Almost Christmas

Even though we started planning our gift-giving back before Thanksgiving, somehow Christmas has snuck up on me this year.  We've barely decorated.  Shayne brought our little Christmas tree out of the basement, the only fake tree I've ever loved, and found that it will not light except in a band around the top.  I'm so very sad about it.  I figured that maybe this would be the ideal time to transition to a real tree, which I've always planned on doing.  And then I remembered that I have a toddler who LOVES to play in water.  And shake pole lamps.  So we're skipping the tree this year. 

I wrapped lighted garland around the stair banister, and it looks very pretty.  I also put out a wreath, some little decorations, and our nativity set.  But it just doesn't feel quite like Christmas without a tree.  I'm going to cut the lights off of it and re-light it after Christmas.  But with everything else going on this week, I just don't have time to do it before.  Plus, I want to wait for lights to go on sale.

I am excited about Ethan's Christmas.  We got him two gifts: a Melissa and Doug wooden tool kit, and a set of colored pins that nest into matching cups.  After reading some Montessori and Waldorf-y books, I'm more determined than ever to have as many natural toys as possible.  We got a lot of plastic toys for Ethan's birthday, and I'm trying to rotate them in and out so he only has one or two at a time.  The rest are wood. cloth, and other natural materials. 

I'm also excited about the gifts we got for others.  Since we started to early, we were able to really think about what each person might want or need.  And since we are essentially debt-free except for our house (thanks Dave Ramsey!!), we got to spend quite a bit more than we have in the past.  All cash.  I'm so excited!  Shayne and I really splurged for each other (he got a DeWalt drill set, I got a NookColor e-reader, and we replaced our broken Xbox with a new model with the Kinect sensor), but I don't feel guilty at all, since we could afford it.  Such fun!  We truly are blessed, and I thank God every day for the wonderful people and opportunities we have in our life.

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