, and the family friend who provided the home. We're thankful for our neighborhood, which is the best possible place for Ellie to live. We love our church. We have a little girl who is happy at school and who has a teacher we like.
We are thankful for our community of friends and family.
And Ellie thankful for pancakes.
Happy Veteran's Day. Happy holiday preparation.
Full disclosure: I let Ellie watch Polar Express yesterday, and the only reason the Christmas books aren't out is because they are already wrapped as part of our advent activities. I may bust out the Christmas music soon. I'm hoping Matt doesn't read this post. Shh.....