Happy New Year! Our Christmas was pretty low key. I definitely didn’t finish a lot of the things I wanted to before Christmas morning, and I also forgot to charge the batteries for my T3i so all I have are cellphone pictures from Christmas morning, The kids were excited and happy so it’s hard to be all that disappointed. I’m trying to relax my standards and expectations, specifically for myself, in the New Year.
I did manage to get some great shots of the kids in front of the Christmas tree. Well, 2/3 of the kids…
Logan was having none of that hold-still-and-smile nonsense. I cannot wait until he’s older and I can remind him of what a ornery child he was, hopefully it’ll be at a time when his own child is testing his patience to the max.
Though I was finished shopping in the beginning of December, as usual, I didn’t even start wrapping until Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas Eve. As usual. I enjoy bows and ribbon and curls and pretty wrapping paper, but mostly just picking them out and combining them. The actual wrapping part kind of sucks.
I would take them to those places in the mall that wrap them for you but they only use their own paper and let’s be honest now: it’s ugly paper. Someone needs to start a wrapping service. One that offers the choice to use your own wrapping paper or selections for different color schemes and trim levels1. I know for a fact that would make a great company and there are plenty of people who are lazy but want their presents to look like Martha Stewart had a hand in their presentation (me, this is me). Someone do this! Not me, like I said, wrapping = blurg.
But all of the presents managed to get wrapped and under the tree before the kids woke up on Christmas morning, and again that’s all the matters and so I won’t let myself be disappointed in my supposed shortcomings.
When Claire woke up and glimpsed the presents under the tree she practically exploded with wonder.
We totes watched Elf a solid fifteen times this month.
All she could talk about was Santa and the gifts he brought and the cookies he ate and the milk he drank and the carrots his reindeer nibbled. I know it’s become a recent trend to buck Santa and I’ve actually caught some flack from other parents for “lying” to the kids (technically just kid as Logan doesn’t have the receptive communication skills to even care about who brings the presents and Julia is an infant).
Here’s my opinion on the whole Santa thing: Parents aren’t supposed to be completely honest with their young children. When Claire asks me if I’ll keep her safe from monsters I tell her I’ll keep her safe, always and from everything. Is that true? Of course not. I can’t definitively say I can protect her from everything, all the time, no matter what. Am I going to tell my preschooler that? No. That very reality sometimes keeps me up at night, why would I inflict that on a child? I’m going to tell her what she needs to hear to feel safe and secure. Maybe some people think that’s coddling or whatever, but I believe children deserve to be children for a time. She’ll have decades to be aware of the dangers of this world, while she’s young she deserves to be shielded until she’s mature enough to properly process it. It may not seem like that has much to do with Santa, but I believe it falls in line with “let kids be kids”. Only a small portion of her life is her childhood, why not let it be magical? If a white lie helps fill her with wonder and joy I have zero qualms.
Christmas morning was fun. We had baked French toast for breakfast and gorged on the fudge and sea salt caramels I’d made the night before. The kids opened their presents from Santa and various family members. Andrew’s brother and sister came over later and the kids had more presents to open. The amount of wrapping paper, bows, bags, boxes, tags, and packaging was insane.
The kids and I left in the afternoon and headed down to Raleigh to have Christmas dinner with my sister. We stayed the night and the day after Christmas went to Southpoint, one of my most favorite malls ever. I had forgotten the stroller and it was the day after Christmas, so the trip had its challenges, but the kids had fun and I loved spending time with my sister. We headed back home Thursday night and spent Friday just lazing around, recovering from the holiday hoopla.
We actually didn’t do anything for New Year’s. The kids went to bed early and Andrew and I went out to eat then came home and played some WoW before falling asleep before midnight. Yeah, we’re like officially lame now.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and an excellent New Year! I have some posts I’m working on to recap all of the fun of 2013.
I’m pretty sure that’s the best pun of my entire life. Go me! *selfiefive* ↩
There’s only a week until Christmas, have you made your Christmas list and checked it twice? It seems like the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas just flies by! If you’re looking for some great last-minute gifts that will be able to get under the tree before Christmas morning!
 Maya Brenner Asymmetrical Initial Necklace in Sterling Silver  Marc Jacobs Rollerball Trio Set  Ann Taylor Metallic Bow Tie Crossbody Bag  Kate Spade Holiday Lip Crayons  Fayette Vegan Leather Jacket  J. Crew Lodge Moccasins
 Calvin Klein Hooded Twill Jacket  Sony 3D Blu-Ray Player with WiFi  Garmin nuvi2597  Brass Anchor Bottle Opener  Platinum Grid Tie  English Laundry Signature Series Set  Nike Dri-FIT Crew Socks
I love taking baths; long, hot baths with candles and a good book. And of course a little something to make the water smell heavenly and leave my skin smooth and soft. I’ve long been addicted to those awesome bath melts at Lush, but $6+ for a 1oz melt? Umm, nah. For a while now I’ve been making my own, and I love them. They’re super easy to make and rather inexpensive when you make them in batches, which just so happens to be perfect for gift giving.
I use a very simple recipe as a base for all of the bath melts I make and then play around with adding things like essential oils, tea, and even herbs.
- 100 grams of butter
Suggestions: shea, cocoa, mango
- 1 tablespoon of oil
Suggestions: almond, coconut, jojoba
This amounts makes about 24 small melts. I always use candy or chocolate molds so I get smaller melts. A little goes a long way and if the melts are too big they can make the water feel icky and leave residue in the tub.
Customizing Your Melts
You can add just about anything to a bath melt, in this recipe I added fresh orange zest and chai tea. They smell amazing! Other suggestions:
- Essential oils
Lavender, bergamot, chamomile, jasmine, ylang ylang
- White tea
- Lemon zest
- Raw honey
- Dried rose petals
Rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, spearmint
- Vanilla bean
- Coarse ground cinnamon
- Epsom salts