Last week I had a day that I got a little too caught up in the materialistic side of Christmas. I was looking through all the Black Friday ads and all of a sudden I started feeling overwhelmed. “How in the heck are we going to afford Christmas this year?”
I mentioned a few things I was considering getting Kinley in my post on Toys for Toddlers, and I had finally decided on a Kidkraft play kitchen. I let myself get in a poor mood over the thought of not being able to get it for her. That's when my husband reminded me of how blessed we are and how we have everything we need. He also reminded me of something else: she's two. She doesn't even care. OH my goodness, he's totally right! When I finally gave in and agreed we would just get the girls one or two small items, I finally felt peace. Christmas is about traditions, and memories, and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Everything else is just a distraction. Fun, but still a distraction.
I grew up with a single mom who struggled just to provide groceries for our family. We never heard my mom swear growing up, except for when the holidays started coming around, we always heard her slip once: It might have been the stress of trying to keep the magic in Christmas without any money. It's funny…we were so poor and were always told never to get our hopes up when it came to presents, but I still have very fond memories of Christmastime. My mom read us Christmas stories every night in December and we all got to hold a fake glowing candle. Okay, I take that back. The first year or two she used real candles (You can probably guess why she switched). I also remember watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel and my mom always cried! My mom was really good at making Christmastime special with little or no money.
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I mentioned this previously in my post on Meaningful Christmas Traditions, but one tradition that stands out in my mind is Christmas morning. When I was in high school my mom started a tradition where we would go serve others on Christmas morning. Whether it be singing Christmas carols to the elderly or the handicapped, it was always something that got to my heart. And I still remember it. Of course I secretly wished Santa would bring me all the toys he was bringing my friends, but not enough to have marred my memories of Christmas.
Once I reflected on all these good memories, I was able to change my frame of mind and enjoy Thanksgiving without all the Black Friday madness (Although I did stock up on diapers)!
Candy Cane & Mint Truffle Hot Cocoa
After a great Thanksgiving with family, We FINALLY whipped out the Christmas decorations tonight! And I'm feeling like it's Christmas time around here 🙂 Unfortunately we didn't get our tree-chopping permit in time, so we will have to wait until tomorrow for the tree.
We bravely set out some nativities in hopes that Offspring #2 doesn't break them. This might have been stupid. Only time will tell.
We ended a perfect evening with some hot cocoa. I happen to have a crush on mint truffle & candy cane kisses, so I experimented and added them to my mug. Mmmm. So good! Just use whatever cocoa you normally use (we're simple at our house, we just whipped out the packets). Add marshmallows and kisses and wah la! Peppermint Hot Cocoa.
I recommend cutting them up a bit so that they float on the top for a little bit before they melt. 4-5 kisses for one mug is perfect!
It's funny, I am not a fan of candy canes, but for some reason I am in love with candy cane kisses and candy cane ice cream! I'm going to have to stock up this year so I can enjoy some in March 🙂