Y’all, we’ve reached three days til Christmas! It’s been a busy few weeks here on the crick, but who can’t say that this time of year?! We were busy little crickers traveling out of state for an early Christmas with family. We always try to take advantage of the time off work to do, well, more work, but this time on the house. The bathroom refresh is coming along and is almost to the point of our Phase 1 (aka the slap a Band-Aid on it phase) being completed. Now we can just focus on spending the next few days soaking up the last of the Christmas cheer.
So here goes, this week’s TGIF:
Ahhh Christmas…It really is the most wonderful time of the year, but I’m finding myself kind of exhausted this year. A month ago I was so anxious to get Christmas started. I could hardly wait to decorate my mantle, get our tree up, pick out the perfect presents for my kids, and play Christmas music around the clock. Now that we’re almost a month into it, I’m finding myself tired.
I always struggle with not meeting my own expectations. In my mind, we can devote all day everyday to drinking hot cocoa in front of the fireplace while snuggling under a giant blanket and reading The Night Before Christmas over and over. And then we start the morning and I remember that just because it’s the Christmas season doesn’t mean that normal life stops. We still have to cook meals, change diapers, unload the dishwasher, do laundry, clean the kitchen, and all of life’s other daily chores. Except now we are trying to shove meaningful experiences and traditions in the mix. Making cookies is fun for the first batch, but it becomes less fun when you’re on day 3 of it and your toddler is flinging flour all over the kitchen for the 9th time. I’m still learning how to balance it all with kids, especially when it comes to giving my kids the magic of Christmas without the expense of our normal day to day functioning.
In some ways I feel like we haven’t yet done a lot of Christmas things that I wanted to do and in other ways I feel like we’ve done as much as we can and I’m ready to release the actuality of the season to the anticipation of next year’s Christmas. I think I’ll use the next three days before Christmas to be really intentional with my time and to focus on what I really want to be doing with my family rather than what the season demands of us. Is anyone else feeling this way? I’m guessing most of us!
GIFTS AND GRIPES:
My gifts this week:
- Ok, this is not Earth shattering to anybody else, but WE TOOK DOWN OUR OVER THE RANGE MICROWAVE! I’m going to paint a picture for y’all so that you know why I’m shouting at you: This microwave was original to our 1999 house. It was no longer white, but yellowed from age and the previous owners’ smoking. Shortly after moving in, all but a nub of the handle broke off. And about a year after that the vent cover fell off, leaving a gaping black hole in the top. The vent fan didn’t work because it was so clogged with grease. The over the range light was also broken. I try not to be superficial, especially living in a fixer upper where the projects never stop, but it really was embarrassing. You know what, in the spirit of openness, let me just show it to you:
After living with it for almost 3 years in escalating states of disrepair, we finally took that sucker down! The square void above our stove is a huge improvement until we figure out how to duct a new vent to the outside. Add it to the list!
- If you saw my Instagram post, you’ll know that we made our own soft pretzels to give out as Christmas gifts. My husband and I had an abnormally fun time doing this and now have dreams of opening our own pretzel bakery.
My gripes this week:
- Under cabinet range hoods are really boring! They all look the same! And they haven’t gotten any more stylish over the decades. We are trying to de-builder grade this house, but our options were kind of limited to a very basic style since we have cabinets above the range. We bought one, it’s nothing that’s going to break Pinterest, but it will be fine for us as long as it functions. If any appliance designers happen to be reading this, let’s work on getting some style into these vent hoods!
- Those pretzels I mentioned…we never got around to delivering them before they lost some of their freshness, so we couldn’t deliver them as gifts. We have 36 soft pretzels that we have to somehow eat before they go bad! We’ve eaten them with mustard, made them into breakfast sandwiches (delicious by the way!), and now I’m thinking of making them into croutons for salads. How would stuffing made out of pretzels be? Help! We still have about 25 left and no room in our freezer!
Yes, this inspiration comes from Ernest Saves Christmas, but it perfectly encapsulates that intangible magic of Christmas:
“Christmas is just about my favorite time. Ever since I was a little kid, I always felt like it was my own personal holiday.” — Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney)
We all have enough stuff this time of year, so my favorites this week are my favorite Christmas movies ranked. It tells you a lot about a person!
5) It’s a Wonderful Life
4) The Muppets Christmas Carol
3) Home Alone
2) Love Actually
1) A Christmas Story
That’s a wrap on TGIF, y’all! Now I can start wrapping those Christmas presents!
Merry Christmas from our little house on the crick to yours!