was some much needed sleep!
For those who know me well, I don't care to sleep much. I hate taking naps (I feel like my time has been stolen from me when I wake up two hours later because I can't do the twenty minute power naps, mine always end two hours later) but even I need a solid seven hours (which has been unheard of since having Jordan in our life).
Lucky parents with kids who sleep through the night are something to be envied. For a mere while, I counted myself lucky as my sweet son slept through the night. That quickly changed with teething, crawling, and an overall desire to play instead of sleep. It's always obvious when Jordan is tired, without fail he rubs his eyes and screams as he's falling asleep. He will do whatever he can to stay awake, including hitting his toys so the noise will keep him up.
A wish came true this Christmas as Andy and I both got the chance to sleep in while Andy's parents and uncle played with Jordan every morning, enabling us to sleep in a bit. You see, even if your child is an angel baby who sleeps through the night (unfortunately ours does not), babies are unaware of the adjustment in weekend sleep schedules so when you stay up until midnight or beyond, thinking you can salvage the lack of sleep with a later wake up the subsequent day, your child disregards this and is up and ready at the same time as normal, which for us is 7 AM. Sleep was all I wanted for Christmas (okay, that and this amazing Anthropologie candle) and I got it! And much much more...
My family has never been religious so Christmas being a big deal is sort of new to me. We always had family dinner and presents when we were younger, but as we grew older, I can recall many times when it was just me and my brother eating together (the last time I remember was Christmas 2008 celebrated at Cheesecake Factory while our parents went out with their friends). For those who treasure Christmas, that might seem odd or even sad, but really, it was great and we all enjoyed it. Nobody complained, felt cheated, or thought it was un-Christmas. Christmas was just another day that gave us a day off and an excuse to get together with family but as we grew older, it wasn't always convenient or necessary to get the entire extended family together, and the sentiment translated to our immediate family and didn't seem a big deal since we always ate together a lot anyway. The presents stopped when I got to college, but if we ever see anything that we know the other person would enjoy, we never hesitate to get it for them. So Christmas is really year round for my family in the material aspect. As for the Christ centered part, it's non-existent. Church for Christmas? Not us.
So it's no surprise that this year, my first Christmas with a son was really tender. It's not that last year wasn't, but this year turned my attention to all the thoughtful mothers who put so much time and effort into making Christmas special for their children, both by ensuring they understand it's a celebration of Christ's birth and that the greatest gift was given to all of us. I cynically agree that Christmas shouldn't be the only time we have an excuse to give, that it should be part of our everyday tasks and thoughts, but I now see that it's not just Christmas that we give... we simply give even more during Christmas.
At first, I was overwhelmed with the presents we had to get everyone, the related costs, and how behind I felt (both in how unfestive our house was, how many nativities we lacked, and how little time we had to get everything), but my sweet husband showed me that it wasn't just about spending money (cuz if it was, I'm pretty good at that!), but being thoughtful in our gifts. We carefully thought of things that each person would enjoy (we had some help with some wish lists) and put forth the time to make some gifts, and order others.
a snapshot from a book we made Andy's uncle called Found a Peanut. Yes, Jordan, at age zero, has already published two books, the other is called If You Give Jordan a Sweet Potato. We used a website called lulu.com, not to be confused with Lululemon, another favorite (but one we cannot currently afford, though my friend Sara gave me a tip that the factory stores have amazing deals!).