A Great Holiday and a Return to Routine

I had a wonderful time with my family the last few days! From the Saturday Solstice to Sunday at my dad’s for our holiday celebration, to Christmas Eve with my husband’s parents, to Christmas Day with my family, we had busy days packed with loved ones.

On Saturday we celebrated the return of the sun, and our love of nature by going on a nature hike at our favorite metropark. We have been having some unseasonably warm days these past few days, so the weather was actually beautiful. As we walked through the woods, looking for signs of winter, a flock of geese flew directly overhead, honking their hellos. Later we made sure we fed the birds and other wild things in our neighborhood a little feast, filling up our feeders to the brim and giving them some special treats as well. We finished up our evening with a beef stew over polenta and Nantucket cranberry pie, read a few picture books, and looked back on our year of hikes, some of the highlights, some of the things that we saw along the way. We also talked about our journey with the Kids Moon Club that we took last year, where we all learned a lot! We signed up as Lifetime Members and are looking forward to this new year.

Our three Christmas’ were fun as well! Wyatt had a blast with his grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, and was a lucky little guy who received some thoughtful and fun gifts as well! Lots of dinosaurs and musical instruments and books and baking toys, and some exploration gifts from us too – including a bird call that I am currently listening to. Billy and I never exchange much with each other, we do “small” Christmas for each other and feel so happy to have received this beautiful bracelet and another John Lewis-Stempel book, about owls no less! He also bought me a warm wool hat, gloves, socks and a set of blank books. We had a wonderful few days, the best of all being all the family time.

Today we start to get back to our normal non-holiday life. Wyatt is getting all the time he wants to play and explore his new things, to just play and relax and have fun. We will have music on, a full coffee pot for me, and I will attempt to make some dent in putting our house to rights. But on some level, I enjoy doing this after a holiday, saying goodbye to some things, rearranging, making way for new. We will leave the tree up a while longer, but I really need to dig out our bedrooms which have taken a huge hit. They became a bit of a dumping ground in between holiday events!

I hope that you all are enjoying your holiday season!

Our Must Watch Holiday Favorites

I think most of us will admit that watching a good holiday movie is one of the little indulgences in a season that can be chaotic as well, with all the running and shopping and wrapping and all the bits and bobs that we do in December. But curling up with a favorite feel-good movie with loved ones is an easy way to just let it all go for a while, and get sucked into some magical world where all ends well and brings a smile to your face. 

When we kick back with our hot chocolate or wine, depending on the day and mood, these are some of the movies we must watch every December. Some are traditions that began when we were just little, some have been added in over the years. Maybe some of them are on your list too!

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: Our whole family can pretty much recite this movie word for word. It’s a comedic look at the holiday but also has its poignant moments too. I remember watching this with my dad one year when I was in high school, and he was laughing so hard at the “Squirrel!” scene he was silent laughing with tears rolling down his face, rolling on the floor. Like really ROFL! 

Love Actually: Ok, this is not just my favorite Christmas movie, it is my all time favorite movie. I can watch it anytime. It never fails to make me shed some tears, and I just really, actually, love it. (Quick – whose story is your favorite? It’s such a tough call, but personally, I love Hugh Grant’s)

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Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas: I adore this movie. We just watched it with Wyatt the other night for the first time, and he did too. I was so happy that he liked it! 

The Muppet Christmas Carol: Another family favorite. I am a huge Muppet fan, have been since I was a little girl, and I love this version of a Christmas Carol. And Michael Caine is as always amazing. I am looking forward to watching this one with Wyatt too this year.

White Christmas: Oh, how I love this movie. I used to watch it every year with my mom and brother, and now Billy and I and Wyatt watch it. Wyatt actually loves musicals, he is a musical kid. And Bing’s voice – Christmas isn’t Christmas until you hear a carol crooned by him. 

A Charlie Brown Christmas: An oldie but goodie. 

A Claymation Christmas and A Garfield Christmas: I’m putting these on here together because we watch them together on the same night, back to back. Much to my husband’s chagrin, Wyatt also likes these movies. Lol. Billy is not a fan, especially of Claymation Christmas. It’s just such a part of my youth, watching these while drinking wassail with my brother and stepsisters, that I keep the tradition alive. And now Wyatt enjoys them, so a whole new tradition has begun!

So, there you have it! Our must watch Christmas movies. That doesn’t mean we don’t watch other ones – I watched Chrismas Prince on Netflix last year at least every other day for a while. And now, I am gearing up to watch the Wedding! (The Royal Wedding! Lol) I randomly watched The Christmas Bunny last year and loved it, although my heart broke a little bit a few times. And Carol Brady is in it! Well, not as Carol Brady, but as a curmudgeonly rabbit rescuer! I loved it and of course wanted a rabbit after watching. We didn’t get one, but I still wanted one. And one year I watched a movie called The March Sisters and loved that one too – and I have been looking for it to watch it again ever since. 

What about you? Any movies you must watch? 

A Friday Look Back

First:

 

Snow! I love snow. I don’t like the accidents or problems it can cause, but – I love snow. Especially that quiet hush as it falls, or walking through a wood covered in snow. One of my top favorite things to do. Last month we went on an Owl Prowl, and the air was crisp and cold, winter was on its way. As we stood quietly, our eyes glued to the horizon for incoming screech owls, I closed mine instead. And just stood there a few beats, feeling the cold and the dark and the silence, soaking it in. The past few days have been full of snow showers, those big ol’ flakes that fall fast, and accumulate like mad. (and incidentally, we watched White Christmas, one of my faves)

We had a pretty great week!

Last Saturday Wyatt spent the day with 2 out of 3 cousins – we began the day with his Aunt Chrissy and cousin L., making gingerbread houses at the library. They were constructed from graham cracker and frosting and all this delicious looking candy – the hard part was keeping the kids from eating it all! I told Wyatt that we don’t eat our art usually. I think we did a pretty good job!

Next we headed to my dad’s  house, which is a little over an hour away, to visit and go to his cousin Brayden’s tenth birthday party. Wyatt went bowling for the first time! His Aunt Katherine held him and let him put his hand on the ball before she threw it. She claimed he gave her luck, as she bowled very well after his magic touch. We also spent the night at his grandparents that night, and I think that was another thing Wyatt enjoyed – a sleepover with grandma and grandpa!

Tuesday little man had an eye doctor appointment, my least favorite of his multitude of appointments. At 2, he doesn’t understand what is going on, and I imagine it must be scary and invasive. At least this time they didn’t dilate his eyes – that joy is reserved for next time. The doctor said that his eyes are improving (he has nystagmus), but he wants us to patch him for an hour a day for the next 6 months. It looks like the whole family will be hanging pirate style for a while, as I don’t see Wyatt keeping that patch on without a little encouragement. Any tips?

We are getting down to the wire with Christmas – and I am still not done! I need to buy a few more gifts, stocking stuffers, make cookies and take boyo to see Santa. Santa at least will be done tomorrow morning. Oh, and then wrap. How is everyone else doing? And I even decided to do a small Christmas this year! I felt for our family, that we were going to try to have more moments and less things, so we are doing just three toys for kiddo, books, and a pair of boots. For Billy and I, we are just doing books and socks and maybe a gift or two, but nothing big.

I think tonight we are going to wind down the evening with hot chocolate, wine for me, and a viewing of Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas. Anyone else remember that? I love that movie and I am so excited to show Wyatt. I remember the very night that it aired on HBO. We didn’t have that channel, so we went to my cousin’s to watch it. I was so excited! (and very young..) Still one of the top of my list Christmas movies.

 I am trying to blog more here – it is such an important thing to me. I really need to write, whether it is a simple recitation of the week’s events or something more fun, or even thoughtful. It’s how I process my days, the events of my life. So that is going to be a definite goal for the new year for me.

Anyway, that is my quick look back at the week! I hope you all had a great week too!