In my efforts to celebrate a simpler Christmas, I'm forced to think about what is really important. To me, it's a spirit of togetherness.
Even though we each individually go through struggles throughout the day, when we come home, we are together. We are a family - quirky, blended, imperfect and loving. We help each other, we teach each other and we irritate each other. But every day, each of us knows that they are loved.
One of the things I remember about Christmas as a child, is that my family always got along. For our dysfuncational relationships, that is about as "together" as you can get :)
My husband, Chris, has never been much for holidays. But I can see him slowly warming up to the "togetherness" of Christmas. Most activities I plan for us to do during December are all things I've done a million times. But not Chris and Brytin. And it is such a joy and a pleasure to see the happiness on their faces as they bond through some stereotypical (read: commercialized) Christmas activity that neither has ever done before.
And this year, even with my efforts to simplify Christmas, God built a tradition - gingerbread construction.
In 2009, the boys built a Gingerbread Christmas tree - a new experience for both.
And last night, the boys built a gingerbread house. I never intended to make gingerbread construction a tradition, it just happened, and that's the most beautiful way to build a tradition! (Big thanks to Brytin's teacher, Mrs. Ventura, for the idea and supplies!)