'Twas the night before Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2012

I am quickly checking in tonight, to wish everyone a "Merry Christmas", a most joyous of holidays alongside your loved ones.

The past few weeks have been a blur of planning, shopping and cooking.

We did manage to make our yearly visit to the Montreal Christmas Market, and I snapped a few photographs. It was a typical Montreal winter day. Freezing cold with a crystal clear, blue sky. We warmed up by huddling together on the train ride for little ones, with a glass of spiced wine (recipe here), and around the fire-pits that were strewn around the market.

Santa made his appearance and for the first time ever, Aidan was fearless, sat in his lap, and spoke to him.
We enjoyed lunch at a little french cafe around the corner, and headed back home. One of my favorite winter traditions we've started.

Perhaps, if I find some time during the holidays I will post about my knitted Christmas gifts. Now, I will go enjoy Santa's cookies and milk, but to be honest, I am thinking Santa deserves a glass of wine. Perhaps, this is a tradition that I will start next year!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Five years. My little boy is five years old today.

I always get a little sentimental when it comes to his birthday, because I know how lucky I am.

Lucky to experience motherhood, when some of my friends have trouble conceiving.  

Lucky to have a healthy, happy child when there are parents that have to endure the heartbreak of caring for a terminally ill child.

Lucky to be able to come home and hug my son, and I have been hugging him a little tighter since Friday's events in Connecticut.

So, today I feel grateful for our good fortune, for living a normal, uneventful life.

Every year on his birthday I've written a letter to Aidan. Sometimes I write about the highlights of teh past year, sometimes I write about my experience being his parent, or about my own childhood. I hope that these will be a fun and interesting read for him when he will reach adulthood.

Do you have any birthday rituals? For your kids or yourself? How do you feel about your kids getting older?

Advent Calendar and accepting imperfection

Saturday, December 15, 2012

There are only 10 days left till Christmas, as I have realized with horror, and not much has happened in way of preparation. Not nearly enough. I am hauling out decorations and feverishly writing lists of things still to do before the holidays. I will never get everything done in time!

I did manage to stick to one tradition I started 2 years ago (see here and here), I made and Advent calendar for Aidan. And that, at the last minute, by that I mean the night before the first of December.

I have been meaning to photograph it , however the weather has been so overcast on weekends, that I barely get any light. This is the best I could do:

My favorite crafty blogs are full on ingenious ideas, and so is Pinterest, but due to the time constraint, I chose to go with a simple idea. Each envelope contains an activity for us to do each day. We have crafts, coloring, baking, singing. There are outdoor activities too, such as a visit to the Christmas market (another yearly tradition) and a trip downtown to admire the decorations.

Aidan has really thrown himself into the Christmas spirit this year, making sure the activities are followed and done the way he believes Santa would like them done.

Seeing him so happy and filled with anticipation, I stress a little less, as I realize that it does not all have to be perfect. He does not care if the decorations match, or the wrapping is "professional", or there are three types of cookies instead of ten, or the house is immaculate. He is perfectly content making his Christmas crafts, while humming carols, and correcting me, when I incorrectly sing along in french!

So tonight, even though my list is still long, I will pour a glass of wine for my husband and I, and we will curl up on the couch to watch a Christmas movie, and glance occasionally at the slightly lop-sided Christmas tree in our living room.

The list will still be there tomorrow morning!