During this very busy season, I have made a point of trying to enjoy myself and not overdo...not easy to accomplish between my duties as a homemaker, wife, mother of two teens, middle school staff member, genea-historian and genea-blogger! For instance, Tuesday evening I sat down for an hour and a half (something I rarely do) with my son and watched Spiderman 3, the gift he received from Sinterklaas on St. Nicholas Day. He had seen it with his best friend the day it came out in theaters, but I had yet to see it. That family time is so important during the holidays, and it goes a long way with the teenager when I stop doing housework or genealogy and just sit down and watch something with him.
Last night, I took a trip up to my local Family History Center for a pleasant couple of hours doing lookups for RAOGK and visiting with the FHC director and her husband, a couple that I've become pretty friendly with over the years. Since I hadn't been up to the Center since mid-October, it was a nice getaway, especially knowing it was my last chance before it closed for two weeks for the holidays.
I shared about holiday parties in an earlier post. This evening I forewent going to my workplace's all-staff Christmas party in lieu of coming home and simply relaxing in my bedroom: catching up on my blog reading while curled up under my quilts, Christmas music playing on my laptop, and new candles burning. The candles were holiday gifts from the co-workers in my classroom. Instead of going out to breakfast as we had originally planned, the five of us ordered Chinese, took lunch in our classroom, and exchanged gifts. Anyway, I chose to stay at home relaxing this evening instead of maneuvering dark, slippery, snowy roads after a staff party on the other side of town, or trying to get my Christmas shopping finished up. There'll be plenty of time for shopping this weekend and I'd rather navigate through wintry weather during the daylight hours.
Earlier in the school day, Santa visited our classroom and gave each of our fourteen students a small gift and a candy cane. We took plenty of pictures, and I wish I could share them with you (I can't for confidentiality reasons). Just imagine these kids, ages 13, 14, and 15, excited as can be about Santa and the gifts they received. Some of these students still believe in Santa, and it was just enchanting watching their faces light up as they interacted with him. Even those who know The Secret of Santa Claus got into the Christmas spirit, and you could tell they were a little shy about going up to him when he called out their name!
I have absolutely loved reading all the wonderful Advent Memories being shared through the meme Thomas is hosting, even though I haven't participated as fully as I would have liked! They've brought smiles to my lips, tears to my eyes, and refreshed a few of my own memories. There were many positive comments about Spirographs after I posted about my earliest Christmas gift memories! Some great cowboy/girl and rocking horse recollections were galloping 'round the genea-blogging world as well, shared by Jasia, Terry, and Janice! Speaking of special childhood toys that have gone the way of all things vintage, from my ancestral hometown of Muskegon in Western Michigan, here's a story of a toy collector's hobby that has become a museum exhibit.
Even my own family has gotten involved, to some extent, in the Advent meme! My mother e-mailed me some minor corrections to some of my Advent Memories, and one of my paternal aunts wrote me and shared that she is writing down her own Christmas memories to share with her grandsons someday.
I've got two more days of work next week and then the kids and I are on Winter Break until January second! I can't wait!