I didn't work. Well that much at least, just a few hours here and there.
We didn't bake much. So I am not much of a baker and I don't have much of a sweet tooth. We did do Christmas cookie cutouts. It's a tradition in my family to make my great grandmother's sugar cookie recipe that is so finicky, but so tasty. But no nanaimo bars or Gingerbread cookies that were on my list to do.
We didn't sit in front of the TV and watch the Christmas specials. We usually do, and I love them. So do my kids. But not this year. I did rent Elf one night and was happy that many of the jokes didn't go unnoticed by my son.
I didn't put up the Christmas village. I wanted to, but ran out of time.
We managed to get a few lights on the bushes outside, but no lights on our house.
I have barely put away the Thanksgiving decorations inside, Christmas interior decorations? Ha. We have a tree and the stockings were hung a few days ago.
The Advent calendar? Sorely neglected.
We haven't driven around our town and looked at the Christmas lights.
Our Christmas Eve and Day meals are barely planned. No prepwork started.
We didn't go caroling.
I didn't even take the time to find the Muppets Christmas cd.
What did we do this Christmas season so far?
We have stood by our fire.
We have petted goats, sheep, horses, camels and donkeys.
We have pulled our clothes out of Sparkle's (the sheep) mouth.
We have kneeled on the ground with our foreheads in the hay.
We have begged and pleaded with our wriggly children to be still and quiet.
We haven't cooked dinner, instead eaten whatever the church prepared for us (which has been hit and miss!).
We have coached our children in some semblence of acting.
We have stood and kneeled in front of crowds of 800-2000 people a night.
I have watched my husband guide Mary and Joseph and wrangle a donkey into a pen.
I have had tears in my eyes seeing my daughter walk up and kiss the baby Jesus a few times a night.
I have nudged my kids' bedtimes to nearly 1.5 hours later than normal, with the hopes I can nudge them back.
I have been amazed at the tenacity of my children to willingly and with minimal whining, participate in 11 performances (so far).
I have hidden Lifesaver candies in my boots for those times when tenacity is waning.
I have watched new friendships form and a community be created by us strangers brought together to perform the Nativity for strangers.
We smell like farm animals and smoke.
I am amazed at how I remain moved at each of the 11 (so far) performances we have participated in.
I have prayed the camels be well behaved this year.
I have no regrets at surrendering my evenings of Christmas prep.
We hope that the beauty of the Living Nativity has brought a season of joy to those who have witnessed it.