As a parent, we all want to provide our children with a magical Christmas filled with love and memories. We also want to see their little faces light up with wonder when they wake up Christmas morning and peek under the tree.
This year, I thought I would fail. Many things have come up in 2017 that left me short on Christmas funds and I was worried. The closer December 25th came the more I felt inadequate in giving them the holiday that my kids deserved.
A few days before Christmas I sat and wrapped the four modest gifts for each of them, with both a sense of hope and a sense of sadness. But let me tell you; less really is more.
In past years on Christmas morning they would get up and jump up and down at how full the tree looked. Overwhelmed with gifts, they would start to lose steam half way through and most of their gifts were left forgotten and buried and by the next day they were bored. They wouldn’t want to play with any of their new toys and they would start to act out and appear stressed. This always frustrated me as “Santa” who has worked hard all year to give them a fantastic Christmas.
This year was so much better. We all sat together around the tree and they opened their gifts together, and while at first they looked around for more wondering “is that it?” soon it became clear that they were so happy. Every gift was appreciated and played with for long periods of time. They got games that we could all play together and we cherished that togetherness. I was so proud of them for being happy with what they got and they were so thankful. This year I learned that kids don’t need a million things under the tree to feel excited and happy. They appreciate what they have so much more when they receive a few thoughtful gifts.
So while it may be tempting to go overboard every Christmas when you see that “one more thing” that your kids will love, it’s okay to say no. It won’t do them any harm to have less; instead it might just make this your best Christmas yet.
It’s another Sunday, and let me tell you; it’s a good one.
Not only is today going to be beautiful (a high of 9 degrees, yay!) but it is also my oldest sons 9th birthday party; to which 9 children will be attending. Are you seeing a pattern here?
Last night we made really simple cupcakes for his party using this recipe. It took all of five minutes to throw together. Then I tossed on some chocolate icing and let my son decorate them for his friends.
It’s been a weekend full of cupcakes, honestly. My four year old son was having cupcake day in his classroom so I had written it on the calendar, and when the older two went to school that day they were expecting cupcakes too. So when their Grandma picked them up they shared their disappointment as they realized only their little brother got cupcakes that day. Being the freaking cool Grandma that she is, my Mom decided she would do cupcake day with them on Friday after school while I was at work.
So on top of some really great cupcakes this weekend, we’re taking a layered chip dip to the party and some veggie dogs. The chip dip was a can of Amy’s refried beans, a layer of salsa, tofutti sour cream, and daiya cheese shreds. It’s so easy and so fantastic. I was even able to make an extra dish of it with the left over ingredients for work tomorrow!
We’re off to party!
That’s right. I’m guilty.
I’m guilty of neglecting this blog. You got me.
So I’m here to check in with some small
excuses updates on why I haven’t been around.
We all know that life gets busy. This year all three of my littles are in school, my three year old just started every day full-time junior kindergarten and at the same time I started a job! It hasn’t been an easy adjustment. I often don’t see my children until bedtime each night and sometimes less than that if they go to their Dad’s house for the weekend. It’s been an emotionally trying time for all of us. My kids are going to a sitter for the first time in their lives ever.
Our house is in a constant state of distress, because I’m mid-purge/back to school cleaning but I keep putting it on hold halfway through for work or my parental responsibilities and there is just stuff everywhere.
Which brings me to my so called journey to minimalism! Somehow in the last few months we have accumulated more stuff. I don’t really know how. It must be the stuff that was already lurking in closets, and we’ve been trying to redecorate. But why a family of four needs more than 15 bath towels I will never be able to say. (I’ve since cut that down to our three favorite large bath towels and one patterned beach towel per kid). How nice would it be, to come home from work to an orderly house each day because there isn’t enough stuff to make a mess with?! It sounds like a distant dream.
So there you have it. I’m still here, hiding around the corner and trying to keep my lid on.
What do vegan kids eat for lunch?
Tomorrow my kids will be taking left over vegan pizza (I love pizza night, lunches made easy!) and a bowl of strawberries and grapes. The bars are a blueberry fig bar and MADEGOOD chocolate chip granola bar. I love these because they have vegetables such as beats and carrots in them too, and my kids don’t seem to know the difference.
I try to pack foods that are similar to those that their friends eat because at the tender ages of six and eight, they have already complained about their lunch looking different than every one else. I’ve even noticed some resentment from my oldest, and so it’s about compromise and understanding that each child has their own life path no matter what we want for them. I keep it vegan, but sometimes my son will eat all of his lunch as fast as he can so that he can pick something from the bin at school, usually a non-vegan, dairy item like cheese strings. So as a parent, I can only do my best!
Every Wednesday at school kids can get pizza orders, so we have pizza night on Tuesday and always make a bit extra for Wednesday lunch. Vegan doesn’t have to be difficult or different. 🙂
Me: “Hey guys, I have been looking for a job and I want to talk to you. When I do we’ll be pretty busy and I’m going to need you guys to step up a little bit and start helping out more. Picking up your things and helping each other.”
7 Year Old: “When?”
Me: “Well I don’t know, it depends on when somebody wants me to work for them.”
7 Year Old: “Well if it’s in a really long time from now, I can give you a ride to work in my dune buggy. If you want.”
Me: “That sounds like a lot of fun sweetie.”