|Ha! - and you thought my Halloween post was early! :)|
I know, it's ridiculously early, but I honestly LOVE everything about the Christmas season, and I am so excited to feel it beginning!! It's in the air, don't you think?! The fact that when you wake up at 5:30am it's already light, and you're in your summer pj's because it's even getting hot at dawn now....wanting to jump in the pool...shopping for togs... feeling like ice cream instead of hot chocolates... uni winding down for James :) It's my birthday this week, and I feel like I kind of 'kick off' the Christmas season. It's around the time that all the decorations start appearing in the stores, and I don't know about everyone else, but I am excited and tingly walking through all the new Christmas displays!!! :) I want to go to the shops, all the time!
This year especially, I've been trying to get a lot of Christmas stuff planned early, because we've got a lot on around Christmas time - James is graduating (yay!!!) and our little baby #3 is due in January, along with James and Maggie's birthdays. In fact, my first thought upon seeing Christmas displays in the shops was that I could finally buy cute Christmas gift wrap to wrap up some of the presents I've already made for some of our family. I would really, really love to share the idea with you - but it would ruin Christmas for half the family, so I'll let you know before next year ;)
Anyway, here's some of the stuff I'm getting REALLY excited about for Christmas this year :)
- Going to look at some Christmas lights!!! :) There is a cul-de-sac about a 20 minute drive from our place, where every single house goes crazy with Christmas lights!! The picture up the top is one I took from there last year or the year before, and here are a couple of others...
There are a few interactive displays as well - a Santa who's a chair so you can get your photo taken with Santa, a couple of Santas who dance, along with some of the watching children, and one house even sets up a big toy area for the children, right on their driveway!! You can even get your photo taken some years with the snow queen!! (Who is apparently visiting from one of the poles, and is well out of her comfort climate! :))
Most of the displays are more Santa-centred, but I was excited to see the wise men chilling out on somebody's roof :)
- Going into Brisbane City to see what there's to see!! Let's face it: There's actually not a great deal to see, but there's the giant Christmas Tree in King George Square:
And the Myer Centre Christmas Window Displays!! The first year we went, it was the Nutcracker, and last year it was about Santa coming to town :) Maggie stood in front of them and danced for ages, much to the delight of the little crowd. Hopefully this time Ana is awake for and excited by all this too!! :)
- Decorating...!!! Yay!!!! :) And let's face it, all this stuff is about a MILLION times more fun due to the fact that the girls are now at ages where it's actually exciting and they can remember things and understand them enough to look forward to them and enjoy them!! :)
- Wrapping and giving gifts with the girls. Last year, Maggie was beginning to be a little more excited about giving things to people:
But this year she understands so much better, and Ana will be in on the fun more too!! I plan on saving a bunch of gifts for close family to wrap, until a day or two beforehand, so that we can wrap them with the girls and they'll be super excited to give them to people the next day :) So much fun!!!
- I guess when you're first married, most of Christmas is divided between your two families, but as you grow your own more traditions start to pop up! One we've had going for a few years now is a special little Christmas breakfast:
And we're hoping to start having a great deal of fun together on Christmas Eve as well - acting out the Nativity together with the children and having a nice dinner together maybe?? While we wrap some presents?? Sing some carols together?! Does anyone have any other ideas for us?!! I am so excited to start fun, new traditions!! :)
- Visiting our family on Christmas as well of course!! :) There's nothing like going home for Christmas, and my family 'do' Christmas in a big way - it's so much fun now seeing the next generation enjoying it all together and spending time together!!! :) Last year we went to NSW to spend Christmas Day with James' extended family, so we had 'fake' Christmas a week early with my family. This year James' parents are going overseas for Christmas, so we're having an early 'fake' Christmas with them! :) (the more the merrier!!! :))
- Setting up the nativity!! I know, you may think this belongs with 'decorate', but this was my very favourite part growing up. This is the family nativity set I grew up with at my parents' house:
I used to play with them like a doll set - acting out the nativity over and over, with the shepherds, wise men and Mary and Joseph interacting however I imagined they would! They used to look as wooden as they are, but one year Mum decorated them using gold leaf - they're gorgeous, and I want them. Mum and Dad did buy us a gorgeous Willow Tree nativity set a couple of years ago for Christmas though that I also love. I think I could be happy with 25 different nativity sets around my house one day - I love them so much!! And they are what Christmas is all about!! I hope our children love them too :)
- The food. James thinks our family is a little food crazy - we seem to have special food associated with every special occasion. I love it :) Last year we branched out, and Dad made a turkey for the very first time:
Doesn't it look incredible?! Especially for a first time effort! - it was fabulous :) And we always go a bit overboard with desserts:
A couple of very healthy looking yummy salads there, along with a couple of other bits and pieces... :)
- Christmas music!!! Today I was watching an old episode of The West Wing. It was a Christmas episode, and a group of male a Capella singers called 'The Whiffenpoofs' were singing so incredibly beautifully, I actually found myself Googling 'Whiffenpoofs'. I found them. They're a Yale singing group who've been around forEVER (I'm assuming they get new members as the old ones graduate) AND they have a Christmas CD!!! :) You can find it here. I don't know whether to buy it now, or in a month or two. I think it will be gorgeous. I also notice Olivia Newton John & John Travolta are releasing a new one, and so are Lady Antebellum. Choices, choices! - I'm so excited!! And I love all the albums I already have!! I love Christmas songs!! And I love that the girls love singing so much, and I can't wait to teach them Christmas songs!!!! When do you think it's too early to start? I mean, they have to first learn them, and then be able to sing them throughout the season!!!
- Ward Christmas Parties!!!
- Baking Christmas treats with the girls!!!
- Gingerbread houses!!!
- The beach!
- Walking through shops that are overcrowded, because EVERYBODY is trying to buy EVERYBODY fun presents!!! :)
- Boxing Day!! (does it get any better?!!)
- Everybody getting time off work and hanging out together! :)
- The musical Christmas program at church the Sunday before Christmas!!! (yay!!!)
So is anyone else out there 'feeling it'?!! Or were you rolling your eyes when you walked past all the commercial displays that have been popping up?!! Do you have any fun traditions that you think I should adopt?! (I'm pretty open!) Christmas present ideas?!
I'm pretty excited, bring it all on!!! :)